Chances are if you are a homeowner in Northern California, you know about earwigs. They are those creepy little insects that are surrounded by a lot of myths.
Earwigs usually like hiding under the rocks during the day. In some weather conditions such as drought, they may seek shelter inside your house. It becomes an issue when they stay inside your home. You should be prepared or ask a specialist to decrease the chances of earwigs staying permanently at your house.
Here are the lists of facts you may not know about earwigs:
- Earwigs consume insects and plants whether they are alive or not - Earwigs are not fussy eaters. They are omnivores and usually consume plants and insects at night. They eat plants such as mold, flowers, and leaves. They care less whether the insects are dead or not. They are in a position to chew anything hard matter they come across. They consume all tough foods; thus you should be worried about what is crawling on your plate.
- Body parts - These insects are narrow, brown, narrow, red, yellow and sometimes black. They are long and flat. They are about 0.5 to 3 inches long. They are insect family and have three pairs of legs and two antennas. Some can fly while others do not. The part of the body consists of three sections, head, thorax, and abdomen. They have forceps that resembles tweezers which they use for protection and catching prey. You will know this when you try to catch it. Male species have forceps that are curved while the female has straight forceps. They emit a yellow liquid which also acts as a form of defense. The yellow liquid smells nasty, but it is not harmful.
- They grow quickly - These insects become adults within 20 days. Like all other insects, they undergo the full metamorphosis; starting from egg, nymph and later adult. Nymph is a replacement word for larvae. An adult female earwig lay two batches of eggs every year, and each batch contains around 100 eggs. The surprising thing about these insects is that it takes approximately 20 days to 80 days before an egg turns into complete the adult. The rate of development depends on favorable weather conditions.
- Female earwigs possess maternal nature - This fact is unusual for many insects. They show instincts of gentle nature because they stay around its eggs and nymphs for some time. They protect them fiercely against predators. When they hatch, the larvae are pale green and sometimes white. The nymph undergoes molting season, and their mother stays with them until second molting season before they become adults. They experience around five molting seasons. By the time they reach third molting season, they can search for their food and protect themselves from prey.
- They hibernate around your surrounding -They majorly live in dark places during the day and the moist environments when hot. They are often in large groups and stays under leaves, logs or lawn. They undergo hibernation during winter. They can dig more than 5 feet under the ground to evade cold. However, they love sheltered areas provided by people in their homes during the colder seasons. They enter houses through small cracks in the walls by crawling. They like staying in places that are wet or moist such as garages, kitchen, bathrooms or basements. People are not the only one who seeks shelter during colder seasons.
Are Earwigs Dangerous to You?
No, however, they can be the most significant nuisance at your surrounding especially home. You do not want to see a large group of them crawling around your home. The name earwig misleads many people. There is a misconception that they enter into people's ears while they are sleeping. While it is possible, it is rare and unlikely. They have forceps that you can find on their abdomen. They use this for protection, mating and catching prey. They can only attack you if you are a fellow insect. They can pinch you when you try to catch them, but in the rare case, they will not even dare to try. When you discover them in your garden, they tend to escape. They are not poisonous in either way, but a yellow liquid has a bad smell. Nobody wants to stay in an environment that sticks. However, the stinky liquid is not toxic to your health.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs
Overall, earwigs do not cause significant harm in your home or garden, but they can be the greatest annoyance. They produce a terrible odor that annoys people. There are home remedies on how to get rid of these insects. You can pour petroleum jelly around areas where they have inhabited. They will find it hard to crawl over it.
Additionally, you can spread boric acid in a place where you cannot reach. Boric acid is a natural product that will kill earwig when it comes into contact. Ensure that you keep insecticide out of the reach of pets and kids because it can be harmful. There are vast online stores where you can purchase pesticide.
Moreover, you can design light traps at night around your home. These insects are nocturnal. They feed a lot at night and hide during the day. You fill a bucket with three parts of warm water and a small piece of soap. Stir the combination until it forms a foam. Take the lamp and place at the surface of the mixture. These insects like shiny places and they will down into the bucket.
Why Are They Attracted to Your Home?
Most of these insects like moist areas with enough food source. People usually wonder why they find them in their home. Houses and many apartments are generally unintentional home to these insects due to some factors. They actively find places to avoid harsh conditions outside. Human activities may also cause it. Sometimes people bring earwigs at your home accidentally such as boxes that are in wet areas and brought inside the house. Sometimes your house has cracked walls or windows with spaces. When the weather outside becomes harsh; they crawl through these holes and find a way into your house. Poor maintenance of doors and walls plus excessive moisture at our home attracts these insects.