Adult earwigs are 1 cm to 2 cm long. Their bodies are covered by a shiny red-brown shell or cuticle. Their abdomen is usually darker than their head and thorax. Earwigs have an elongated shape, two long antennae, and “grinder”-type mouth parts. They have small wings that they barely use, except to glide. The young look like the adults, only their color is lighter and they have no wings.
Development and Behaviours
Earwigs avoid light. In the daytime, they spend most of their time in crevices in the ground, under bark of dead wood, in spaces between flowers or in between petals of large flowers. At night, they come out and search for food.
After mating, which takes place in the summer, the females lay eggs. The larvae turn into adults a few months later. The females seem to care for the young. At the first cold and frost of winter (around October), earwigs burrow into the ground to hibernate. Most of the males die during the winter, while the new females survive. About one month later, they dig a little burrow, isolate themselves there, and lay a few dozen white, round, and translucent eggs (sixty at most). Around mid-May, the earwig larvae hatch. The females take care of their eggs and larvae attentively, until the last of the four moltings that larvae undergo. At this stage, they look like adults, but are smaller and have no wings. Young adults generally emerge in July. They remain active until the first frost.
Earwigs are often considered to be an aid to gardeners, because they consume a great number of insect pests and destructive insects. They also consume plants that are very ripe or beginning to decompose.
Earwigs become a problem when they infest yard and patio furniture, or when they enter building structures by aeration openings in brick walls, which then requires inside and outside treatment.
- Do not place mulch in the parts of your garden that are near your house.
- Vigorously shake and carefully inspect plants before bringing them into the house.
- Eliminate debris and decomposing organic matter.
- Stack wood away from your house.
- In the spring, work the soil when it is hot and dry outside in order to disturb the adult earwigs and destroy the eggs and larvae by exposing them to the sun.
Contact us to help prevent the inconveniences caused by earwigs, through a targeted and safe intervention plan implemented by our team of exterminators.