SIZE: 5/8 inch (16 mm)
COLOR: Dark reddish brown
body, tan to pale yellow legs.
DESCRIPTION: Earwigs are
one of the most disliked insects to invade our homes. Earwigs are readily
recognized by the pinchers or forcep-like appendages at the end of their
abdomen. The European earwig is considered to be an occasional invader in
the Toronto area. These insects may enter houses in great numbers usually
in late summer, although some seasons go by with almost no activity at all.
HABITAT: Earwigs are generally
active at night, during the day they often find shelter under stones, in
crevices of wood, and in organic debris such as leaves. Earwigs are primarily
scavengers of dead vegetation and organic material, they will occasionally
feed on living plants.
LIFE CYCLE: In early spring,
after overwintering in soil, the female earwig lays up to 60 eggs in the
top section of soil. In about seven days, the eggs hatch and nymphs emerge.
The female tends to the eggs and nymphs for the first two weeks. The nymphs
are similar to adults, only smaller. Over a 70 day period, the nymphs pass
through four growth stages before becoming an adult. Egg laying can take
place twice per year (spring and summer). In Toronto and the GTA adult earwigs
will be most noticeable in July, August and September. Earwigs live for
approximately one year, but most often the males die during the winter months.
TYPE OF DAMAGE: Earwigs cause
no risk to humans, despite what their name suggests they do not seek out
our ears and the pinchers at the rear of their abdomen are harmless. Generally
speaking the greatest damage caused by earwigs is to our flowerbeds. Most
people find the presence of earwigs to be disturbing and are occasionally
mistaken for cockroaches.
CONTROL: M.D. Pest Control
can provide an exterior residual pesticide application to exterminate your
earwig infestation. This treatment is performed when the population of earwigs
is exceeding the tolerance of the homeowner. In most cases no interior treatment
is required, however upon request M.D. Pest Control will treat indoors,
ask your exterminator what’s right for you.