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Keep Earwigs Out By Thinking Outside the House!

By Chris Williams on May 6, 2016.

Earwigs are normally found outdoors, often around foundations, where they hide under mulch or boards or other materials, or in heavy ground covers. They scavenge on what they can find: plants, decaying vegetation, and occasionally on other insects. They sometimes end up in homes (1) seeking moisture when their outside sites get too dry, or (2) when they are attracted by lights at doors and windows, or (3) when they are accidentally carried in on newspapers, firewood, or in potted plants.

Once indoors, earwigs seek out areas of higher humidity like crawlspaces, basements, laundry rooms, or bathrooms where they hide in cracks and crevices, behind baseboards, or in potted plants. Earwigs don’t survive long in the drier indoor conditions. They are primarily occasional nuisance pests in homes, but you can take steps to keep them out.

7 Simple Steps to Control Earwigs Outside Your Home

To keep earwigs out of your home, you must first control them on the outside of your house by drying out moist areas with decaying vegetation and by eliminating or relocating earwig hiding places.

  1. Reduce the depth of mulch that you use around your outside foundation. Thick mulch that remains constantly damp is very attractive to earwigs. The best solution is to rake mulch completely away from the foundation, leaving a mulch-free strip next to the house.
  2. Correct outside moisture problems such as downspouts that soak foundation mulch, dripping air conditioners, or leaky spigots.
  3. Dry out wet doormats, outdoor carpeting, or similar items that remain damp for long periods.
  4. Move woodpiles, compost piles, or piles of grass clippings, leaves, or other rotting vegetation well away from the foundation.
  5. Reduce the brightness or shield bright outside lights so that they don’t attract earwigs to doorways or windows.
  6. To keep earwigs from getting inside, pest-proof around doors and windows by caulking gaps and adding weather stripping and door sweeps or thresholds at the bottom.
  7. Contact Colonial Pest and ask for information on our Preventative Maintenance Program with seasonal exterior treatments that keep outdoor pests from getting inside.

For more on earwigs and their control, see:

Photo Credit : “F-auricularia F defensive 20090515 317” by Pudding4brainsWikimedia Commons.

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