What is an earwig?
While you may know them as a “pincher bug”, earwigs are an insect easily recognized by their long, smooth bodies and pair of appendages at the tip of their abdomen called “cerci”.
Pincer-like in appearance the cerci are fairly straight on female earwigs and tend to be more curved on the male of the species.
The common earwig is about 5/8 of an inch long, although they have been known to grow larger. They are dark brown to reddish-brown in color and occur as winged and wingless insects. Their name comes from the old myth that these insects would enter human ears, burrow into the brain and lay their eggs.
Why do I have them?
Earwigs are typically outdoor insects and are found in damp areas. They will, however, migrate indoors (often by accident) if the temperature climbs or if there is a lack of moisture present.
As nocturnal insects, they normally congregate in areas that are dark and humid during the day. Typical indoor hiding places are under rugs or potted plants, in stacks of newspapers and similar locations.
During the night they will come out to feed on decaying plant material as well as other insects, including fleas and mites.
Occasionally, earwigs may be brought inside with the morning newspaper, lawn furniture, or other outside items that they were resting beneath.