There are many different kinds of earwigs, but they can all be easily identified by their pincer like appendages at the ent of their abdomen. The European earwig is about ⅝ in. long and has wings, but they are poor flyers and the females rarely fly. The ring-legged earwig is just over ½ in. long, dark brown or shiny jet black, and equipped with yellow-brown legs with one or more dark bands across them. The striped earwig is larger at 1 in. long and is a considerably nasty pest in the south.
Interesting Facts About Earwigs
– The large striped earwig secretes a strong, foul smell when disturbed or crushed. This species can substantially grow its population in just one season.
– Earwigs are usually scavengers who eat decaying plant and animal matter, but a few species may feed on live plants or even other insects.
– Only a few species can fly and even fewer can fly well.
– This insect can be transported into homes very easily in folds of clothing, flower pots, and other plant related items.
– During the day they hide beneath rocks and debris and are active at night. The large striped earwig is attracted to light sources at night and will swarm to it in large numbers.
– They can not bite or sting, are not poisonous, and are overall harmless to humans. If upset or picked up, they can grasp at someone’s skin with their pincers that may pinch a little, but they will rarely ever break skin.
– One may find dense groups of earwigs at places where stone meets soil like boulders or foundations of houses. This makes it very important to treat the outside of the home as well when there is an indoor infestation.
Problems Caused by Earwigs Pests
Earwigs although harmless to humans, can become a nuisance that can develop very large populations that infest both inside and outside of a building.