EARWIGS

EarwigsTHERE IS A SUPERSTITION THAT EARWIGS BURROW INTO THE EARS OF PEOPLE WHILE THEY SLEEP. THIS IS A MYTH AND WITHOUT ANY SCIENTIFIC BASIS.

Earwigs seem intimidating because of the pincers on the back of their abdomens. Earwigs use these pincers for defense and for sparring with rival earwigs. There are more than 20 species of earwigs in the United States. Depending on the species, adults range in size from 5 to 25 mm. They are slender insects with two pair of wings. Some species produce a foul-smelling liquid that they use for defense. Immature earwigs resemble the adults except they do not have wings.

Females typically lay between 30 and 50 eggs, but actual numbers depend on the species. After hatching, the nymphs undergo four to five molts until they become adults.

Earwigs are most active at night. During the day they hide in cracks in damp areas. They live under rocks and logs and in mulch in flower beds. Earwigs are omnivorous, and will eat both plants and insects.

EARWIGS MOVE INTO HOMES TO FIND FOOD OR BECAUSE OF A CHANGE IN WEATHER.

Homeowners often find earwigs in areas where there is water—kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. They can also find their way into bedrooms and family rooms, turning up really in almost every part of the house.

The most important part of controlling earwigs is eliminating their hiding places. If they are not addressed, insecticide application will probably not control earwigs very well.

Move landscape timbers, logs, decorative stones and firewood piles away from the foundation. Create a zone next to the foundation that is free of mulch, dead leaves and other organic material. Trim trees and shrubs that cause damp, shady areas near the house.

Examine gutters and downspouts to make sure they drain away from the foundation. Set irrigation systems so that they water in the morning and allow the landscape to dry during the day.

Repair screens on crawl space vents and make sure the vents are not blocked. A dehumidifier might help in a damp basement. Once these preventative measures have been taken, contacting an exterminator for your earwig elimination is recommended. The pest control services of Atlantic Exterminating will provide the best plan to exterminate and control your earwig infestation.

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