Earwigs are named for a false myth that they burrow into people’s ears.  They range anywhere from 1/4″ – 1″ in length. While the pincers located on their hind end make them look a bit frightening, they are used almost solely for defense from other bugs and against each other.  They seek their homes in damp, cool sheltered areas, which can sometimes lead them to our homes, especially in our Northwest climate.

Earwig Detection and Prevention

As earwigs seek cool and damp places, there are a few things that can be done to keep them away.

  • Keep logs, rocks, and excess yard debris away from your home.
  • Repair any leaks or water drips and keep puddles or standing water away from your structure.

Earwig Behavior

There are over 20 species of earwigs in North America ranging in size from 1/4″ to 1″ in length.  Their brown and reddish bodies are long and thin with a set of pincers extending from their abdomen.

Nocturnal by nature, earwigs are more active by night, feeding on everything from old leaves to small bugs and decaying vegetation. By day, they are found in cool and damp places under rocks, logs, and garden mulch.

Earwigs are driven into our homes when the weather becomes inclement or when temperatures change drastically.  During the summer months, they become a nuisance, swarming porch lights, lanterns, and other lighted objects.