- Color: dark brown to black with a red head and pale yellow-brown legs.
- Size: 1/4 to 1 inch long,.
- Long and flattened body.
- Usually two pairs of wings, the hind wings are fully developed and folded beneath the short, leathery front wings.
- Thread-like antennae half as long as the body.
- Most notable characteristic: a pincer-like appendage at the end of the abdomen known as the forceps.
Habits of Earwigs:
- Females lay several batches of approximately 50 eggs within a nest-like shallow depression beneath a board or stone.
- Developmental time (egg to adult): typically 56 days.
- Females display a mothering instinct, protecting the nest and the nymphs until they have reached their second molt.
- Though they usually live outdoors and feed on plant material, they are very general feeders, seldom doing much damage to any particular plant.
- They are active at night and hide during the day under stones and other objects.
- Some species are attracted to lights.
Damage From Earwigs:
- Outdoor insects which become household pests when they invade structures, usually in the fall or at night.
- Foul odor when crushed.
- Earwigs indoors, usually in cracks and crevices and under furniture and beneath carpeting. Earwigs outdoors, along foundations, under mulch, wood piles, landscape timbers, stones, rocks, etc.
How to Control and Kill Earwigs:
- Outdoor moist harborages should be removed.
- The yard should be regularly mowed, keeping weeds kept to a minimum.
- Flower beds should not be over-mulched.
- Ideally an 8-to-24-inch vegetation free zone should be left adjacent to the foundation.
- Entry into buildings should be prevented by sealing and caulking gaps around siding, windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc.
- A vacuum should be used to remove accessible earwigs.
- Yellow bug-lights or sodium vapor lighting is less attractive to earwigs.