You may have heard of the old wise tale that there are bugs called earwigs that crawl in your ears when you are sleeping. However, be rest assured, they do not and that is false. Where do earwigs come from? They are nocturnal omnivorous insects that live outside and are active at night looking for a food source and moisture.
Background of Earwigs
Earwigs are from the insect order “Dermaptera” and there are 2000 species of earwigs in 12 families. Many think that they got their name because of the tale that they nest in the ears of humans. However, the name refers to the wings that look like a human ear when they are not folded.
What Are Earwigs Attracted To
These insects are attracted to moist areas outside so often they are found in the mulch, piles of stones, firewood, boards, logs, rotted wood, and other debris. Sometimes, they will also hide in flowers and plants and the top of milkweed plants. Since they travel at night, they will be looking for these conditions. If the conditions are harsh outside, they may be seeking shelter. Also, the earwigs enter the home if you have damp areas.
How Earwigs Protect Their Young
Earwigs take very good care of their eggs. The nests are short tunnels in the soil, often next to a rock or other object. The female lays the eggs in this area and then spends time making sure that mold does not form and kill the eggs. The momma actually will eat the mold of the eggs so they stay clean!
Conditions That Favor An Infestation
An earwig infestation may occur if:
Leaks or Condensation in the basement – earwigs prefer the excessive moisture
Leaves – if they blow in on a dirt floor basement or unfinished basement, these conditions invite the insect in.
Dirt Floor Crawl Spaces – if there is no vapor barrier and it is humid, earwigs will be excited to move in.
How to Fix These Issues
- Make sure that your home is dry and the humidity is low. Install a vapor barrier if there is too much moisture and dehumidify the home if it is too wet. Doing these things may make it more difficult to find earwigs in the home.
2. Homes that have foundation issues can also have problems with earwigs. Additionally, you will want to get your home checked if you are having these structural issues.
3. Get rid of any moist conditions near the house. One way to do this is using gutters and downspouts so they can carry the water away. Making sure the downspouts carry the water at least 10 feet away from the house is a good idea.
4. Repair faucets that drip, as well as air conditioning units.
5. Make sure the mulch and debris aren’t too close to the house. Also, the flower beds should slope away from the home.
Other Recommended Maintenance
You may be wondering if pest control is worth it. The answer is yes! It saves you time and they often know where to find the critters and keep them away.
Check to make sure that there is a concrete vapor barrier. This will keep the moisture out of the home. If you are unsure if there is one in your home, contact a professional.
Take a look at the HVAC unit. They last about 10-15 years so if it is close to that time, it may be time to get a new unit. Changing the A/C filters and sucking the drain lines out are important as part of the maintenance.
When to Contact a Professional
If you find you are having issues with earwigs, then calling a professional is a good idea. A pest control company can use an insecticide in the doors and windows, and cracks and crevices that these insects may use to enter the home. Even though these insects are not harmful, they can leave an odor and be a nuisance.
Earwigs can be annoying because no one likes bugs in the home. However, there are things you can do to keep the moisture out of the home and keep the critters from wanting to come in. If you have an infestation, there are some home remedies you can try or you can contact All South Pest Control Services. All South Pest Control will be able to determine your basic pest service needs in McDonough, GA, and the surrounding areas.