Order: Dermaptera

Actual Size: 1 – 3 cm

Characteristics: Black or brown, identified by the forceps-like pincers on their abdomen. They typically have flat bodies.


  • There are over 2,000 different species within the scientific order of the earwig.
  • A female earwig will lay up to 80 eggs in an underground chamber, caring for them until they hatch.
  • Earwigs prefer living in small crevices, protected from predators.
  • Their flat bodies make living in small cracks and spaces possible.
  • Earwigs are mostly scavengers, though some species are predators as well.
  • They are omnivorous.

Pest Description

Earwig Behavior

Earwigs are most active at night, searching for food and shelter from predators. They prefer cool and damp places, preferably near a water source. When living outdoors, earwigs can be found under mulch, rocks, logs, debris, and plants. Earwigs will also live under man-made objects that have been left outdoors, such as blankets and cushions, especially when these items have been left on the ground. Earwigs are typically attracted to light and will congregate on porches.

Problems Caused by Earwigs

The primary concern regarding earwigs is damage to foliage, plants, and crops. Earwig infestations have been known to cause significant damage in gardens, orchards, and on farms. Earwigs are omnivorous, and mainly scavengers. Infestations can become severe if preventative measures aren’t put in place.

Earwig Prevention

The best way to prevent an earwig infestation is to perform regular and routine lawn maintenance. Watering times and frequencies should be regulated, to avoid attracting earwigs to any standing water. Routine gardening can also discourage the pests from establishing underground nests. Trimming back plants from a building, sealing foundation cracks, and maintaining seals on window and doors are all effective ways to prevent earwig infestations from moving indoors.

Eliminating and Controlling Earwigs

Earwigs infestations can pose a significant problem to outdoor vegetation, and earwigs will move indoors if circumstances permit. The best way to eliminate and prevent future problems with earwigs is with professional help. At Pest Control Inc, our experts resolve earwig infestations using a variety of different treatment techniques, including surveillance, eradication, and baiting applications.