Pest Advice - Earwigs

What are they?


Earwigs are dark brown and between 10 and 14 mm long, have wings but never fly. Usually they are active at night, spending the day in moist, shady areas such as beneath stones or in cracks in walls. They eat a variety of things, from flowers, fruit, vegetables to leaves and decaying organic matter. Some earwigs are predatory, feeding on aphids, insects and spiders.

Earwigs spend most of their time outdoors in moist damp places, but if the weather is hot and dry for a long time they may go indoors. They are a garden pest and can cause damage to flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Eggs are laid in the spring by the female some 4 to 7 cm beneath the surface of the soil, in batches of around 30. The eggs hatch after a few days and the young nymphs, which are smaller versions of the adults, are tended by the mother until the first moult. After 4 moults, the young adults leave the nest and fend for themselves. Earwigs live through the winter as either adults or eggs.

How can I treat them?

Get rid of damp, moist conditions found in sub floor spaces and along house foundations, for example leaking gutters, drainpipes etc. Sealing gaps around doors, windows, pipes and other points of entry, proofing air vents with insect screening mesh, especially at the ground level, will prevent earwigs getting in your home. Changing the landscape around the house producing a clean, dry border around the foundation walls and using gravel or ornamental stones can make an attractive barrier against earwigs and other pest invaders.

Effective chemical control can be achieved by applying residual insecticide* barriers externally around the house.

*Always refer to the product instructions BEFORE use and follow these at ALL times.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024