Earwigs In House

Tips On Getting Rid Of Earwigs In Your House


Just the name is enough to put a shiver down the spine of most people, but to actually see earwigs in your house…well, to say the least, for most individuals, it is a most unpleasant experience.  Although these insects are not known to cause any harm to people, sharing a household with them is certainly not desirable.  Fortunately, it is not only possible to get rid of them but also to prevent them from entering in the first place.


What Is An Earwig?


The insect can be either brown or black in color and there are several species of the earwig that differ slightly from one another.  One feature that all earwigs have in common (and the one that is most frightening to people) is the set of pincers to be found at the rear abdomen of the bug.  Each earwig has the pincers, but on males, the pincers are inwardly curved while females display straight pincers.


The scientific name of the insect is Dermaptera, but is better known by its common name of earwig.  It is believed that this term was applied to the insect due to an old wives’ tale of the insect crawling up into the ears of sleeping people where they would then lay their eggs.  Although the insect prefers warm, moist crevices as their habitat, little evidence has ever been found of human ears being included.


When They Find Their Way Inside Your House


Finding earwigs in your house is not an uncommon experience, especially if your state is one that has cold winter months.  These insects are active throughout the year, but summer months are likely the time they will begin to venture indoors.  This is simply due to the fact that this is the time of year that new populations of the species are reaching mature stages and are seeking their own habitat.  And while they are not known to carry disease or health issues to humans, they are nonetheless an unwanted addition to the family life.  For one thing, a pinch from the strong vise-like pincers can be quite painful.


Earwigs find their way into the home in a variety of ways.  They can hitchhike indoors on items brought in from outside, such as firewood, bins or boxes that had been sitting on the ground.  Cracks in wood or layers of bark are frequently used as hideaways for the insect.  They will also venture in on their own if they are able to find cracks or holes in the foundations of houses that offer entry.  Old ground level window frames with ill fitting windows also invite these unwanted critters, as will spaces under or around door frames.


There are specific areas in the home that the earwig will seek out, driven to find the ideal environment that they crave.  Dark and moist areas such as the basement, crawl space and bathrooms provide just the “home, sweet home” atmosphere the insect needs.  Additional targets will be anything that sets directly on the ground in these areas; stored boxes, totes and more offer the cover they enjoy.  Picking up one of these boxes can often be the first sighting of the insect for many homeowners. Their shiny bodies, six legs and of course those dreaded pincers are a sight to set most people scurrying for a can of bug killer.


Methods Of Getting Rid Of Earwigs


Fortunately, spraying poison within your home may not be necessary to eliminate the earwigs in your house.  This being said, there are a number of commercial products available that do an admirable job of ridding the bugs from your house.  For those who prefer to try a non-chemical fix first, there are a few paths from which to choose.


• Boric acid powder. This is a free, natural acid that is found in volcanic sites and is an effective insecticide for a number of pests yet is relatively safe around humans.  Place a line of dry boric acid powder at the site where earwigs may be entering.  This powder is only effective if the insect has to walk through it, so be sure to place it in areas thought to be the entry points.  Boric acid serves to disrupt the metabolism of insects by acting as a digestive poison.


Vacuuming.  Though it sounds too simple, suctioning the earwig colony using your household vacuum is an effective means of getting rid of the pesky insects.  Because they are nocturnal, it can be easy to get access to them during the day. Be sure to have the vacuum handy and turned on, however; they are quick to scurry away.


Dish soap or detergent spray.  If only one or two earwigs are suspected to have invaded your home, it can be as easy as spraying them with a solution of detergent and water which will safely kill the earwigs in your house.




It is important to take steps for preventing further migration of other insects when you find even one inside, however.  Dehumidify your home to eliminate the damp environment and seal those cracks or holes that provide access to the earwigs.


Though finding earwigs in your house can be disconcerting, it can be an easy matter to rid yourself of the pest as well as to prevent further entry by any of their friends or family.