Earwig Infestation Signs

Earwigs are outdoor insects and so they do not infest indoors. But sometimes a few earwigs may wander into the home and cause some panic because of their size, pincers, and fast movement. Most earwigs feed on decaying plant material in moist soil. That is why you will often find them around the foundation of the house, below landscape logs and stones, and where there are plenty of leaves and some tender weeds. The dark environment creates an ideal habit for them.

Earwig Appearance

Earwigs are slender insects with two pairs of wings. They have pincers at opposite sides of their heads and the back of their abdomen. These pincers are tools for self-defense, for sparing with other earwigs. They also make feeding and mating easier. Scientists have discovered over 20 species of earwigs in the U.S. and the size of an adult earwig depends on the species. However, most adults will be between 5 and 25 mm long. The nymphs look like the adults but they don’t have wings. Earwig can produce a pleasant scent known as a pheromone. But some species secrete a liquid with a bad odor for self defense.

Earwig Habits

The best way to keep an earwig away is to keep your environment dry and free of mulch or dead leaves. Ensure that you maintain a dry section of about 6” to 12” around your foundation. Examine your downspouts and gutters to ensure that they direct water away instead of towards your foundation. If you notice earwigs in your basement, use a dehumidifier to get rid of the damp conditions that can make it comfortable for earwigs.

A basic understanding of the nature and habitat of earwigs can help you to prevent them from gaining access to your home. However, you should consult us for a consultation for more effective earwig control.


To prepare for reproduction, earwigs usually move into small burrows beneath the ground in the winter season. Then in spring, the female earwig lays eggs in the burrow. The number of eggs laid range between 30 and 50 depending on the species. After laying the eggs, she incubates and watches over them till they hatch. The mother provides food for the nymphs until they are mature enough to source for their own food. The nymphs pass through at least 4 stages of transformation before becoming adults.