Keeping Earwigs Off of Your Property
Earwigs would love nothing more than to feed on the plants in your garden. Keeping them out can be difficult. The key, though, is to learn a bit more about them and how to prevent them before they become a problem.
Earwigs are actually pretty easy to spot. They are usually a dark brown or red color. They have lighter brown legs and tend to be about 5/8 of an inch in length. They have long pincers at the end of their abdomen. They’re fairly prolific, too. During the course of one season, a female can lay up to 60 eggs at a time. They lay them under the soil. The adults overwinter in the soil, then start again the next year. Moisture is a big part of an earwig’s life. They have to have moist, damp places to survive.
Earwigs are typically nocturnal creatures, and they’ll eat dead insects or decomposing plant material. The do, however, also consume live plants, and they’re just as likely to eat your garden as they are your leaf pile.
Earwigs can also get into your home through a door or problem window. They build up quite rapidly around foundations too. There are superstitions surrounding these creatures in homes, but none of them are true. The idea is that they would burrow into your ears while you sleep, but those pincers people are so afraid of are only used for sparing with rival creatures. If they do get into your home, you’re most likely to find them in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.
Preventing The Problem
Earwig prevention actually starts outside. They’re attracted to moisture, so any moisture control practice is a must. If there’s a way to control damp conditions around your crawl space, near your faucet, or even along the foundation, do it. Clean your gutters on a regular basis, and make certain you’re directing the water from downspouts and the foundation of your home away from it. You should also liberally caulk and weather strip any potential openings where earwigs might get in.
Clean up your garden debris on a regular basis, too. You may want to spread some dry gravel as your mulch instead of more traditional wood chips. Move any landscape timbers or decorative stones well away from your foundation. Earwigs are also often attracted to light, so adjust the lights so they shine well away from your home.
If you do have a problem with earwigs, make certain you contact a good pest control service immediately. They can not only help treat your current problem, but help you prevent future infestations by making recommendations that will keep these creatures both out of your home and your garden.