Color: Varies from pale brown with dark marks, to plain reddish brown, to black with paler legs
Shape: Flattened and elongated
Size: Earwigs in the adult stage are about 1/4 to 1" (5-25 mm) long
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Overview Of Earwigs In Pittsburgh
Earwigs get their name from an old European superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. They are flat with a long body; front wings leathery, short, meeting in a straight line down the back; hind wings fan shaped, folded under front wings; rear with forceps-shaped appendage; antennae threadlike, about half the length of the body.
Habits Of Earwigs In Pennsylvania
Earwigs overwinter outdoors, in pairs, beneath the soil surface in 1-1.5 inch cells or in burrows. Females lay and tend their eggs and newly hatched nymphs underground. They feed on dead plants and insects. European earwigs have been observed feeding on honey in beehives. Earwigs are active at night, hiding during daylight hours in moist, shady places, under rocks and logs or in mulch. They cannot survive long periods of dryness. They have a bad odor when crushed and some species can squirt a foul smelling liquid. The forceps may be used to hold prey and for defense. They have 4-5 nymphal instars. Females lay 30-55 eggs the first time, depending on the species. Sometimes later layings are much smaller in number. Earwigs typically occur in groups. Development takes between 40 and 80 days, depending on the species.
Threats Posed By Earwigs
Earwigs are attracted to light, thus European and red-legged earwigs may invade homes, sometimes by the hundreds or event thousands. They sometimes damage cultivated plants, vegetables, flowers, fruits and ornamental plantings. Red-legged earwigs have infested Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes in storage, roots of greenhouse vegetables, flour mills and breweries. Striped earwigs are not known to damage plants.
Prevention Of Earwigs In PA
The key to control is the removal of unessential mulch, plant debris and objects such as stones and boards from around any structure. The creation of a “low-moisture zone” will be disagreeable to earwigs. Baits and other materials applied by professional pest management technician are very effective.
Pennsylvania Earwig Control Services
A highly skilled pest management professional should be enlisted to evaluate the problem activity in order to generate a custom-tailored solution to get rid of earwigs in your home or business. Our Pittsburgh pest control pros resolve earwig infestations utilizing a variety of treatment options, including:
- Baiting program