What To Do When You Find Earwigs Inside Your Spring, TX Home


earwig crawling on wooden table

Spring, TX, is a beautiful place to live. Life in Spring is pleasant, and it’s genuinely a great place to put down roots and make a home for yourself. You do everything you can to protect your Spring home from harm, and it’s essential to understand the threats you’re up against. Obviously, pest activity is a year-round issue here in Texas that is hard to avoid.

Is My Home At Risk?

There are many intruders in the area, from common household pests to occasional invaders, and they’re seeking entry into your home. What about your garden? This is an area of your home you’ve worked hard to cultivate and care for, which is why an invasive pest species in your plants would be an absolute shame. 

Whether you get professional gardening and lawn care, or you’ve spent hours of your own time planting different flowers and herbs, the fact is that maintaining a garden is a lot of work. It would be a nightmare to discover pests crawling around, destroying your vegetation and garden plants. 

You may have heard of earwigs, the nocturnal pests that are famous for feeding on plants and crops, ruining vegetation around your property. They can be an absolute nightmare to deal with, and the state in which they leave your plants can be very upsetting, especially when you consider the time and money spent on building your garden just as you like.

Are Earwigs A Problem?

So, what are earwigs exactly, and should homeowners be worried about these small pests? Earwigs are tiny insects that are highly attracted to moisture. They’re active at night and look for dark, damp places to hide out during the day. They can usually be found under rocks, bark, piles of decaying matter or lawn debris, bags of dirt, fertilizer, and mulch. 

While earwigs prefer to stay outside, they do sometimes find their way inside of your house. Their flat bodies make it easier for them to slip through tiny cracks and crevices around your home. They tend to find their way inside when weather conditions are too dry. Here are some of the most common places where earwigs are found:

Common Earwig Harborage Areas

  • Underneath lawn furniture.

  • On packages and newspapers.

  • In potted plants both indoors and outdoors.

  • Basements and crawlspaces.

  • Underneath sinks and appliances.

  • Laundry rooms and bathrooms.

  • Picnic tables and patios.

  • Window frames and floorboards.

  • Compost and waste bins.

There is a common myth about earwigs, claiming that they crawl into your ears and lay their eggs as you sleep. This is just that - a myth - and there’s no truth to it. So, you don’t have to worry about these small insects burrowing into your brain while you’re sleeping. Now that we know that rumor is a farce let’s go over some actual facts about earwigs.

Earwig Basics 101

There are over 2000 species of earwigs and around 22 species in the United States alone. To give you a general overview of these invasive insects, here are some of the basic earwig characteristics that all property owners should keep in mind:

  • Body - Earwigs are medium-sized insects with flat bodies. There are three segments to their body, and they have wings, but they seldom fly. Along with their forewings, they have an additional pair of membranous wings folded underneath them. They use their chewing mouthparts to catch and feed on insects.

  • Color - Earwigs are usually dark brown or black and sometimes have a reddish tint to them or red stripes across their body. Of course, each species differs slightly in appearance. 

  • Appendages - Earwigs generally have two antennae, six legs, and two appendages that stick out of their abdomen. These are called cerci or pincers, which are forceps that earwigs use to pinch predators and defend themselves. The forceps are more curved in males than in females.

  • Eating Habits - Earwigs feed primarily on living and dead insects, as well as moss, algae, and fungi. They also feed on indoor food sources throughout your home, such as greasy, sweet, and oily foods and houseplants.

Texas Earwigs

Now that you’re familiar with some earwig basics, it’s time to get into the specifics. Here in Texas, there are about ten species of earwigs. Only a handful of them poses a problem for homeowners. Some of the most common area species include:

Ringlegged Earwig

  • Dark brown color with pale yellow legs that have dark bands/rings on the segments.

  • Wingless, measuring 0.4 - 0.6 inches long.

  • Lay eggs in a small cell located in the soil.

  • A whole generation of them only takes about 60 days.

  • Females lay up to seven clusters of eggs with 40-50 eggs per batch.

  • Omnivorous pests feeding on plant and animal materials.

  • Eat succulent plants, roots, potatoes, and other vegetables in your garden.

  • Feed on insects, sowbugs, caterpillars, beetle larvae, and each other (they’re cannibals).

  • They contaminate produce, leaving feces on leafy, green vegetables.

Riparian Earwig

  • They are also referred to as the common brown earwig or striped earwigs.

  • Lighter in color than most other earwig species; light brown to tan.

  • They are characterized by a pair of stripes on the front of their back.

  • Commonly found near lakes, ponds, and debris near the shore.

  • Feed on living and dead insects such as millipedes, spiders, and caterpillars.

  • Measures 3/4 to 1-inch long.

  • Defend themselves with a putrid pheromone to ward off predators.

Linear Earwig

  • Agricultural pests that can cause severe damage to crops.

  • Long, narrow bodies with cerci on their abdomen.

  • Dark-colored bodies with two thick yellow stripes down either side of their body.

  • They live in damp, dark locations during the day and come out to feed at night.

  • Emerge and spend time in moisture-rich conditions.

  • It can also be found inside in remote places like bags of garbage and pet bowls.

  • Destructive primarily to vegetation and common garden plants.

  • Give off a tar-like odor when they’re disturbed.

  • Like to hide out in look bark at the base/trunks of trees and decaying leaves.

  • They feed on flower buds and petals, killing off plants.

The biggest question we get about earwigs is in regards to the threat they pose. Customers call us all the time asking about these occasional invaders and what kind of damage they can do to your property. Well, the good news is that earwigs cannot hurt you. They’re mostly considered nuisance pests, as they do not sting, and they’re not poisonous. Actually, earwigs play a vital role in the function of the ecosystem, as they feed on other insects, controlling local pest populations.

 What Problems Do Earwigs Cause?

While it’s comforting to know that earwigs pose no real health threat to human beings, that doesn’t mean they’re free of consequence. Something to keep in mind is that earwigs can use their pincers to pinch you upon feeling threatened, though they rarely break the skin. 

Earwigs are moisture pests, meaning they need moisture to survive. They’re often attracted to sources of excess water, mold, moisture damage, rotting, and damaged wood. Unfortunately, that means that the presence of earwig activity can indicate a more significant moisture problem around your property. 

Something else to think about is that earwigs can also spread at considerable rates, leaving you with larger populations and a more substantial infestation. When earwigs invade in large numbers, they can become a real nuisance that can feel highly unmanageable. They lay eggs in clusters, which hatch in two weeks. One to two generations of earwigs are produced every year, and they go through five stages of their life cycle, which tend to take anywhere from one and a half to six and a half months. The speed of their development depends on the temperature of their environment. 

Another downside of earwigs is that certain species emit a very putrid odor when they’re crushed. That’s why it’s important not to disturb them and never try to smush them. Usually, they run away at the sight of a human, so there’s not much to worry about in that regard.

Preventing Earwig Activity In Your Home

Even though earwigs are mostly just a nuisance, hardly posing a real threat to you or your property, that still doesn’t mean they’re welcome in your Spring home. To keep these intruders away from your home, it’s a good idea to be proactive in your earwig control efforts, and we’re here with helpful advice to assist you in doing so. 

Here are six earwig prevention tips for homeowners to implement both indoors and outdoors. Use the following measures to reduce your exposure to earwigs, and therefore minimize your chances of experiencing an infestation:

1. Clean the yard of organic debris, branches, leaves, etc., remove any rotting wood from your property, and reduce the presence of stones in your yard.

2. Don’t allow shrubbery to touch the structural foundation of your house, and minimize the presence of mulch in and around your yard.

3. Reduce sources of excess moisture, clean your rain gutters, make sure they function correctly and repair leaky faucets or faulty drains and plumbing.

4. Seal off any cracks, crevices, or potential points of entry around the perimeter of the house. Also, repair any damage to the foundation and baseboards.

5. Store all food in tightly sealed containers and don’t leave any pet food or water outside overnight, as these food sources will attract earwigs. 

6. Vacuum regularly, promptly wipe up any spills on the stovetop or counter, and maintain a general sense of cleanliness and sanitation around the house.

Professional Earwig Control Solutions

While taking preventative action can undoubtedly be beneficial in protecting your home from earwig infestation, the truth is that no method of earwig control is ever as effective as ongoing services from the pest professionals. Here at Modern Pest Control, we provide comprehensive earwig detection, extermination, and prevention services that Spring homeowners can rely on throughout the year. 

Our earwig control process includes:

  • Inspection - A thorough walk-through and assessment of both the interior and exterior of your home. We will determine areas where earwigs are active and any conducive conditions and potential entry points. After that, we develop a customized treatment strategy to tackle your earwig problem from the inside out.

  • Service - Our team treats your home, garage, and the perimeter of your home to eliminate all earwig activity. We also do targeted yard treatments to eradicate all adult earwigs and eggs that have been laid around the property. Our treatments are fairly priced and developed to cater to your needs specifically. 

  • Follow-Up - We offer quarterly pest control services to ensure your home is protected from earwig infestation throughout the year. Our service guarantee means 100% satisfaction and lasting results. If pests return between service visits, we’ll return to treat your home at no extra cost.

Whatever the state of your earwig problem, we are here to help you. It is our ultimate goal to bring you lasting coverage against earwig infestation and all other occasional invaders. If you want to protect your garden plants, vegetation, flowers, and household plants, it’s crucial to address your earwig control needs, and that’s exactly what we’re here to do. Dealing with these pests can be a real headache, and the good news is you don’t have to deal with it alone. Your local pest professionals are here to take care of the problem. 

Contact Modern Pest Control today for more advice or assistance. We’re here to address all your residential earwig control and prevention needs, and we look forward to bringing you and your loved ones safe, pest-free conditions that you can feel good about. Reach out today to get started, and we’ll set up your free inspection right away. There’s no better time than the present to take control of your pest control needs and secure the ongoing protection that you and your family deserve.


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