Have you ever seen the little black or brown bugs with what look like a set of pincers coming from their rear? You may very well have seen an earwig. These bugs are also sometimes called pincher bugs. While their original name may have come from the misconception about crawling into ears and laying eggs, this has been debunked in our modern world. An earwig may find its way into your ear because they like dark spaces, but they are not there because your ear looks like a good new home.
An earwig’s body is slightly flat with six legs. They also have their pincers on their hind ends called cerci. They are actually used for several things. The first is that they can use these pincers to defend themselves. The common consensus is that the pinch of an earwig is nothing like a bee or wasp sting and feels like being pinched by your younger sibling. Another use of these pincers is identification. Male earwigs have curved cerci, while the females are straight. They also seem to play a part in the mating ritual for them. The female will choose whom they will mate with, while the males will fight it out with each other to try and stay in areas where the females reside to hopefully be picked.
The females usually will lay eggs twice a year with eggs hatching in roughly 14 days. The female will then stay with the young until they reach the nymph stage where they will venture out on their own. They will go through 5 stages over the course of about 6 to 25 weeks depending on the conditions. The earwig mostly eats plants, fungi, and insects (dead or alive). This makes them a great way to help keep your garden self- regulated. If they make it inside of your home, they will be looking for things that are greasy or sweet.
The earwig is a mostly nocturnal insect with a habit of living under things. This usually will include rocks, bricks, pavers, and even the debris from plants. These are their favored hiding places, but they can come inside if the weather is not being cooperative to them. This usually happens when it is far too rainy and their hiding spots flood, or when the temperatures fluctuate like winters here in Texas. They can do something similar to an animal’s hibernation, but they will wake up if temperatures rise. When the cold sets back in, they can choose just to rush inside of your home instead of finding another hiding place. Inside they still will look for dark areas, usually under furniture.
If these insects are just not your cup of tea, there are several things that you can do to try and keep them further away.
- Fix any holes that may be around the outside of the house.
- Windows, doors, foundation, vents
- Fix any leaks that you may have.
- Keep any gardens or flower beds away from the house.
- Roughly half a foot to a full foot
- Keep the shade and damp around the house to a minimum.
- Trim trees or bushes, unnecessary rocks or “lawn ornaments”
If you find yourself feeling wigged out, contact Safe Earth Pest Control where we listen and will find a plan fit for you! 214-321-2847