Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They get their name from an urban legend. You might have heard the old wives' tale about these bugs crawling into people's ears at night, burrowing into their brain and laying eggs. Well, that is just an old wives' tale.
There isn't any proof of these bugs burrowing into the brain and laying eggs. Since they have curved rear pincers, these are also known as pincer bugs.
These bugs flourish in dark and moist areas, which is why infestation is possible in the garden or moist areas in the home. These come out of their hiding places only at night for feeding. They feed on vegetation, mosses, and decomposed organic matter.
These can be spotted in dark, moist, and secluded areas. Since they have an elongated and flattened body, they can easily hide in small crevices. If there are cracks and openings in foundations or doors, these might enter easily. If there is an infestation in your home, you can use earwig traps and get rid of these creepy crawlies.
How to Make Traps for Earwigs
You can trap these insects easily by providing them with the moist and dark environment that they prefer. Place a crumpled or rolled up newspaper that has been soaked in water at their hiding place. Indoor traps can also be made by filling a flowerpot with damp crumpled paper.
Turn this pot upside down and prop it up with a stick. Another method is placing small jars that contain a small quantity of stale beer. Earwigs will crawl into these traps. Thereafter, they can be disposed off. Traps are also available in the market.
Preventive Measures and Remedies
Check for cracks in the foundation, doors, and windows. Seal the entry points so that these insects cannot enter your home. In case door frames have cracks and holes, you can apply caulk, putty, or weather stripping. Make sure that you have well-fitted window screens. Earwigs are attracted to damp places, which is why you must keep your house dry and clean.
You can also use vinegar, boric acid powder, and insecticide dusts to get rid of them. You can spray the dusts or insecticides in the crevices and other hiding places. You could also vacuum these areas.
Some of the species are carnivorous. These prey on insects, so an infestation in the garden might not be very harmful always. However, they can feed on the new growth and tender leaves, when they are present in large numbers. If an infestation is ruining your garden, you can make use of bird feeders and birdbaths.
If you add bird feeders to your garden, these pests will be eaten up by the birds and your problem will be solved to a great extent. If these measures don't seem to be helping, you can apply pesticides or diatomaceous earth to the soil. You can also place the traps in the garden. Once they are caught in these traps, you can dispose them off.
If your house is infested with these bugs, use traps or follow the aforementioned remedies to tackle this issue. If these methods are not helping, you can use pest control methods as well.