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Earwig Characteristics And Behavior
A member of the Dermaptera order, the earwig is classified as a “parasocial” insect, meaning it may or may not aggregate in groups or crowds. The most notable earwig characteristic is the cerci, appendages, or pincers protruding from the abdomen. Cerci play a major role in the earwig’s defense, safety, food-foraging, and copulation. The reddish/brown body measures up to 1/3” in length with and without wings, six legs, and two antennas. The largest of more than 900 Dermaptera species, the Saint Helena Giant grows up to 3 inches in length. The earwig has a unit story, which has never been debunked. The story goes like this, an earwig was discovered burrowed in the human brain, where it deposited its eggs.
Why Is My Home Under An Earwig Attack?
The earwig species falls within the “overwintering pest” classification. The most common behavior of the overwintering pest is sheltering indoors during the winter season. The insect begins searching for vulnerabilities in commercial buildings, barns, sheds, garages, and houses in later fall. Earwigs access the indoors through small cracks, crevices, gaps, and openings around plumbing pipes and electrical wiring. Once inside, the earwig will begin searching for a suitable place to hang out for the winter. The insect is drawn to dark, warm, and moist areas like basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, and kitchens.
The nocturnal insect rests during the day and forages for food at night. Since the species is parasocial, nests may or may not necessary. Overwintering pests do not enter homes with the intention of reproducing. Instead, the insect is more interested in finding suitable shelter to avoid the hard winter outdoors.
Are My Children’s Health At Risk Due To An Earwig Infestation?
Earwigs have never been deemed “dangerous.” In fact, scientists believe the earwig is one of the least dangerous insect species. Do not be fooled by the thousands of images on the Internet where the cerci are blown up to look bigger than their actual size. This is an attempt to improve the visibility of the cerci for research purposes. The earwig’s cerci are too weak to penetrate the skin of humans or animals.
While your children and pets may not be in danger of the earwig, your household plants are very much in danger. As long as the earwig is living in your home, it is crucial to focus more attention on the safety of your household plants.
How Should I Approach Earwig Extermination?
Since the earwig is parasocial, it may or may not live in colonies, minimizing the risk of an infestation significantly. While earwig infestations are rare to middling, the possibility still remains. If earwigs are detected in your home, it is because they are hiding out to avoid winter outdoors. While in the home, the bodily functions slow significantly, allowing the earwig to survive on stored fat.
The best approach to an earwig infestation is professional pest management, which targets a localized population. Professional pest control includes, but is not limited to pesticides, traps, thermal heat, steam, cryonite, and insecticides. It also targets vulnerabilities that initially allowed the earwig to enter the impacted home.
It is also crucial to minimize humidity in problem areas like basements and crawlspaces. Indoor earwig sightings more often than not involve these two locations.
When Should I Expect The Exterminator To Arrive For The Inspection?
In many cases, we can have a licensed exterminator dispatched to a client’s home within 24 to 48 hours of the initial request. We can also push the appointment back further to accommodate your schedule and busy lifestyle.
Does Earwig Pesticide Contain Toxins?
It really depends on the formula. Chemical-based pesticides are toxic to humans, animals, and the environment. When applied, stored, transported, and handled per the manufacturer’s recommendations, these products pose little to no health or environmental risks. To further minimize these risks, we only invest in brands that have gone through the proper channels to seek EPA approval. EPA-approved pest control products are more potent and safer than the other alternatives, which cannot be produced or sold in the United States.
What Can I Do To Protect My Home And Family From Future Earwig Infestations?
We recommend reaching out to our pest control company. Our extermination team has decades of combined experience, skills, and knowledge, all of which are combined to combat earwig infestations of all severity levels. While you are waiting on the exterminator to conduct the pest inspection, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Work on a strategy targeting vulnerabilities in your home’s pest barrier. We will work with you to educate your family about earwigs and professional pest management and prevention.