HOW TO GET RID OF EARWIGS?
Earwigs, although they are not considered a major threat to humans, can cause significant discomfort when they invade our living spaces. They can also cause material damage, especially to garden plants and flowers. This article delves deeply into how to get rid of earwigs, addressing various aspects, from identifying these creatures to devising elimination strategies, both natural and commercial.
What are Earwigs?
Earwigs, or Forficula auricularia, are small insects, typically dark brown in color. They are best known for their distinctive “scissors” or pincers at the rear of their body, which they use for defense and to capture their prey. They are generally nocturnal and prefer damp and dark places.
Earwigs are adaptable insects that can live in a variety of habitats. However, they have a marked preference for damp and dark areas. That’s why they are often found in gardens, under rocks, logs, and even in damp areas of the house.
Earwig Life Cycle
Understanding the life cycle of earwigs can help develop an effective strategy to eliminate them. Earwigs undergo incomplete metamorphosis, meaning the young resemble miniature adults. Females lay eggs in winter, which hatch in spring to produce nymphs. These nymphs mature into adults in the summer and typically live for about a year.
Why do Earwigs Invade Your Home?
Earwigs may invade your home for a variety of reasons. They can be attracted by the presence of food, especially food debris and organic waste. Damp and dark conditions, such as basements and bathrooms, can also attract them. Lastly, they might seek shelter during extreme weather conditions.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs?
There are several natural methods to get rid of earwigs. These methods include using oil traps, introducing natural predators, and using herbs. If natural methods are not sufficient, there are commercial solutions to get rid of earwigs. These solutions include using insecticides and poisoned baits. Prevention is often the best strategy. This can involve moisture control, sealing openings, and removing garden debris.
The Role of Exterminators in Earwig Control
Earwigs, although they are generally harmless to humans, can become a nuisance when they invade homes in large numbers. Here’s how an exterminator might address an earwig problem:
Before treating the issue, the exterminator will conduct an inspection to determine the extent of the infestation and identify areas where earwigs are most active.
Treatment of Entry Points:
Earwigs can enter homes through cracks, holes, or other openings. The exterminator might recommend sealing these openings to prevent their entry.
Treatment of Damp Areas:
Earwigs are attracted to moisture. The exterminator might treat damp areas around the home, such as woodpiles, dead leaves, clogged gutters, etc. It’s also recommended to ensure the home is well-ventilated and damp areas, like bathrooms, are properly dried.
Sprays and Baits:
The exterminator may use specific insecticides to treat areas where earwigs are active. These insecticides can be in the form of sprays, powders, or baits. It’s essential to follow the exterminator’s instructions to ensure the safety of the home’s occupants.
Once the treatment is complete, the exterminator might provide tips to prevent future infestations. This could include advice on storing wood, managing moisture, and sealing home openings.
In some cases, a follow-up might be necessary to ensure the infestation is completely eradicated.
Are Earwigs Dangerous?
Earwigs are generally not dangerous to humans. Although their appearance might be frightening to some, they are not venomous and do not transmit diseases. However, they can pinch if handled, though this is rare.
Why Do I Have Earwigs in My Home?
Earwigs are attracted to dark, damp places rich in organic matter. If your home offers these conditions, it’s likely they find it a refuge. Earwigs might also enter your home searching for food or to escape extreme weather conditions.
Can Earwigs Cause Material Damage?
Earwigs can damage your garden by feeding on plants and flowers. However, they are generally not known to cause structural damage to homes.
Are Natural Solutions Against Earwigs Effective?
Yes, natural solutions can be effective in getting rid of earwigs. This might include using oil-based traps or using herbs and plants that repel them. However, their effectiveness can vary based on the level of infestation.
Are Earwigs Harmful to Plants and Flowers?
Yes, earwigs can be harmful to plants and flowers. They feed on various plants and can cause damage, especially if present in large numbers.
What Do Earwigs Eat?
Earwigs are omnivores. They feed on decomposed organic matter, small insects, and plants, including flowers and leaves.
Do Earwigs Bite Humans?
No, earwigs do not bite humans. They might use their pincers in defense, but this behavior is rare and generally not dangerous.
How to Recognize an Earwig Infestation?
An earwig infestation can be recognized by the presence of multiple individuals in the home, especially in dark and damp areas. Damage to plants and the presence of earwig feces can also indicate an infestation.
Should I Hire a Professional to Get Rid of Earwigs?
If the earwig infestation is significant or if home treatment methods are ineffective, it might be necessary to hire a professional. They have the experience and tools required to effectively handle an earwig infestation.