The earwig has a serrated exoskeleton. It rolls into a ball when disturbed. It gets its name from ears on each side of its head, which are thought to resemble human ears. They are often confused with cockroaches. They make their way into homes during the summer months due to rain and seeking warmth; they can be seen by the hundreds congregating on outside lights and sometimes entering homes through screens and small openings.
Earwigs can be helpful for gardens to help control other insect pests. They leave the garden, however, once they are done eating.
The earwig is nocturnal and prefers to come out at night after the sun goes down. This makes it very easy to identify them if they enter houses or garages that are not used during the day. The best way to keep them from entering homes is to make sure all openings are sealed off, including cracks around windows, doors, under sink pipes, and any other place there might be space for them to get in.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE EARWIGS
Earwigs are dark brown insects with a flattened body, measuring 1-1.5 inches in length. They have tan wings that run the length of their backs but cannot be used for flying. The end of their abdomen protrudes from beneath the wings and curls up slightly at the end. Earwigs’ cerci, which resemble tails, are pointed and curve towards the abdomen.
Earwigs also have two curved pincers on their abdomens, called forceps. These pincers are used to capture other insects that they feed upon. They can be used as a defense mechanism to keep predators away; if an earwig is pinched with these forceps it emits a fluid as a defense mechanism to defend itself.
THE BEHAVIOR OF AN EARWIG
When earwigs feel threatened, their first reaction is to curl up into a ball with their forceps facing outward to defend themselves. However, if this does not work they will emit a fluid that smells bad as a defense mechanism to ward off attackers. Some earwigs can even fly short distances, but they are clumsy flyers and prefer to run away instead of flying if threatened.
After mating, the female earwig lays her eggs. Sometimes she buries them into the soil or under leaves, other times she attaches them to sticks or plant stems. She will guard them until they hatch. In just a few days the babies that have hatched will be mature and ready for mating themselves.
If yoIf you find any Earwigs in your Charlotte County home, contact Bug Off Pest Charlotte immediately. We can help rid you of these garden pests and get your lawn or yard back to normal! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about Earwigs or any other pest. Call us today 941-676-2005