There’s nothing extra ordinary about the earwig. No super hard shell that keeps pesticides from penetrating, they’re not fast enough to out run even a sleepy eye housewife with a fly swatter and yet it seems you can’t kill these things. In reality it’s not that you don’t smoosh the thing all over your bathroom floor on the bottom of your shoe, it’s dead alright. It is however that with one dead another pops up in its place. Not so much like german roaches mind you but later that day or perhaps even a week later you’ll find another wayward earwig near the spot where his kin earlier lost his life. It is difficult at times to control the earwig let alone achieve zero population in or around your home.
Population growth of the earwig is not a fast process, females lay only 50 to 60 eggs early in the spring and there is usually only one generation per year. Maybe this is the reason that the mother earwig is very protective of her nest and will fight off would be attackers. Earwigs defenses are few and even though they have ominous looking pincers they are basically harmless. Besides the large pincers it seems that the legend of the earwig is what puts most home owners uneasy in their presence. Old folk lore stories say that earwigs often crawl in sleeping peoples ears at night and lodge into their brains. While there have been instances of these and other bugs getting into ear cavities it is by no means a huge on going problem.
Earwigs do best in damp situations such as leaf litter or mulch. Home owners oblige this six legged creature by adding more mulch every year on top of old and by constant watering of plants and landscaping that is close to the home. This yearly practice allows the population of the earwig to grow with each new season. Since earwigs survive the winters by hibernating the adults and new born combine to increase the numbers every twelve months. This build up continues until finally the numbers explode and it seems like ‘over night’ a home can be over run.
Earwigs cannot do very well in dry environments and for that reason it is unlikely that they purposely seek out your home. Unless you have excess moisture problems inside the house the earwig will simply dry out and die in just a few days. On the exterior however we are free with our watering and usually provide more than enough for the earwig to thrive. When we over mulch or put planters near our front or rear doors we’ll always attract more earwigs. Welcome mats are a favorite spot because of the day time cover it provides and that it holds dampness that earwigs need.
From our ready made earwig habitats it is an easy transition under the threshold or over the runners of a back sliding glass door. Earwigs are not great climbers or very agile but even the smallest cracks are easily managed by this insect. Once inside they seek out moisture and that is why you’ll find them in bathrooms or kitchens if they make it that far. They can and do sneak in many other areas like window cracks or foundation faults but doors are the most common for the mere fact so many use what you’ve provided just outside this spot. For these reasons the earwig is a difficult insect to eliminate and it can seem fruitless to treat time and again just to have new earwigs just take the dead ones place. It’s always better to eliminate the harborage areas first and to treat later when it comes to the earwig.
The following has been added by the owner of this site; providing these links does not mean that either the owner of this site, or the author of the above, necessarily recommend all that may appear on the links provided.