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 mouthparts. 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 the bark of deadwood, 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.
Here are some tips to prevent an earworm infestation:
- Regular maintenance of your lawn will reduce the risk of infestation.
- Keep firewood, mulch and damp wood away from the house. Earwigs are more likely to invade properties if their natural shelter is near the house
- Shake and inspect your potted plants before bringing them inside the house.
- Clear away dead leaves and plant debris around your home
- Install mosquito nets
- Prune your plants and trees
- If you have a vegetable patch, make sure to harvest your fruits and vegetables quickly
Here are some tips to follow in the event of an earwig infestation:
- Spray earwigs with soapy water
- Remove debris and decaying organic matter
- In the spring, work the soil in hot, dry weather to disturb the adult earwigs and destroy the eggs and larvae by exposing them to the sun.
Contact us to protect yourself from the inconvenience caused by earwigs, our team of experts will put in place a targeted and safe intervention plan for you. V Extermination offers a personalized service for all your pest management needs!