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Dealing with Earwigs

Posted in Pests

Stop Earwigs from Invading Your Business or Home

This time of year, insects start looking for places to go that are cooler and have more of what they need to live comfortably. If you live in Ontario, you may have encountered the pesky critters known as earwigs. These small, elongated insects with distinctive pincers at the end of their abdomen are not exactly the most welcome guests in your home or garden. There appearance frightens many who already don’t appreciate insects. In this post, we’ll delve into what earwigs are and provide you with effective strategies to get rid of them.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs, scientifically known as Dermaptera, are nocturnal insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. Despite their menacing appearance, earwigs are harmless to humans and pets. They derive their name from an old myth that suggests they crawl into people’s ears, but rest assured, this is a mere urban legend. This myth may have been fueled by the ear worm or “Ceti eels” scene of Star Trek 2 “The Wrath of Con.” It was hard to unsee.

Earwigs are typically about 1 inch long and possess two pairs of wings, although some species may lack wings altogether. They have slender bodies, forceps-like cerci at the end of their abdomen, and segmented antennae. While earwigs primarily prefer damp environments like gardens, they may occasionally venture indoors in search of shelter, particularly during extreme weather conditions.

Getting Rid of Earwigs

To keep earwigs at bay and protect your home, business, or garden from their presence, consider the following tips.

Eliminate Moisture

Since earwigs thrive in damp areas, reducing excess moisture is crucial. Fix any leaks or sources of water accumulation around your property, such as faulty plumbing or irrigation systems. Ensure proper drainage in your garden and remove standing water to discourage earwig habitation.

Remove Debris

Regularly clean up organic debris, such as fallen leaves, mulch, or decaying vegetation, as these can provide ideal hiding spots for earwigs. Keep your garden tidy and clear any clutter that might attract them.

Seal Entry Points

Inspect your home for any gaps or cracks in doors, windows, foundation, or other potential entry points. Seal these openings using weatherstripping, caulk, or other suitable materials to prevent earwigs from gaining access indoors.

Reduce Outdoor Lighting

Earwigs are attracted to light sources during the night. Consider replacing bright outdoor lights with less attractive yellow or sodium vapor lights to discourage their presence.

Use Traps

Employ sticky traps or shallow containers filled with oil or soapy water to capture and eliminate earwigs. Place these traps in areas where earwig activity is prevalent, such as basements, bathrooms, or garden corners.

Natural Predators

Encourage the presence of natural predators, such as birds, to help control earwig populations in your garden. Provide birdhouses or bird feeders to attract these helpful allies.


If the infestation is severe and other methods have proven ineffective, you can resort to insecticides. Consult with Sentinel Pest Control or follow the instructions on the product carefully, keeping in mind the safety of pets, children, and beneficial insects.

Prevention is Key

Preventing an earwig infestation is often easier than dealing with one. Regular maintenance of your home, business, and garden, along with good sanitation practices, will significantly reduce the likelihood of an earwig invasion. By eliminating their preferred habitats and implementing preventive measures, you can enjoy an earwig-free living environment.

Remember, if you are unsure about dealing with earwigs or encounter persistent infestations, it’s always wise to consult with a local pest control professional who can offer expert advice tailored to your specific situation. As much as Sentinel Pest Control empowers homeowners with knowledge about different pests, they are strictly a commercial pest control company and don’t do residential calls.