Preventing Fall Earwig Infestations In Houston
Earwigs are small, elongated insects with reddish-brown to dark brown bodies, and they are easily recognizable by the pair of pincers at the end of their abdomens. They are common nuisance pests across Texas. They are identifiable by their distinctive appearance: 1/4 to 1 inch in length with elongated, flattened bodies and dark coloration with pinchers protruding from their abdomens. These pincers are often mistaken for stingers or mandibles (teeth), but they are harmless to humans. They have two pairs of wings, but they are not strong fliers and are more commonly seen crawling around on the ground or vertical surfaces. Earwigs are known for the myth of crawling into ears and burrowing into brains, although this is completely unfounded.
Are Earwigs Dangerous?
Contrary to the urban legends that give them their name, earwigs do not actually crawl into ears or directly harm humans in any way. However, they can still be a serious nuisance in the homes they infest. While they are typically most active in summer, earwigs can make their presence felt in fall as they begin their reproductive season and invade homes in search of a mate.
While earwigs do not pose significant dangers to humans, they can become a nuisance in and around homes. They are omnivorous insects, feeding on both plant materials and small insects. In gardens, they may feed on seedlings, fruits, and flowers, causing damage to plants. While they are not dangerous to humans or pets, their small, flat bodies enable them to easily slip into tight spaces, allowing them easy access into homes they come into contact with.
Inside homes, they are most often found in damp and dark areas including basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. Like any pests, they are constantly on the hunt for food and water in order to survive, and, on average, these spots provide these resources in better quantities than other parts of the home. While they do not spread any diseases and are not known to bite humans, their presence can certainly be unsettling, especially when they gather in large numbers.
How To Prevent Earwigs Around Your Houston Home
If you’re worried about potential earwig problems affecting your home in fall, here are some great prevention tips you can try in order to keep them at bay
Prevent earwigs (and other invasive pests) entry by keeping all exterior doors and windows closed whenever not in use. Install door sweeps for added protection.
Seal cracks or crevices in walls, floors, and foundations of your home with caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both.
Seal openings near pipes, wires, or other utilities that could provide entry points for earwigs.
Ensure attic and foundation vents are adequately sealed.
Earwigs tend to congregate in moist areas, so have moisture problems professionally treated and/or use dehumidifiers in high-condensation areas such as unventilated basements.
Clean up piles of fallen leaves, mulch, or dirt around the proximity of your home. Earwigs love hiding in such places.
Move organic material, such as stacked firewood, at least ten feet away from the exterior of your home.
Place a stone or rock barrier between your home’s foundation and any nearby mulch or soil.
Keep trees and shrubs around the home well-trimmed to prevent areas of dampness and shade that can attract earwigs.
Ensure gutters and downspouts drain properly and direct water away from the structure.
Keep your yard clear of clutter such as newspapers, tires, children’s toys, and other items that give earwigs safe places to hide.
Prior to bringing them inside, check the undersides of lawn furniture, potted plants, packages, and other items that have been left outdoors to make sure you don’t accidentally bring earwigs inside with them.
Do-it-yourself pest prevention efforts can only go so far when it comes to preventing earwigs and other nuisance pests from invading a home. The most effective way to prevent earwigs in your home is to sign up for a comprehensive pest control program from a qualified pest control provider.
Due to their potential for invading homes in spring, summer, and fall, every Houston resident who is concerned about earwigs can benefit from a year-round pest control program. Earwigs survive by preying on other insects found around Houston homes, so a comprehensive pest prevention program can help deter earwigs simply by eliminating their food sources.
Houston homeowners have the perfect solution for long-term protection against earwigs no matter what time of year they invade, a comprehensive protection plan through Modern Pest Control. Our treatment programs can keep your home free of earwigs and the insects they feed on while helping keep your home free of the conditions that attract these pests in the first place.