Earwig Identification in Florida
What Are Earwigs?
Earwigs are nocturnal beetle-like insects. They make up the category Dermaptera, which is one of the smallest insect orders. Surprisingly, there are 2,000 species of earwigs.
You might know them by the spooky bedtime story behind the name: The legend is that earwigs actually crawl into ears at night. The only truth behind this? Earwigs are nocturnal, meaning they’re active at night and hide during the day.
So yes, they are crawling around at night, just not into people’s ears. Earwigs are overall harmless, but if you’re seeing them in your home, it’s valid to want to do something about them!
What Do Earwigs Look Like?
Earwigs are about ¼-1 inch long. They’re a dark reddish-brown color with translucent yellow wings and legs. At the end of the abdomen, they have a pincer-like appendage that can look scary, but they won’t attack you.
Are Earwigs Bad?
Earwigs can be a bit alarming, as anything with pincers would. However, they aren’t harmful and there are some beneficial things about them. They’re considered a beneficial predatory insect, and feed on armyworms, aphids, mites and scale insects, which are all damaging lawn pests.
The only earwig considered to be a pest in Florida is the ringlegged earwig. They can cause minimal damage to vegetable crops and can contaminate produce such as leafy green vegetables.
How Do I Get Rid of Earwigs?
- Spray leaves with a mixture of soap and water, or a mixture of equal parts 70 percent rubbing alcohol with water–spray only one leaf first and check back in 24 hours to make sure it won’t hurt the plant.
- Create an earwig trap: Dampen a cardboard tube or rolled up newspaper, which will appear as the perfect earwig hiding spot.
- Add beneficial predators like birds and toads to your backyard or garden.
- Keep your home sealed by caulking gaps and cracks around your foundation, doors and vents.
- Trim trees away from the exterior of your home.
- Get rid of decayed plant matter such as dead leaves, fallen fruit and dead branches.
- You may want to avoid squishing them, because they will release a foul-smelling liquid.
What if Earwigs Still Keep Coming Back?
If you’ve tried to keep earwigs out of your home with no luck, you can still get rid of earwigs completely by calling professional pest control.
Native Pest Management provides a home pest control package that includes earwigs, as well as ants, cockroaches, silverfish, pantry pests, centipedes & millipedes, and drain flies. In this process, we will apply eco-friendly and pet friendly pest control treatments to the interior and exterior of your home, to exterminate and prevent earwigs.
If you’re ready to fully get rid of earwigs, call us today for your free pest control quote!
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