Earwig Pest Library Entry:
Common Pest Species:
Common/European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)
Ring-Legged Earwig (Euborellia annulipes)
Maritime Earwig (Anisolabis maritima)
Active Times: Nighttime (Nocturnal)
Earwigs prefer moist, cool, and dark places to gather. The most likely places to find them in the home are in the basement, underneath sinks, kitchen areas, and in the laundry room. They can also be found outside underneath rocks, patio furniture, and in gardens. Earwigs have been considered an agricultural pest in the past and can be considered a garden pest when they go from eating aphids to the roots of plants. In the home they are largely a pest for pantries.
Earwigs have a general body shape and size being flattish, brown, and ranging in length of about 0.5-1.0 inches. Females are generally larger, but males can have more distinctly curved rear pincers than females. Some common species of earwig have a foul odor.
A common misconception is that the rear pincer can pinch people and that they climb into ears of people while they sleep. The rear pincher is used for mainly for mating, feeding, and defense among other insects and is generally not strong enough to break human skin. Earwigs generally try to avoid large mammals, humans being a very large mammal.
Reproduction: An adult female can lay up to 50 eggs per clutch, up to three times per year, and the eggs can be laid before winter and hatch in the spring (Overwintering) as the mother goes dormant and takes care of the eggs.
Diet: Omnivores (Plants & Other Insects) & Scavengers (Preferring Sugars and Meats)
*Favorite Plants of the Common Earwig:
White Clover, Dahlia, and Common Crucifer
*“Diazinon, an organophosphate insecticide, has been known to continue killing F. auricularia up to 17 days after initial spraying. “ -B.J. Maher & D.P. Logan (2007)