earwingEarwigs belong to the insect family of Dermaptera and they are one of the frightening and dangerous species of insects. Currently, there are close to 2000 species of earwigs available in the world. Their characteristic feature is the pincers or forceps found on their abdomens. They use these sharp pincers to frighten predators. These are commonly found in America, Africa, Eurasia, New Zealand and Africa. They are named earwigs, because there has been a long standing myth that these enter into the ears of people while they are asleep. However, this is just a superstition. They have two pairs of wings. The hind wings  are normally not visible as they fold under the front pair of wings.


The average size of the earwig varies between 5 and 25mm in length. Their bodies are very slender. While most of the species use pincers as a self-defence mechanism, some species emanate very foul-smelling liquid to chase away predators. These earwigs are usually found in clusters. They stick together as one group, thanks to a scent, known as pheromone that they secrete.

Diet and living areas

Damp areas, cracks, underneath grounds and logs, flower beds and other damp areas are some of the common areas where you can spot earwigs. With effective hunting equipment in the form of pincers, earwigs kill their predators. Decayed plants and vegetables, wet leaves, small insects, plants, seedlings and other tender plants and plant shoots are things that earwigs feed on. Female earwigs lay between 30 and 50 eggs, based on the family that they belong to.

Controlling earwig infestations

Earwigs have the uncanny skill of entering into almost all parts of your house. It is very important to tackle the root cause of infestations, if you want permanent solutions for the same. All hiding places, small cracks and openings need to be sealed off completely so that earwigs absolutely don’t have any room to enter into your house.  If your foundation is close to firewood piles, stones, accumulation of leaves and other damp areas, you should be prepared for the entry of earwigs into your home.

Hence, you should keep your foundations clean and as far as possible from firewood, layers of decorative stones and other collections. All pipes, gutters and drainage spots should be checked for leakages. Excess water accumulated near your foundations should be wiped thoroughly to prevent further infestations. You have to choose a reputed, experienced and professional pest control agency like Toro Pest Management to control all your earwig infestations permanently.

Types of earwigs

European earwigs, red-legged earwigs and striped earwigs are the three commonly found earwigs found in the US. European earwigs are brown in colour and are usually 12 to 15mm in length. Red- legged earwigs, as the name indicates have bright red shades of legs brown/black bodies. Their length varies from 12 to 15mm. Striped earwigs are the longest species as they are anywhere between 20 and 25mm long. They have reddish brown bodies are also known as shore earwigs in some parts of the US.

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