Earwigs are a less common pest problem inside the home, but if conditions are just right, an infestation can be a problem and difficult to control. Understanding these creatures can help in keeping your home free of them.
The earwig is a small, misunderstood creature, breeding fear in people who believe that they will make their home in an unsuspecting person’s ear while he is sleeping. Others believe that the pincers on the backs of these bugs are deadly to humans. None of these beliefs are true,
Earwigs defend themselves—usually against other earwigs—using their pincers, as well as by emitting a foul smelling liquid. They will never crawl into your ear, but they do like moist, dark hiding places, making areas around the foundation of your home a favorite place for them.
Earwigs eat decaying plants and leaves, and sometimes other insects. Compost piles and piles of wet leaves and mulch are a favorite hiding place for them, and they will make their home in these cozy spots through the winter.
They also will remain tucked away in these places through the daylight hours, hiding under rocks and logs until the sun sets. Earwigs fly and they are attracted to the nighttime lights that you may turn on over doorways and decks. As a result, the biggest problem you are likely to face with earwigs is their presence around lights when you are entertaining at night.
The best defense against this pest is careful yard care. Keep firewood away from your foundation and clean up yard debris, such as rotting plants and leaves. Keep shrubs neat and trimmed and try to keep mulch around your foundation as dry as possible late in the day to discourage earwigs from gathering in these areas.
Homeowners may also consider changing locations of outdoor lighting or limiting use of outdoor lighting to lessen earwig numbers at night. Stowing outdoor furniture at night also limits hiding places that are attractive to earwigs.
Earwigs generally would rather not be inside your home. However, if weather conditions limit their food source, they may look for an inviting location inside where it is damp, dark and there is food. Basement crawlspaces, especially those with dirt floors, are especially attractive to earwigs, so keeping your basement clean and dry is helpful.
Unfortunately, once earwigs have made the move into your home, they will quickly adapt to a variety of areas, including kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and sometimes even less likely living spaces, such as bedrooms and family rooms. Identifying and eliminating all of these potential hiding places can be virtually impossible for the homeowner faced with an earwig infestation.
TNT Exterminators have the tools and know-how to identify earwigs and their nesting areas. If you think you have a problem with earwigs, either inside or outside, contact TNT for professional and effective service.
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