A common earwig with large cerci in the backgr...

Earwigs are considered occasional invaders but anyone that lives in the southwest would tell you otherwise. Earwigs are considered a nuisance and can be a problem in almost every house.

These pest can be both scavengers and predators depending on the species. The all enjoy moist areas and are attracted to light. During warm weather they gather in large numbers around the foundation of a structure and frequently invade homes in search of cooler temperatures and water as noted above. Large numbers are found under rocks and debris, in flowerbeds and in turf around a structure. Treatments for control should be focused on those areas.

Depending on species found in the U.S., earwigs will grow from 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. They have pincer-like appendages at the end of the abdomen. They have 6 legs and 2 antenna. They range in color from black, brown to red in color. Some may have 2 stripes. Only a few of the female species can fly.

Treatments should include the wet rooms and walls of a structure and all entry points of a structure. Dust should be used in voids that stay dry where sprays cannot be applied. Outside, all plants and any other materials should be removed from the outside walls. I would suggest at least a foot. Plants, flower beds and turf should also be treated properly for complete control of the insects. Earwigs will return year after year so treatments need to be ongoing.

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