How To Get Rid Of Earwigs In And Around Your Home In The Woodlands
Close up picture of a Earwig

How To Get Rid Of Earwigs In And Around Your Home In The Woodlands

The climate in the Woodlands region is accommodating to a variety of unwanted pests throughout the year. For example, the very mild winter weather appeals to earwigs, which are an occasional home-invading pest with a distinctive appearance. Earwigs are sensitive to cold temperatures and will seek opportunities for moving indoors. According to information from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, earwigs have existed throughout most of recorded history. Rocks that are millions of years old contain fossil earwigs. 

Throughout the United States, roughly 20 different species of earwigs are believed to exist. Approximately ten types of earwigs reside here in Texas, yet, data from the Agriculture and Life Sciences Department (AgriLife) at Texas A&M University indicates that property owners will likely come across only four primary types:  the ring-legged earwig (Euborellia annulipes), the riparian earwig, (Labidura riparia); the linear earwig, (Doru lineare), and the brown-winged earwig, (Vostox brunneipennis).  

The Texas Invasive Species Institute, the European earwig (Forficula Auricularia) is a type that is also found indoors, yet, to a lesser extent in this region. 

How did earwigs get their name? The earwig earned its name based on an old European superstition or the irrational notion that these insects would enter the ears of humans while they slept. The name of the bug originates from a word in Old English (Anglo-Saxon), ear wicga, which coarsely translates to "earworm" or "ear creature." In folklore, after entering a human's ear, earwigs would burrow into the brain and deposit eggs. (not true)

How do you get rid of earwigs quickly? Pest management professionals are best suited for handling these concerns, as they perform a thorough inspection that will result in a clear, "big picture" assessment of the property conditions and the most comprehensive solution. A Woodlands pest control company employs a trained staff that knows what causes earwigs and how to keep earwigs away from the property.

Earwigs Are A Very Creepy Looking Pest

Earwigs have a somewhat unique and imposing appearance, which largely stems from their "pincer-like" forceps or cerci. Earwigs measure from approximately 1/4 to more than 1 inch long, have a flat body style, and appear in colors including brown or black with red or yellow stripes or other markings. Some types of earwigs generate a brownish liquid with an unpleasant smell. 

Using their flat bodies, earwigs often navigate through cracks or crevices around windows or doors when entering a home. Earwigs are omnivorous scavengers that usually hunt small insects at night. Equipped with chewing mouthparts, earwigs in natural, outdoor settings might also consume various crops, algae, or moss. When inside a home, earwigs may enjoy foods that humans eat, such as greasy foods or sweets, and they also may nibble on house plants. 

Can earwigs fly? Earwigs have two pairs of wings, with one pair that folds underneath. Although earwigs are capable of clumsily flying, they are rarely seen in flight and remain on the ground using their six legs for movement.  

What do earwig larvae look like? The lifecycle or development process for earwigs is often termed a simple metamorphosis or "incomplete" metamorphosis. Earwigs progress through phases as an egg, nymph, and adult, without a true larval stage like many other insects. 

Female earwigs generate anywhere from about 20 to 300 eggs, which are initially placed in the soil. The eggs take approximately two weeks to hatch and emerge as nymphs. Female earwigs remain with their eggs and nymphs during this period. The nymphs usually appear as smaller versions of the adults with a grey external appearance and partially developed wings. 

Male and female earwigs are differentiated by the size of the forceps, as those of males are typically larger and more rounded. Earwigs shed their exterior exoskeleton or "skin" several times as they develop. Females have one or two generations of offspring annually. 

What are some of the other types of bugs that look like earwigs? The Texas Insect Guide produced by the Texas Parks and Wildlife contains a false earwig (Japyx diversiunguis), which belongs to the Japygidae insect family. The wingless false earwig usually appears yellowish and measures roughly 1/3 of an inch long. Other creatures that are often misidentified as earwigs include centipedes, some types of cockroaches, firebrats, jumping bristletails, two-pronged bristletails, silverfish, and rove beetles. 

Earwigs Are More Of A Nuisance Than A Danger

When outdoors, earwigs are a pest that inhabits lawn and garden areas and may damage ornamental plants, flowers, and fruits. Signs of earwig damage to plants often include holes in leaves or petals. During periods of extreme conditions such as drought, cold temperatures, or excessive heat, earwigs are more likely to infiltrate homes. 

Are earwigs dangerous creatures? Earwigs are primarily nuisance pests that pose no danger. The pincers of an earwig generally lack the strength necessary to pierce human skin.

Some gardeners find earwigs beneficial because they prey on aphids, which often damage plants. Aphids attack many types of plants by consuming vital juices from stems and leaves. Signs of aphid damage include yellowing and leaf curling. Aphid waste takes the form of a sticky "honeydew" that attracts a host of other unwanted pests, such as ants, and may promote fungal growth. 

Earwigs usually target fruits with a softer exterior, like berries, not those with a harder exterior, like apples. Some species of earwigs consume materials contained in corn, which might hinder the crop's development. Among the most common types of flowers that earwigs will damage include dahlias and marigolds. Because earwigs usually eat at night, try identifying them after dark using a flashlight. 

Although earwigs are usually solitary creatures, infestations are possible; however, earwigs typically do not reproduce indoors. 

Where will I likely find earwigs on my property? Earwigs generally hide in cool and moist locations. Around the home's exterior, earwigs are often found beneath lawn or patio furniture, rocks, mulch, and types of vegetation. Inside a structure, earwigs commonly hide in damp basements or crawl spaces, beneath sinks or household appliances, and in laundry or bathrooms. 

Simple Yet Effective Earwig Prevention Tips

Are you a property owner in the Woodlands wondering how to effectively prevent earwigs in your house? Some of the best preventative measures to consider include the following: 

  • Keep the yard area surrounding the structure free of unnecessary objects, such as piles of leaves or firewood, and trim back shrubs and other vegetation.

  • Closely assess the base of the home's exterior near the foundation for any crevices that might allow entry and fill them with a weather-resistant sealant, caulk, or durable mesh.  

  • Promptly repair or replace torn window screens and install sweeps along the bases of any exterior doors. 

  • Ensure that basements or crawl spaces have sufficient ventilation and use dehumidifiers if necessary for reducing moisture and humidity.

  • Regularly clean any debris from the gutters and downspouts so that water flows away from the base of the home. 

  • Limit food and water sources by keeping kitchen areas clean and repairing any leaky spigots, hoses, or sinks. 

Some property owners have some success with trapping earwigs using unconventional home remedies. In garden areas, fill small cans with 1/4 of an inch of fish oil and position them at ground level around plants. Avoid overwatering plants and gardens, as this creates an ideal setting for earwigs.

Limit the use of bright outdoor lighting, particularly near points of entry to the home, as earwigs might be attracted to the light. Also, some pests that earwigs will prey on are also drawn toward such lighting. Consider transitioning to the newer yellowish, LED-style bulbs that are less attractive to flies, moths, and similar pests. 

As the tips mentioned earlier for preventing earwigs indicate, local property owners should employ a broad strategy that limits indoor entry points using exclusionary methods, minimizes excess moisture and humidity, and keeps the exterior area around the structure's perimeter free of clutter, debris, and overgrown vegetation. 

Too many property owners try do-it-yourself (DIY) home pest control products for earwigs and other occasional intruders. Unfortunately, these products often demonstrate limited effectiveness that is short-term. Those who try many of the general pest control products, such as sprays, often find themselves frustrated weeks or months later as pest-related problems persist.  

Consulting with an experienced pest management professional will develop a truly customized solution for controlling harmful pests and result in more positive long-term outcomes. 

The Most Effective Way To Keep Earwigs Away From Your Home

Are you noticing earwigs in your home? Property owners that find earwigs inside their homes should consider consulting with a licensed pest control professional for assistance with these bothersome pests. Our qualified team of specialists with Modern Pest Control knows how to get rid of earwigs quickly and safely. Some of the home pest control products on the market today contain harsh chemical mixtures. 

Residential and commercial customers in the Woodlands have relied on experts with Modern Pest Control for more than 60 years. We recognize that each customer deserves solutions specifically tailored to their pest-related problem. Using "one-size-fits-all" treatment plans is typically inefficient and lacks effectiveness; therefore, one of our trained service technicians always visits the property and performs a detailed assessment of the premises. 

The assessment or inspection is necessary for identifying the type of pest involved and the extent of the infestation and often reveals the likely points of entry indoors. After gathering the information needed, our service professional will answer any questions that arise and explain the best available treatment options. Keep in mind that we operate in a manner that protects our customer, their pets, and the local ecosystem. 

Our organization is properly licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture, which is the agency responsible for regulating the pest control market statewide. However, our efforts in education, training, and accreditation extend well beyond merely satisfying the minimum requirements. For example, we have achieved the QualityPro designation, which is among the highest accomplishments for pest control operators in the United States. 

The QualityPro program is the industry standard for competence and professionalism among those operating in the realm of pest management. QualityPro offers certification programs for individuals in entomology and for organizations that meet the standards for operation in food service environments, schools, and other specialized settings. 

QualityPro's educational, training, and accreditation programs are now endorsed by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), which is a premier advocate for the industry. The Foundation for Professional Pest Management is responsible for the administration of the QualityPro programs, which are currently focused on the principles of effective business operations, environmental safety, consumer protection, and many other core competencies. 

At Modern Pest Control, we have created three specialized ongoing property protection plans for residential customers. Our Modern Plus Service options are our entry-level plan that protects homes, garages, and other property features by creating a perimeter of protection. This plan includes quarterly treatment visits and targets ants, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, and other undesirable creatures. 

Our Signature Service options keep the premises free of pests and include termite control services. We often use the Sentricon system for expelling termite colonies, which is a professional-quality product used in millions of applications. The Sentricon system has proven successful in completely eliminating subterranean termite colonies—including the queen. Not only is the product effective against existing termite infestations, but it also will prevent future termite-related problems. 

The Signature Plus Service plan is our most comprehensive plan for those seeking pest-free properties all year long. It includes treatment for fire ants, fleas, millipedes, termites, and a host of other pests. During the months of March through November, one of our technicians will also visit the premises for regular mosquito treatments. Today, our staff maintains the latest products and equipment available for effective mosquito control. Our treatment options not only expel existing adult mosquitoes but also disrupt the reproductive process by controlling mosquito larvae that are still developing.  

Modern Pest Control will deliver positive outcomes for those struggling with most pests—even potentially dangerous types of wildlife. Some types of wildlife homeowners in the Woodlands might notice on their property include squirrels, raccoons, and skunks. Many of these animals carry fleas, ticks, and other dangerous parasites. In many cases, we will deploy trapping devices for creatures such as raccoons or possums that allow for relocation far away from your home.

Contact our office today to speak with one of our friendly pest control professionals. 

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