Earwigs

Forficula auriculaira (European-most common in US)

Earwigs

Physical Features


Earwigs are typical insects with three body parts, six legs, and antennae. They can be winged or wingless and are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Their narrow, elongated bodies are brown to reddish brown. Some species squirt an odorous liquid for defense, which can be smelled if squished by humans. Cerci extending from the abdomen are forcep-like. This feature often intimidates people fearing they will be pinched, but in reality, the pinchers are unable to penetrate skin. The pinchers are larger and more curved in the males, they are used for a defensive and offensive weapon, and can be used to capture prey.

Habits


  • Diet: Plants, earthworms or other insects
  • Activity: Nocturnal
  • Preferred Climate: Cooler temperatures
  • Defense: Pinchers, live in clusters and communicate through pheromone exchange.
  • Cautions: Harmless
  • Home Invasion: They typically live outdoors but occasionally will enter structures if environmental conditions are not adequate or food sources limited.

Helpful Hints


  • Reduce lighting around doors or use yellow lights
  • Capture specimens, as dead earwigs tend to serve as a food source for carpet beetles and other pests
  • Reduce moisture
  • Seal out routes of entry
  • Recommend regular pest control service plan.;

Symptoms


If picked up and agitated, the earwig will use its pincers.

Nesting Sites


Usually they will seek shelter under sidewalks or along dirt alongside the foundation of a property.