Where Do Earwigs Come From? Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Earwigs

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 13, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Large and Strong Earwig on Leaf.

Though tiny, earwigs are scary-looking insects with their seemingly sharp pincers and their ability to hide and appear out of nowhere.

Earwigs love moisture and the dark, which is why they can be found anywhere these kinds of conditions persist. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent these pests from coming inside your house.

Earwigs are small, nocturnal insects that eat dead and decaying plants, other insects, and even fruits. The most common earwig species is the European earwig (Forficula auricularia).

They are dark red or brown with long antennae. Their most characteristic feature is the sharp and strong pincers at the end of their abdomens. These pincers of earwigs look like they can do great damage and while they are frequently used to catch prey, they cannot cause much harm to humans.

It is also a common misconception that earwigs are called so because they can get inside the ears of humans by infesting beds and lay their nests but their name is only a reference to their tiny wings that have the shape of a human ear.

They are most commonly found in a garden or where plants are kept and rarely ever enter a house to infest it if the conditions are not right. However, in large numbers, they can harm plants to the point of eventually killing them. Thus, preventing and controlling earwigs is necessary.

If you want to read similar content, check out where do aphids come from? And where do seashells come from?

Where do earwigs come from in the house?

Earwigs prefer dark and damp areas. There are a lot of ways earwigs can enter your house if the conditions are right. They can get in through cracks in the foundation, open doors and windows, crawl spaces, and may even be attracted to lights in the night.

Earwigs don't always want to live inside a home but they may do so when the conditions outdoors become worse than indoors, for example, when the weather outside may have become too dry or wet.

Thus, they are attracted to damp places with ample moisture to hide and these places happen to be inside houses in some conditions. They can get inside your home through even the smallest crevices, cracks, holes, or gaps in the foundation of your house.

Even an open window or a leak in the basement can provide them enough crawling space to let themselves in and seek shelter within your home.

They can also be brought inside your home accidentally when doors are left open and there is a moist environment inside your house. These pests can hide under potted plants, newspapers, or firewood when they are kept outdoors and when they are brought inside, earwigs may come along with them.

How to stop earwig infestation naturally?

The best way to prevent an earwig infestation is to control the amount of moisture in your home, especially in the basement or crawl space as a minor leak can attract earwigs to your home.

Garbage or piles of wet leaves, mulch, and vegetation may also serve as hiding places for them in your yard and may lead them to seek cover inside your house in the dry season.

There are many ways to stop these bugs from infesting your home. Some of these are spraying their hiding spots with a mixture of dish soap and water or with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water to kill them.

A treatment of boric acid or diatomaceous earth will also eliminate them from your home. If there is a large earwig population, calling pest control services might be your best option.

What is the lifecycle of earwigs?

Earwigs have a rather short metamorphosis, they go through only three stages of metamorphosis: egg, nymph, and adult.

Female earwigs lay eggs in early winter, which hatch within a week. After hatching from their eggs, these pests go through three to four moltings to reach adulthood.

They are called nymphs in these stages and they look quite similar to their adult counterparts. It takes a nymph around 40-60 days to become a full-grown adult, which has two long antennas, two sets of wings, and pincers to defend itself and catch prey.

How many eggs do earwigs lay?

Female earwigs lay around 20-80 eggs in a clutch and may even lay eggs twice in a single season.

Earwigs prefer to lay their eggs under moist leaves or in a small crevice where they are protected. Unlike many other insect species, female earwigs take care of their eggs. This includes cleaning the eggs and protecting them from parasites and fungi. They also feed young earwigs until they are ready to hunt for themselves in the wild.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where do earwigs come from?

And easy ways to get rid of earwigs, then why not take a look at why do woodpeckers peck wood? And how to avoid woodpecker's pecking, or why do dogs like peanut butter? Is peanut butter really a protein treat?

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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