Pest Guide: What Is an Earwig?

What You Need to Know About Earwigs in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Earwigs are creepy insects that come with even creepier myths. The name “Earwig” comes from the myth that these insects crawl into human ears so they can burrow into the brain and lay eggs. Luckily, this myth is completely false. Earwigs do not burrow into your brain, nor do they get into your ear.

Even so, they are unwelcome visitors inside your home. They aren’t particularly damaging or dangerous, but they are nuisance. If you have an Earwig infestation in your home, contact the expert exterminators of our team to handle the problem for you.

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How to Identify an Earwig Infestation

Learn about Earwigs in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.


Earwigs are easily identifiable insects. They almost look like a pincher, which is why some people call Earwigs “Pincher Bugs.” Their bodies are straight and smooth, but it is ended with appendages called “cerci" that looks like a pincher. The pincher is normally straight on female Earwigs, but it is slightly curved on males.

They are only about 5/8 of an inch long. however, some grow larger, depending on their habitat and environment. Earwigs can come in multiple colors, but they are normally dark brown or reddish brown. Some also have wings, whereas others are wingless.

These pests mainly eat decaying plant matter. They sometimes eat smaller insects, such as mites and fleas.


Common Questions About Earwigs

Earwigs frequent damp areas along the outside of your home. They are nocturnal and like to hide out in dark spaces during the day to flee from the sun. These bugs can come inside when they are looking for a damp, cool, and dark environment.

Once they are inside your home, they may stay there if the habitat is hospitable. They will congregate around potted plants, under rugs, newspapers, and other similar spots that are in a cool, dark location such as a bathroom or basement.

Although these pests look a bit scary, they are nothing more than a nuisance. Earwigs can try to pinch humans, but it is unlikely since most will simply run away. They do not cause any diseases or illnesses for humans or pets. Most importantly, they do not crawl into ears or burrow into brains.

Earwigs prefer damp and dark areas, so make sure to remove any sources of moisture around your home. This includes fixing leaky pipes, cleaning gutters, and removing any standing water around your home. Remove any piles of leaves, grass clippings, and other organic debris from your yard. Some people will also place rolled-up newspapers or cardboard tubes in areas where you have seen earwigs. The earwigs will crawl into the tubes and you can dispose of them by shaking them out into a bucket of soapy water.

If you have a complete Earwig infestation, call our experts to help you out. We are specifically trained in locating hotspots and can treat them accordingly. All products we use are EPA-registered for pest control. Our technicians are also skilled in applying the product safely to ensure your family members and pets remain safe throughout the entire process.

Tips for Preventing Earwigs

  • Remove moisture sources in and around your home.
  • Regularly clean your home, including vacuuming and sweeping, to remove any crumbs or other debris that could attract earwigs.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your home's foundation, doors, and windows where earwigs may be entering.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Earwigs

We know Earwigs are a nuisance. Our trained technicians have a lot of experience in effectively treating homes and businesses to get rid of these pests. We will work with you and use EPA-approved products to protect your family and home.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for all your pests problems, today and tomorrow.

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