Pest Control Industry

    Natural Earwig Control

    Natural Earwig Control

    Earwig, a name given in the United States to small centipedes, but more properly applied to the group of insects having leathery upper wings, gauze-like lower wings and long, delicate antennae, and armed on the abdomen with strong pincher's.

    Natural Earwig Control

    by Michael O'Brien

    Earwigs may look mean but you can beat them, naturally! The pesky earwig looks like something out of horror film and has been the subject of quite a few myths and legends over the years. The one I often hear about is how they crawl into a human ear and set up shop. Isn’t that why they’re called earwigs? The stories go as far as to accuse the earwig of making its way into a person’s brain. Contrary to the scary campfire stories, earwigs are harmless to people but are capable of nipping a potential meal of another insect with their trademark claws, located on the critter’s rump. Earwigs love to feed on flowers, fruits and a variety of plants and can be quite a nuisance if not controlled.

    Equipped with small wings, earwigs rarely fly. They measure between one half and one inch in length and like many insects prefer damp environments like decomposing garbage, wood and moist soils. Take a look under that rock in your garden and don’t be surprised to find a host of earwigs that have congregated there. Earwigs love plant-rich places in which to dine but are known to eat smaller insects using the pinchers to grab their prey. Even though earwigs prefer damp, dark locales, like many insects earwigs are attracted to light. In addition to plants and fruits, earwigs are attracted to human food products, especially sweet and oily products.

    Controlling earwigs inside and outside of your home can be accomplished several ways. Chemical insecticides are an obvious choice for many people, though there are effective non-chemical methods available if you prefer not to deal with chemicals. Since earwigs are not known for reproducing indoors, you want to keep them from getting into your house in the first place. Outdoors the danger is primarily to your fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.

    Dampness is the earwig’s friend and this could pose a difficulty for gardeners and those of us who prefer landscaping right up to the base of the house. Plant beds and even mulch can be a haven for the earwig. In the heat of the day earwigs may be inclined to find their way into you home. A key to keeping earwigs from entering your home and becoming a nuisance is to prevent their entry. Be sure to seal up any cracks crevices or gaps in the foundation or base of the house. This can accomplished with caulking compound or self-expanding foam sealants depending on the size of the gap. Sometimes the use of a cement mortar mix may be necessary. All of these products and advice on their use can be obtained from your local hardware or home improvement store.

    If earwigs have found their way into your house, there are several ways to trap them using baits like grains like bran or even oatmeal. A simple trap can be made from a small cardboard with small quarter inch holes punched in the bottom with small amounts of bait. Pesticides and other chemicals can be used if you prefer but be sure to consult a professional before using chemicals inside you home.

    Outside your house is the ideal place to trap earwigs. Small, upturned empty flower pots can be used and bugs collected the next day. Give them a place to congregate by placing some shredded newspaper under the upturned flower pot. You may try wetting the newspaper so it is slightly damp. Again, there are chemical pesticides available for use around the base of your house and on your plants but always consult a professional before applying these products to reduce the chance of harm to humans, pets and your plants.

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