What are earwigs?

Earwigs are strange and intimidating-looking insects. They are dark brown to reddish-brown and have long, slender bodies flattened from top to bottom. They are identified by their pincer-like appendages (cerci), which extend off the end of their abdomen. Female earwigs have a straight pair of cerci, while the males' cerci are curved. Most species of earwigs have wings, though not all can fly. Earwigs are nocturnal, hiding during the day in dark crevices and emerging at night to forage for food.
an earwig crawling on the ground outside in gilbert arizona

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are associated with a superstition that they crawl into the ears of sleeping people to bore into their brains and lay their eggs. The good news is that earwigs do not enter people's ears and are not considered dangerous pests! Their pincers are used to defend themselves from each other but are not strong enough to cause serious injury to people. Earwigs are nuisance pests that have the potential to enter homes in large numbers. They are difficult to control and eliminate. If disturbed, earwigs produce a foul odor.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs are attracted to properties that offer damp, dark areas to live and hide within. Earwigs are scavengers that feed on a variety of items, including plants and other insects. If the weather outside becomes too hot and dry for them to live comfortably, they often move inside homes and other buildings in large numbers. Earwigs will contaminate pantry items such as flour, bread, cookies, and other similar food items.

Where will I find earwigs?

Earwigs are found outside, living underneath mulch, landscaping ties, rocks, piles of leaves or grass, potted plants, trash cans, or outside storage containers. Earwigs that have moved inside usually choose an area of the home that mimics their outdoor environment. Common indoor hiding spots for earwigs include basements, crawlspaces, and underneath sinks in bathrooms and kitchens.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

Partner with a trusted pest control expert to control earwigs. At All Clear Pest Control, we offer family-friendly and eco-friendly residential and commercial pest control services to quickly resolve your Arizona home's earwig problem. Our trained technicians provide the inspection, treatment, and prevention services needed to eliminate earwigs and stop their return. For a free estimate or to learn more about our earwig control services, reach out to us!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?


Put into place the following prevention measures to minimize future issues with earwigs:

  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors.

  • Replace mulch around your home with a drier material.

  • Trim overgrown vegetation away from your home.

  • Place door sweeps on all exterior doors, especially basement doors.

  • Use dehumidifiers in damp basements and make sure to ventilate any crawlspaces.

  • Seal cracks and gaps in the foundation, exterior walls, and utilities entering your home. 

  • Repair leaky pipes or fixtures in and around your home.


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