Earwig Problems — Eliminating Earwigs in the Garden

Removing Earwigs From The Garden

Earwigs are one of those garden pests that look very frightening, but, in fact, earwigs are rather harmless. Admittedly they look rather scary. An earwig looks like a bug that has gotten run over by a steamroller. They have long, flat bodies and their legs stick out to the sides, which gives them a slithery motion when they move. They also have a set of pinchers on the ends of their abdomens.

Because of the earwig’s frightful appearance, there is a superstition that earwigs will crawl into a person’s ear and bore into the brain. This superstition is absolutely not true. Earwigs are scary looking but they are not harmful to people or animals.

Earwigs in the Garden

But that is not to say that earwigs are not harmful to your garden though. Earwigs will chew on flowers, vegetables and other plants. Earwig damage can be identified by ragged edges or holes found on the leaves and petals of a plant.

Most of the time, a gardener will not actually see the earwigs in their garden. If they do see them, it will only be briefly as they watch an earwig scurry away after being exposed to sunlight somehow. Earwigs are nocturnal insects. They prefer dark areas and during the day, they can be found hiding in dark areas.

Earwigs also need damp areas to survive. They commonly show up in the garden if they can find a moist dark area to survive in such as mulch, woodpiles or compost piles.

Removing Earwigs from the Garden

The normal advice given for eliminating earwigs from the garden is to reduce or eliminate moist, dark conditions from your garden. But frankly, eliminating these conditions from a healthy garden is nearly impossible. A compost pile and mulched beds are part of a well tended garden. Instead, try to remove any non-essential elements that may be providing these conditions so you can at least reduce the number of areas in your garden where earwigs can flourish.

You can also try adding barriers to the edges of your garden. Earwigs cannot travel very far, especially over dry conditions. Adding a small moat of consistently dry material, such as gravel or coarse sand, around garden beds will help to keep earwigs out of the beds.

You can also set up earwig traps. Roll up a section of newspaper and wet it down slightly. Place the damp newspaper roll into the part of the garden that you are having an earwig problem. Leave it there overnight. The earwigs will crawl into the newspaper as it provided the exact conditions that they like.

In the morning, dispose of the roll of newspaper either by burning it, dousing it with boiling water or immersing it in a solution of water and bleach.

You can also use pesticides to eliminate earwigs, but some care should be taken if using this method as pesticide will kill both earwigs and helpful insects, such as ladybugs and butterflies.


How to deal with the earwig in the garden, at home and in the garden

Earworm, or pinch, is an insect of the order of the leather-winged, not all species can fly, and those that can, do not often do. Insect prefers to settle in a humid environment, mass settlements can be found near wetlands. The earwig is settling near the agricultural land near the dacha plots.

  • Earwig: pest description
  • Features of the earwig life cycle
  • Is earwig dangerous?
    • Does a person face danger?
    • Earwig damage in the garden
    • Can an earwig harm indoor plants?
  • How to deal with earwig
    • In the garden and in the garden
    • In the room
  • Earwig: use in the garden

Earwig: pest description

Earwig is nocturnal, and sits out in dark corners with a wet environment during the day. This insect is often confused with the dvuvostok, but these are different insects, the dvukhvostok belongs to the order of the maxillary, although outwardly they are similar.

The insect has wings: short front, without veins, leathery; rear wings with membranes, more developed, with many well pronounced veins. During the flight, the earworm ordinary is held vertically, folding the wings, it disposes them under the fenders. Despite the ability to fly, the insect prefers the ground mode of movement.She has quite strong paws consisting of three segments of gray-yellow color. The length of adult individuals is from 12 mm to 17 mm; males are, as a rule, longer than females. The structure of the earwig’s body is elongated and as if flattened, colored brown on the top and a darker shade on the underside. The shape of the head is heart-shaped, slightly sloping down. The pronotum is located between the trunk and head. Antennae located in the front part of the head are filiform, long — about two thirds of the body length. The eyes of the insect are small. At the end of the abdomen at the earwig there are hard appendages — cerci, resembling forceps or ticks. Despite the frightening look of the earwig thanks to the cerks, she uses them to protect, not attack and act as «cutlery» to help keep food.

Features of the earwig life cycle

The type of development of the earwig is called incomplete transformation — for a year the insect lives through all stages of development: an egg, a larva, an adult. The mating process begins in the fall, the female prepares a place for laying, digs a depression in any wet substrate. This recess also serves as a place where earwigs live in the winter. In winter, the female lays eggs from 30 to 60 pieces. The incubation period lasts from 56 to 85 days, it is interesting that by the end of the egg, absorbing moisture, become two times larger than the original size.

In May, gray larvae appear with a brown tinge about 4.2 mm long. The larvae initially have the same structure as the adults, the only thing that distinguishes them is undeveloped wings, size and color. During the summer, the earwig larva molts four times, changing skin and color, and by August the individual is already able to mate and produce offspring. The most favorable weather for the development of eggs and larvae is warm and, of course, wet.

Is earwig dangerous?

Earworm, living in the garden, can penetrate into the house in search of food. The insect is small, brisk and able to sneak into any crevice or crack, squeeze through a crevice into a loosely fitting window frame. To find it is problematic, but it is necessary to get rid of it.

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Does a person face danger?

Many are interested in the question: earwig than dangerous to humans. Yes, rather, unpleasant, especially for fastidious people. The well-known myth that the insect is able to climb into the ear, gnaw through the eardrum and eat the brain — this is just a myth. Earwalker will crawl into your ear if you sleep in the garden, putting your ear to the ground. In your bedroom you will not find it, because the feature of earwigs is in the love of high humidity. You can find it in the house in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, in the garage, if it is attached to the house, but not in the bedroom where it is dry. In addition, the insect bites, only defending itself, if it happened, treat the bite site with an antiseptic. The worst thing that can happen is inflammation, but if you treat, disinfect the wound, then this is unlikely.

Earwig damage in the garden

An earwig insect feeds on all parts of plants that it is able to gnaw. She eats the leaves of plants, leaving holes on them. Insect gnaws out the stalks of grassy plants, eats away pulp in trunks of trees and bushes. On the leaves are often black points of insect excrement.Earwigs representatives often lodge in farm buildings where crops are stored, causing damage to the already harvested and stored crops. In apiaries, the insect also harms, crawling into the hives and eating perga and honey. Insect tweezers not only feeds above-ground parts of garden and horticultural crops, but also erodes the roots of fruit and ornamental plants.

Can an earwig harm indoor plants?

In the garden, an earwig does not hesitate to use ornamental plants, such as poppies, asters, pine trees, dahlias and phloxes. When she gets into the house, she will happily nibble and pot flowers. An insect gnaws leaves, stalks and roots, a special delicacy for it — tender parts of a flower, for example, pistils.

How to deal with earwig

Earworm multiplies rapidly and carries a danger to plants, insect control is necessary. First of all, you need to remove stubble, hay, firewood or leaves, everything that hides a moist environment.

In the garden and in the garden

It is possible to reduce the number of insects during deep digging for the winter. When an earwig is detected in the garden, insect traps will be effective countermeasures. To lure a large number of insects, a couple of boards with wet leaves and rags are left on the plot. After waiting for some time and waiting for the accumulation of insects, they are watered with boiling water. Poisonous baits can be used: wheat bran with an insecticidal preparation should be left next to damaged fruit.

In the room

It is important to know how to deal with earwigs in the house. First, find all the cracks, crevasses and repair them. Carefully inspect all indoor flowers: insects can hide in pots. Inspect the kitchen, bathroom and other areas where it may be wet; check the pipes for leaks.To entice insects, spread used vinegar soaked in vinegar. But vinegar earwig will not kill, but only expel. Then the earwig might come back. How to deal with it to destroy? Spread the bait with insecticides, mixing them with yolk or bran.

Earwig: use in the garden

Earwig brings benefits, no matter how strange it may sound after all of the above. Insect, except for plants, eats invertebrates such as aphids and spider mites. It feeds on both adults and larvae and insect remains. As a wolf is considered to be a forest attendant, an earwig can be called a garden attendant. The insect eats everything indiscriminately, including fallen fruits, damaged by birds or cracked over-ripe, thereby removing the rot from the site.

Unfortunately, harm from earwigs is more than good, especially with such rapid development and the ability to reproduce. Therefore, in order not to grieve over the insect-damaged plants, it is better to take measures to destroy it.


Do Earwigs Bite? Are Earwigs Dangerous

Earwigs are the small creatures that are sometimes associated with some of the common myths. They are the medium-sized insects with flat bodies. These are the usual black or brown colored insects with some stripes of reddish and orange colors on their head and limbs. With having the wings, they rarely prefer to fly. As a defence mechanism, they have the hard pincher looking forceps.

They are the nocturnal feeders that feed on the other insects and their diet also includes the mosses, fungi, and lichens even. They do not feed on the decaying organic material but rather can feed on the greasy food items that may be leftover in your kitchen.

Table of Content

  • By what earwigs are attracted?
  • Do earwigs bite people?
  • Do earwigs bite itch people?
  • Do earwig bites itch?
  • What are the symptoms when a person is bitten by earwigs
  • How to prevent the earwig pinches
  • Earwig bite vs mosquito bite
  • Earwig bite vs spider bite:
  • Why do earwigs bite?
  • How to treat earwig bites?
  • How to reduce the presence of earwigs?
  • Are earwigs dangerous
  • Earwig bite treatment:
  • How to get rid of the earwigs:

By what earwigs are attracted?

They are the night attackers and prefer to hide under the rocks and in the damp places during the day times. However, during the conditions when there is drought, the earwigs may seek out the places like the damp and the dark shelters at your homes.

Indoors the earwigs are attracted to the materials that are a great source of cellulose and are in the process of decay. Not only this, but they are also attracted to the oily and greasy or sweet foods in your kitchen as well.

Do earwigs bite people?

Earwigs are one of the insects that are misunderstood for their behavior. A lot of people fear that they bite the people and sometimes the mosquito bites are misunderstood as the earwig bites. The name of the earwigs has derived because of their possible origins and as per the medieval science, it is suspected that the earwigs can burrow into the brain or into the ears and can cause some of the serious harms to the human beings. This is the reason why these are meant to be kept away from human beings.

There are a lot of people that wonder if they bite human beings or not. As they have the pincers, which are used for the defence mechanism and upon agitation only they will use the forceps.
In the extreme cases forceps of the adult males, pinches can be painful and there is no poison and the pinch is rarely capable of breaking the skin.

Do earwigs bite itch people?

This is one of the most asked questions by the people when they see the earwigs near their spaces. Though these insects look deadly as per their physical appearance, they are not intended to bite the humans. They cannot cause more harm to humans as they are known to pinch only the skin of human beings.

Do earwig bites itch?

Earwigs seldom pinch human beings and you can sometimes feel some itchiness and swelling in the area that is bitten by the earwigs. With two red marks on your skin, sometimes you can get the sores on your skin as well after being pinched by the earwigs.

What are the symptoms when a person is bitten by earwigs

When a person is bitten by the earwigs or when a person feels that he has got an earwig sting, the site can leave two red pinches marks that are spaced at a small distance which are far apart from another. At certain times, the pincers can break the skin and can cause some bleeding.

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The pinch site can sometimes become red and swollen and in most of the cases, the discomfort caused because of the earwig bites is mild and passes off quickly.

In case if you are not sure that you have been bitten by the earwigs or have been pinched but something else like a mosquito or spider, then you have to inspect the site very closely. With the earwig pinch, a person is not likely to have a skin reaction

Here are some of the symptoms of the earwig bite:

  • Red and inflamed skin with the affected area
  • Tender skin and pain around the pinch bite
  • Glossy looking swelling around the site
  • Growing rash at great pace or a sore that can occur suddenly
  • Abscess in the center that oozes pus
  • Fever in some cases
  • Warm sensations in the bitten area

While some of the severe symptoms may include:

  • Chills and high fever
  • General malaise
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscles in pain
  • Sweating all over in the body
  • Warm skin

For more severe cases, the skin infections can turn into the septic and if you are at the risk sepsis then you have the following symptoms:

  • Blistering
  • Red streaks
  • Drowsiness
  • Lethargy

How to prevent the earwig pinches

Here are the ways by which you can prevent the chances of contact with the earwigs whenever possible. You can add an extra layer of protection at your home by wearing the gloves before you remove them with your hands from your home.

Earwig bite vs mosquito bite

As compared to the earwig bite, the mosquito bites usually have a minuscule puncture that would be wounded at the centre of a swollen portion. While that if the earwig bite, you can see two marks of a pinch on your skin and the swollen area could be somewhat larger as compared to the mosquito bite.

Earwig bite vs spider bite:

The spider bite also has the twin puncture and the bite wound is more painful and hot welt grows larger. Also, there can be chances of the necrosis of the tissue death in the centre of the bite site

Why do earwigs bite?

The earwig pinch is the means of self-defence. If you come in contact with the earwigs, there are chances that you will be pinched by them. And if try to pick them up, then the pinch chances are for sure. These creatures are not supposed to pinch the people unless they are touched or you get close to them.

Earwigs can appear anywhere including your home furniture, bed or the kitchen. If you get the infestation at your home, then it is important that you call an exterminator to know the source of the infestation and help to get rid of them effectively.

How to treat earwig bites?

If you have been pinched by an earwig, then it is important that you treat the area effectively. In the instance, it is suggested that you wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and in case if you feel that your skin is broken, then you must apply topical antibacterial cream or gel. This would prevent the chances of the infection on the skin.

If you experience the redness or swelling in the bitten area then you should use the ice pack in order to get some relief from the discomfort. You do not need to consult a doctor in most cases and can get rid of the problem easily.

If you get to see the broken pincers of the earwigs in your skin, then it is important that you seek a doctor immediately so that the fragments are removed in a sterile and safe environment. Removing the pincers at the home can risk the contamination of the area and you may even get some kind of skin infections. In that case, consulting a doctor will help you in the best possible way. You might be prescribed with some of the antibiotics or anti-inflammatory treatments. If you have doubts regarding how the earwig bite looks like, then you can also search for pictures of earwig bites on humans.

How to reduce the presence of earwigs?

Before you look for the ways to treat the earwig bites, you must think about preventing the earwig pinches from the house of your place. There can be lots of ways from which they can come into your house or doors.

Here are some of the ways by which you can reduce the presence of the earwigs in your homes.

  • Keep the areas in your homes as much as dry possible because the earwigs love to stay at the damp, cool and shady places.
  • Make sure that you close the sink and the bathtub drains when they are not in use.
  • Clear away the decaying plants in your gardens or near your homes.
  • Sealing the openings like the windows and the doors or the other entry points. You can use the mesh or the caulking in order to do this.
  • Boric acid can be a great option to sprinkle in the cracks and the silts where you might think that the earwigs can come.
  • Use the earwig repellent sprays
  • You can use the vacuum pump to remove any of the earwigs that you find in your homes.

Are earwigs dangerous

This is one of the most popular questions about the earwigs that are earwig bites dangerous? As the earwigs have the intimidating pincers or the forceps that protrudes through their abdomen, they might appear as one of the very dangerous bugs. This is the most common misconception about these insects. Their look might appear dangerous and risky and this is the reason why people are always in confusion, are earwigs harmful to humans?

Earwigs are not known for biting the humans rather they pinch on the human skin. They have pincers located at their abdomen and this is used as a weapon to defend themselves during dangerous situations. The pincers are less likely to break the skin but you can easily get hurt by the pinch of an earwig. In most of the cases, you do not have to fear about the earwig’s bites, rather these are considered as one of the nuisance pests in the homes.

Earwig bite treatment:

Following are the ways in which you can treat the earwig’s bits:

Wash the area: This is the primary step for any insect bite as well. Make sure that you wash off the affected area quickly with the water and soap and this will wash away all the germs and the bacteria that might be transferred with the earwig pinch mark on your body. Earwigs live in the soil and on the damp rocks so they have the high chances of carrying the bacteria and infections.

Use an ice pack: As the earwig pinch your skin, your skin may get swollen and sometimes can get inflamed and hot as compared to the entire body. In such a situation, it is a great option to put on an ice pack. This will help to lower down the body temperature and also the redness will be removed that is caused by the earwig bite or pinch.

Use ointments: In case if you feel the itching at the affected site, then you may wash off the area with soap and water and then apply an anti-itch ointment on the wound. Use the topical creams or the gels that can reduce the itching because of the earwig pinches.

Use hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin: They are one of the best anti-infective and antibiotics. You can apply them to the affected area in order to avoid any kind of infection. Neosporin will increase the pace of healing quickly.

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Consult the doctor: If you are still in a problem because of the earwig pinch, then you should immediately consult a doctor as there can be some serious issues.

How to get rid of the earwigs:

Here are the ways that can help in the earwig’s control:

  • Keep the infested areas dry as much as possible
  • Do not let any plant or organic matter to decay near around your homes
  • Make sure that at the night and evening times, your doors and windows are closed
  • Use the natural repellents for the earwigs
  • Boric acid can be greatly effective to get rid of the earwigs
  • Use the vacuum pump to dispose of them
  • Chemical sprays can be used

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If you have infested the earwigs in your homes, then you might look for a professional pest management service that could help you to save you from these messy creatures.

Hope you got all information about Do Earwigs Bite: Are Earwigs Dangerous. Thanks and Keep following our post for more updates.


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Age-Old Wisdom meets Modern Tools

Here are tips on how to identify and get rid of earwigs, also known as pincher bugs or dermaptera, in the garden.

What is an Earwig or Pincher Bug?

Earwigs can be found in almost any growing zone, although they are more likely to inhabit warm, humid climates. You might have trouble spotting one—not only are they quick movers, they are also nocturnal, and tend to hide out during the day when you are tending the garden. They like decaying wood and plant material, and dark, damp spaces. Oftentimes, they can be found in basements and woodpiles.

Earwigs are the sole members of the insect order Dermaptera, ancient bugs that began crawling around Earth about 208 million years ago. Today, nearly 2,000 species are scattered everywhere but in Earth’s polar regions. The name “earwig” comes from the Old English ear-wicga, which means “ear wiggler”—so named because the insect was once thought to seek out human ears to reside in. In France, they’re called “ear piercers,” and in Germany, “ear worms.”

In North America, we’re most familiar with Forficula auricularia, a European species thought to have arrived with our immigrant ancestors. Earwigs were first reported in 1907 in Seattle, Washington, and they have now spread to most of the United States and parts of Canada.

Earwigs enjoy a lively social scene. They congregate during the day because they tend to find the same hiding places. Their nests can number in the thousands, and they aren’t territorial, so they often live together.

What do Earwigs Eat?

Pincher bugs are omnivores, meaning they’ll eat pretty much anything that’s made available to them. In the garden, they tend to feed on dead or decaying plant and animal matter. However, they will also readily prey on aphids, insect eggs, maggots, grubs, and army worms. When their population gets out of control, they’ll turn to feasting on living plant matter, like your vegetables and flowers.

This creates a conundrum for gardeners… Should earwigs be allowed to remain in your garden to eat up aphids and other pests? Or should they be removed before they turn their attention on your plants?

Do Earwigs Pinch?

Some people think that earwigs use their pincers to pinch. Physically, this is possible, but they can’t exert enough pressure to result in much of anything. Earwigs usually use their pincers to ward off enemies like toads and birds, or—in some species—to catch prey.

The pincers, or cerci, are also important for romance. They are indicators of gender, like tusks on an elephant. A male earwig’s pincers are long and curved, while a female’s are shorter and straighter.


How to Identify Earwigs

  • Earwigs get to be about ¾-inch long. They’re reddish-brown insects with appendages on their tail-ends that look like forceps. Few other insects have a set of scary-looking pincers like the earwig has. This is why some folks call them “pincher bugs” or “pinching bugs.” Attached at the insect’s abdomen, these appendages are called cerci.
  • Earwigs run very quickly and can also fly, though they rarely do so. They actually have two sets of wings, and their pincers aid in unfolding the wings.
  • What do earwigs eat? Nocturnal by nature, an earwig’s main meal is decaying plant material and wood, but it will attack living plants, including vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamentals, if given the opportunity. Earwigs are especially fond of flowers, lettuce, celery, and fruits.
  • Female earwigs lay 40 to 50 shiny eggs in underground tunnels. The eggs are protected from predators and hatch in about a week, making it very difficult to control earwig populations before they hatch.
  • Nymphs simply appear to be miniature versions of adult earwigs. They shed several skins, and ten weeks later, they reach adulthood.
  • Earwigs often hide underneath pots during the day and then eat the flowers in the pots at night.

Earwig Damage

  • Leaves will appear jagged and full of holes. Plants will become ragged overnight, and some leaves will only be partially eaten. There will also probably be a scattering of earwig excrement, which will be black.
  • Damage will often occur after rainy weather, which forces earwigs to seek dry shelter and climb up into plants and leaves.
  • You might find the earwigs under pots that contain damaged plants.

Photo Credit: Barbara Pleasant. Earwig damage involves jagged leaves with holes, which can be seen on this damaged basil plant.

Control and Prevention

How to Get Rid of Earwigs

Generally, earwigs are not as much of a threat to your garden as other pests, like Japanese beetles and aphids, but they can be as big of an annoyance! They can also produce a foul odor when disturbed, so be careful. Try these remedies:

  • Lay one-foot sections of bamboo or garden hose in the beds between your plants. Check these “traps” each morning, and dump the earwigs into a bucket of soapy water.
  • Spread petroleum jelly around the stems of your plants. Earwigs won’t crawl over it.
  • If they are infesting your woodpile, try sprinkling borax around it, but keep pets and children away from this area after doing so.
  • Oil pit traps are a great remedy for earwigs. Combine equal parts soy sauce and olive or vegetable oil, put it in a small plastic container, and secure the lid. Punch holes in the top of the container, near the lid. Make the holes large enough for the earwigs to get in. Bury the container in the soil just up to the holes. The soy sauce will attract the earwigs, and the oil will prevent them from escaping. Change the mixture as needed.
  • Alcohol controls these pests by acting as a surfactant, or wetting agent, that can penetrate an insect’s waxy coat of armor and kill on contact with the body. Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) works fine and is easy to find, but be sure it doesn’t have additives. Ethanol (grain alcohol) seems to work best. Alcohol usually comes in 70 percent strength in stores (or 95 percent strength purchased commercially). To make an insecticidal spray, mix equal parts 70 percent alcohol and water (or, if using 95 percent alcohol, mix 1 part alcohol to 1 ½ parts water).
    • WARNING : Before using an insecticidal spray on your plants, test it on a single leaf. Wait 24 hours and observe to see if the plant has an adverse reaction. If it does, dilute your alcohol solution more and test again.
  • Earwigs are also susceptible to diatomaceous earth ( DE ), so consider placing a ring of DE around the bases of plant if the soil is dry enough. In wet weather, DE is not effective.


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