Pest Control Blog

Top 6 reasons you have earwigs

October 22nd, 2018 by Mike MacDonald in Pest Control Services

Earwigs are a pretty gross pest and they got that name because people thought they would climb in ears and lay eggs in your brain. While that isn’t really true, you’ll learn in this post the top 6 reasons you have earwigs in your home.

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Most earwigs overwinter in homes to survive

As temperatures get colder throughout the year, many pests will be looking for new homes to breed and nest in. This is the sort of things earwigs do as well, which is why you may be seeing them in your home.

As a precaution, you may want to focus on sealing entry points where pests get in. Earwigs are very small, and like most insect pests, they can squeeze in gaps as little as an 1/8th of an inch.

Many insect pests like earwigs come in through places such as under doors, through gaps in windows, as well as through tiny cracks in the walls and foundation around your home.

We recommend that sealing those potential entry points as well as establish a barrier treatment of pest control product to quickly eliminate those pest that do make it through. This can help reduce and eliminate pests before they are able to start nesting in your home.

Thigmotactic preferences the anti-claustrophobic pest

Now you’ve probably heard of things being claustrophobic and hating tight enclosed spaces, but there are actually things that enjoy tight spaces. Earwigs are such pests.

The scientific term for it is thigmotactic. This means that these pests actually enjoy being squished into small tight spaces (positively thigmotactic). This is why pests like roaches and earwigs will come into your home as well.

They want to be squished in small places inside your home like inside tiny cracks and in between the walls of your home.

Food sources bring in earwigs

Another common reason you could see earwigs in your home this winter is that during the transition to fall and winter, many food sources become more readily available in close proximity to the home. Depending on the species earwigs can feed on both plant mater as well as insects and other pests.

The pest-eating kind are less common, but earwigs are very versatile pests. They enjoy living in dark, moist places and those typically are very abundant during the fall.

One common cause of this is falling leaves. As leave piles build up and start to decay, they can create a lot of benefits for earwigs.

As a food source, earwigs feed on the decaying leaves. As a food source for other pests as well, this also attracts other pests to the leafy area. The earwigs can eat those pests as well.

Fall in general also attracts pests into your home from colder temperatures, so as other pests come into your home earwigs can follow.

Excess moisture

Excess moisture is common from things like decaying leaves which is an attractive food sources for earwigs, but also creates an ideal environment for breeding. Earwigs like to lay eggs in moist dark areas as well.

To help prevent this, you can clear out leaf piles and leaves in your gutters. Fixing leaky faucets and pipes is another step to reduce moisture.

You may also consider installing dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture in places like basements and attics, where these pests can gather.

Aggregation pheromone

Earwigs also release a special pheromone that attracts more of these pests together. Pheromones are communication scents that some pests release.

Earwigs use these scents as a means of both defense against other threats, as well as to attract more of their same species. Since these pests enjoy tight knit quarters, bringing in more of their friends only makes sense!

Exterior lighting

The last major reason you can have an influx of earwigs in your home leading into winter is that your exterior lights may be bringing them in. Like many other pests, earwigs are attracted to light, but with other pests being attracted, it creates a food source for earwigs as well.

This light attraction can bring in earwigs all year long, but typically you’ll have your exterior lights on for longer periods as it heads into winter. With the additional hours of your exterior lights being on, the chances of earwigs being attracted into your home from it increases.

You can reduce this element by reducing the amount of time the exterior lights are on, or simply replace exterior lighting with bug bulbs or other bulbs that are less attractive than traditional incandescent bulbs. Keep in mind that it is not just exterior lights, but light that may flood out of the interior of the home to the exterior via windows.

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