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What Are Earwigs?

Some pests, like earwigs, enter homes when their outdoor environment no longer suits their needs. Though some used to believe earwigs would climb into ears, this is just a myth. However, their large numbers can make them problematic. We’ve gathered information to help you identify and eliminate an earwig infestation. 

What Do Earwigs Look Like?


Earwigs have a long, narrow body growing up to 1ʺ in length. The pincers on the back of their abdomen are known to scare people. They have two pairs of leathery-looking wings. Though they have wings, not all earwigs can fly. Earwigs are brown, varying in shade. Some have a reddish tint. 

Where Do Earwigs Live?

Earwig on a flower

These pests prefer areas that are cool and wet. They tend to seek out undisturbed locations. They are nocturnal, so you’ll see them moving around at night. During the day, they hide. Earwigs seek out objects they can hide under including mulch, logs, and rocks. You may also find them hiding in your garden or plants, especially if the soil is damp.

Why Are Earwigs in my Home?

Snow on house

Earwigs prefer to be outside, but they sometimes end up in homes. Changes in the weather can cause them to move indoors. When their environment becomes too dry, they seek areas with moisture including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements. They’ll also enter houses through cracks and gaps to avoid harsh winter weather. Earwigs may also be brought inside on items left in favorable conditions including boxes in sheds or plants. These pests are attracted to light, so it’s common to find them on porches or patios.

Are Earwigs Harmful?


Earwigs use their pinchers for hunting and defense. When handled or threatened, they can pinch skin. They also release an unpleasant smelling liquid when threatened. The main concern with earwigs is when they gather in large groups. These pests release a pheromone that attracts other earwigs causing large infestations. While most earwigs feed on decaying vegetation, some will feed on living plants. This can cause damage to gardens.

How Do You Prevent Earwigs?

Stack of firewood

Making your house and yard as unwelcoming as possible to earwigs can help prevent an infestation. Check out a few things you can do to keep earwigs out of your home.

  • Eliminate Entry Points: Check your house for any cracks, gaps, or holes where earwigs could slip inside. Seal these with caulk and repair or replace any torn window or door screens.
  • Reduce Moisture: Earwigs need moisture to survive. Repair or replace leaky pipes and faucets. Trim back shrubs or trees that create shady and damp spots. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are working properly.
  • Remove Hiding Spots: Make sure to eliminate areas where earwigs can live and breed. Remove excess mulch, piles of leaves, and other yard debris.
  • Store Firewood Away from House: If you have firewood in your yard, make sure to store it at least 20 feet away from your home.

How Do You Get Rid of Earwigs?

Yard Bug Spray, Spider & Insect Dust, Home Bug Spray

If earwigs have snuck into your home, there are things you can do to get rid of them. Here are a few tips to get rid of earwigs.

  • Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying the perimeter of your yard and house with a plant-based insecticide spray can help keep these pests away. Our Yard Bug Spray will kill earwigs on contact and provide you with residual repellency.
  • Spray Earwigs Away: Our Home Bug Spray will kill earwigs on contact. You can also spray the perimeter of your home and common entry points to help repel these pests.
  • Use an Insecticide Dust: Dust can be applied to cracks and crevices to help control pests that like to hide. Our Spider & Insect Dust will kill earwigs and provide you with long-lasting protection.

Though earwigs are more of a nuisance than dangerous, you still don’t want them gathering in your home. If you’re dealing with earwigs or other pests, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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