Despite their name, earwigs won’t crawl into your ears! Their unsettling appearance may make you uneasy, but these nocturnal pests won’t creep near your face at night.
However, they could still leave you concerned about an earwig bite, especially if you’ve noticed a few scurrying around your home.
Here, we’ll discuss the chances of an earwig bite and what you should do when you find these pests in your home!
What are Earwigs?
While these pests may look unlike most other insects, you may accidentally mistake them for cockroaches! Their similar size and colors could confuse you if you see one run by at a glance.
Earwigs have large pinchers situated at the end of their abdomens. Armed with transparent wings tucked tightly against their bodies, an earwig can jump from their place on your wall to take flight.
Rest assured that you won’t have to deal with a flying insect armed with strong pinchers. These pests prefer to move around on the ground.
There are many species of earwigs scattered across the world, but only see around five species come indoors, according to Pennslyvania State University. In the United States, the European earwig is the most common earwig found in homes across the country.
Typical Earwig Diet
Outdoors, earwigs have a relatively normal diet. Iowa State’s Extension program reports that earwigs will dine on plants, insects, or other decaying matter. If you have a significant outdoor earwig infestation, they could begin to damage your vegetable, fruit, or flower plants.
Keep an eye out for small holes in your fruits, vegetables, or plant leaves. While it may difficult to differentiate earwig damage from another insect’s impact, earwigs can leave jagged designs on your plants.
When earwigs come indoors, you may notice these pests heading for the food in your pantry! Earwigs may consume any wayward insects in your home, but these pests will typically feast on your groceries.
Besides fruits and vegetables, earwigs will also eat grain products, flour, cookies, bread, and other assorted items in your cupboards. If your food isn’t properly stored or you have crumbs on your counters, earwigs will dine in your kitchen!
Will an Earwig Bite?
With their affinity for consuming live prey and their dangerous-looking pinchers, you could be worried about suffering from an earwig bite. By the looks of their large abdominal pinchers, they can seemingly pack quite a punch!
If threatened, an earwig could bite, but this isn’t likely to happen. They aren’t venomous, and an earwig bite can’t cause substantial damage.
Earwigs prefer to attack with their pinchers. They won’t hurt you unless threatened, but they can still leave a painful mark behind.
Treating an Earwig Bite or Wound
If you fall victim to an earwig bite or its sharp pinchers, you won’t experience any complications.
An earwig can leave red marks on your skin from their pinchers, but they typically won’t break your skin. If an earwig pinch goes deep, you may have puncture wounds on your skin and slight bleeding.
To treat your wound, keep the area clean and avoid scratching the injuries. If the pinchers broke your skin, try to apply an antibacterial cream to aid in healing. While they can’t transmit diseases, a cut can become infected if not cared for properly.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs
While an earwig bite isn’t something to worry about, no one wants these nuisance pests living on their property! To safeguard your plants and pantry, look at these tips to eliminate earwigs.
Spray your Garden
While earwigs can catch and eat many annoying garden pests, they can still munch on your prized plants. To get rid of these pests, try out your pest control methods during the evening or nighttime. Head outdoors with a store-bought pesticide or a homemade solution as the sun goes down.
Try this at-home option to spare your precious vegetation from chemical methods! Before spraying your plants, ensure that this mixture won’t cause any damage. If you know certain things will dismantle your garden’s hard work, use another approach to eliminate earwigs.
Combining rubbing alcohol and water is an easy and effective pesticide that can eliminate earwigs and other common garden pests. Start by mixing a spray bottle with one part of 70% rubbing alcohol and nine parts water.
Avoid spraying this mixture on plants that easily absorb water through their leaves, and always perform a patch test on leaves before misting your plants.
If your test leaf begins to brown or look damaged, further dilute your mixture or consider another method. Only lightly mist your plants and never directly spray your soil. Return to your plants to wash off the alcohol residue after a few hours.
Check out this article for more information on a rubbing alcohol mixture and how to best care for plants when using it!
Create an Earwig Trap
You can easily trap hoards of these pests and avoid spraying your plants by purchasing or making an earwig trap.
If you want to get rid of the problem quickly, buy traps to ensnare these destructive insects. Typically free of pesticides, you can place these traps indoors or in your garden to target earwigs.
Earwigs flock to dark and damp places, and these traps mimic areas that earwigs prefer to hide. After activating the bait with water, the traps will capture and kill handfuls of earwigs!
To make your own trap, check your pantry for canola or olive oil. Pour the oil into a bowl or a cut-up water bottle. You can place the traps in your garden or wherever earwigs frequent.
While simple, this trap can be highly effective! Check out this video to see the results of this oil-based trap.
Contact a Pest Control Agency
If you need help combating earwigs, contact us today! We cover over thirty different types of pests and can control any earwig infestation– inside or outside!
Give your local proof. branch a call or contact us via our easy online form if you’re struggling with any earwig problems. Our highly trained technicians are glad to help and make your home pest-free!