Earwigs are small or medium-sized insects with a flexible flattened body. The body length is 3,5-50 mm. Front wings are hard and highly shortened and rear wings are webbed, but there are also wingless forms. On the end of the abdomen, there are appendages in the form of a pair of pincers.
Color of earwigs is brownish, it varies from reddish-brown and rusty to the sandy and light gray, depending on the species and habitats. Mouthpart has biting type and is directed forward. Males are larger, differ from females by more curved pincers. Antennae of insects are sufficiently long and filamentous. The most important is the fact, that earwigs do not penetrate into the human ear and do not cause damage to the brain, it’s just an old myth.
Normally, earwigs do not live in houses, but if the room is damp and filthy – they can feel themselves quite well in it. Earwigs live mostly in wet and humid soil, on the open areas, such as the lawns and gardens. They penetrate into homes through the cracks and crevices in the walls.
Earwigs live in groups and can be found close to the swampy terrain and wetlands. They eat only plants, organic matter decomposition and insects, which is the primary reason why they live in orchards and hollows of trees. These insects are most often found during the rainy season, because the ground is under the influence of moisture.
Scientist’s records show, that there are about 2,000 different types of earwigs in the world and approximately 22 types are found in the USA only. Earwigs live practically across the United States.
Harm to human
Particular danger for human health earwigs does not present, because they have no venom. However the facts of being in the room with such neighbors make feel hostility, therefore is not recommended to allow their dissemination in the apartment.
Harm to humans from earwigs:
- painful bites – adult individuals really bite very painful, on the site of bites are microscopic wounds, which are scratched and are similar to mosquito bites. As a result of combining the damaged place swells up and begins to redden;
- the possibility of manifestation strong stage of allergy – sometimes bite of earwigs could cause allergic reactions. The affected places are covered with blisters with liquid, through the time formed ulcers burst, causing severe pain to humans;
- the likelihood of contracting infectious illnesses – earwigs, like other insects, are capable of transferring viruses and other infections, which are transferred through the bite into the blood;
- risk of damage to the soft tissues of the ear – while you sleep earwigs frequently climb into the ears than sometimes cause damage to the eardrum. The slightest infringement of integrity of any organs can lead to development of disease;
- damage the plants and vegetable cultures – insects damage leaves and fruits of agricultural crops, and eat as garden plants as well as home flowers.
Together with unpleasant consequences of the emergence of insects in the house, they bring some benefit. Earwigs attracted not only by damp and moisture, they may appear in places where small mites and spiders live. If in your house live colonies of microscopic insects, earwigs can help you to get rid of them, because they not just eat crop residues, but also alive organisms. Despite this useful fact, the spread of earwigs in the dwelling absolutely unacceptable, so pest management should be started immediately after you noticed them.
Causes, why appear such insects in the houses
Find earwigs in the house you can very rarely, they could enter your home only when it is wet or unhygienic, they do not penetrate into the bedroom, as it is mainly dry. Earwigs penetrate into the kitchen, toilets, bathrooms and basements, because these places are usually humid. If your garage is wet, you have chances that earwigs will multiply in the garage.
In case you have noticed earwigs around the home, you should liquidate any cracks, which you will find in the house, clean the area, where you hold houseplants, as earwigs can live in pots. But the main reason for the appearance in the house – is excessive moisture.
Period of activity of the pests
An ordinary earwig leads the hidden way of life, hiding during the day in shelters. In some shelters earwigs occasionally accumulate in large numbers. Their behavior is easily predictable. During the night, on the contrary, they become highly active, crawl out of their daytime shelters and quickly run in search of food, which can be very various and the composition of which depends on the characteristics of a place.
They can eat different parts of the dead and alive green plants, fungi and seaweed as well and animal food, including small insects. Therefore, the active period of insect life – is twilight and night, during the day it hides in the dark and damp corners and the main activity is shown at night, crawling out of the cracks in the floor and walls.
Like all members of this group, common earwig develops with incomplete metamorphosis. Mating takes place in the late summer – early autumn. Several days later, the female lays eggs in one common point, in specially prepared nest locations. Nest is the dug in the ground stroke length of 5 to 8 cm, sometimes – 15 cm. In this hole female hibernates together with eggs and after hibernation makes re-oviposition.
The female lays in the hole large white oval eggs. Eggs can be up to 80 pcs and form colony. Until hatching passes 5-6 weeks. Then appear small copies of the parents, and because of their omnivorousness problems with food do not arise. Males usually poorly tolerate the winter, and in spring you can sometimes find their dead bodies lying near the females.
Methods of dealing
First of all, you should control this situation and need to get rid of potential habitat – the dark and damp places. Frequently earwigs can inhabit close to the houseplants. In order to prevent eating of houseplants – grease flower pots with vinegar – it will not kill earwigs, but will scare. In the house it is advisable to inspect and to gloss over all the cracks through which they could penetrate into. Also, a good method how to dispose of earwigs in the house, is handling of cracks and places of their possible accumulation by boronic acid. But, be aware that earwigs do not to have access to water. Otherwise, the boronic acid will be ineffective.
If you can not find the places where in an apartment or a house inhabit earwigs – this matter can be trusted to the special services for combating with insects. After their processing earwigs are guaranteed disappear.
If you have a private house, it is necessary to clean up around the house too. Earwigs live in a humid environment under rocks, in crevices, in the compost heaps, straw, rags. So you should better to eliminate the dampness not only in the house, but in the garden and backyard. If repelling methods do not help, it is necessary to apply the methods complete destruction. For this purpose use powerful insecticides.
You should know all steps to prevent mass reproduction of earwigs in your area. The first, which will help not only reduce the number of earwigs, but other insects is – absence of garbage in the house, and beside it:
- trash in the house;
- old flower pots;
- decaying wood;
- old hay;
- bunch of fallen leaves;
- wet grass.
For reducing the number of insects in general and earwigs in particular, it is necessary to dig land near your house in the autumn, thereby destroying the egg-laying for the winter. For owners of apartments are more suitable chemical treatment and disinfection of housing for the complete destruction of earwigs. In such a way you protect yourself from unwelcome neighbors for at least six months.