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Pincher Bugs

Know What are Pincher Bugs And the Ways to Get Rid of Them

Contrary to the popular belief, earwigs or pincher bugs don't crawl into people's ears and lay eggs. However, these insects are quite irritating and cause a lot of discomfort in homes globally. In the following writeup, we learn some more facts and ways to get rid of these insects.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
They are usually not seen during the day as they prefer spending time in the dark. They hide under things with a flat surface, which is why are often spotted under newspapers, fridge and wardrobe. These bugs prefer nesting in damp places, but can be also spotted in dry areas of the house. These insects are not a threat to humans and even if they bite, only a mild burning sensation is experienced. However, they are quite capable of causing great damage to plants. A clean environment is the only way to keep them away.

Pincher bugs, commonly known as pinchers, are six legged insects from the Dermaptera insect order. They are probably identified by their peculiar pincers that act as forceps situated at the back of the abdomen. This characteristic of having pincers is known as cerci. The order Dermaptera consists of about 12 families and around 1800 species of insects. Pinchers also have wings folded underneath and are rarely used. They are scavengers by nature but some of them are predators and omnivorous. They feed on plants, fruits, vegetables, and on dead and decaying animal bodies. They also eat live insects such as plant lice and catch large insects such as bluebottle flies with their forceps. They also have been observed eating corn silk and damaging the corn.

Getting rid/Treatment for Earwigs

Pincher bugs or earwigs can really be a frustrating problem in the house and garden. They eat up vegetables, fruits and even spoil plants in the garden and these bugs can cause a lot of issues if they are nesting in the house and garden since a long time. Different studies show there are many methods to control this mess but only few of them actually work. To make sure these bugs leave you and your property in peace, here are some tried and tested methods.
  • Get rid of any waste food or piles of debris from your house.
  • Regularly clean, dust and dispose of any yard waste such as leaves or small grass pieces.
  • Avoid over-watering of your lawns and your gardens.
  • As these insects always get out at night always keep your kitchen area clean after dinner.
  • Seal up any small cracks or holes made around the foundation of your house. Also take care that there aren't any holes in your window panes and doors, cover them up immediately if you find some, covering up cracks and holes will decrease the relative incidence of this creepy six legged visitor.
  • Natural insect repellents such as boric acid powder can be sprinkled in areas where they are often sighted. However, it is recommended that usage of insecticides or pesticides in the lawn should be avoided as it can prove harmful to the vegetation, pets and kids.
  • Since these scary insects mostly come out at night, try this excellent idea to catch them, in the evening take your old newspaper tear it in to small pieces and wet it a little bit. Take care that it doesn't get too wet, just damp it and place these damp paper pieces in your plants and the areas from where these bugs enter your house. In the next afternoon, take a plastic bag, wear rubber gloves and collect all those paper pieces and put them in a bag. You will find all the pincher bugs have crawled between the fold and are resting to escape the morning heat. Repeat this step few times in a week and you will get yourself rid of this ugly visitor.
The biggest cause for earwigs entering a home is because of left over food and moisture, eliminate these two and the house would be free of these bugs. These insects are not harmful to humans but are to vegetation and nature around them, so keep your house clean and regularly check up on your garden plants.