Earwigs...no...they don't crawl into your ears or attack humans.
But if you give them a chance, they can hang on with their pincer and hurt your finger or a toe hanging out of fashionable sandals.
Earwigs are active at night, sleeping during the day wherever it is moist,dark, and small. They eat anything, alive or dead, plants, animals, bugs, yes, they are a true scavenger.
So how do we control them?
PREVENTION: Remove dark moist small areas so they don't have a place to sleep.
- Inside the house: Seal up all tiny cracks, crevices, and fix all your leaks. Use up a couple of tubes of caulking to get all those small entry points.
- Outside the house: Remove brush piles, ivy against the house, everything that provides a low cover for them and would remain moist daily. Things like mulch, leaves need to be managed...good yard maintenance is the key.
- Dim the lights: Some earwigs are attracted to lights, so a yellow or vapor or low or no light may help reduce your earwig infestation.
- Toads and birds eat them: Earwigs are a delightful fast food sandwich to birds and toad and a few other small predators. So keep the toads and don't chase all the birds so all of you can try to keep the earwig population in check.
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE TOO MANY EARWIGS:
- VACUUM THEM UP: In the house, just suck them up when you see them.
- TRAP THEM: Earwigs are so easy. (NO COST TIP) Place a tuna fish can on the ground half full of oil. Or place crumpled newspaper in a flower pot, turn it upside down with a stick or stone so one edge is raised slightly. Or place a small tube, a rolled up newspaper, or a piece of garden hose on the ground and then do the same with all these traps. Let the earwigs crawl in go to sleep and then you periodically shake them out into a container of soapy water or oil bath. Note: these are outside traps but the idea also applies to your inside earwigs where anything small where you have been seeing them, can become their final earwig motel.
- SPRAY INSIDE: There are many insect control aerosol insecticides available locally or from the internet.
- SPRAY OUTSIDE: Again there are dusts and sprays for insects that you can buy locally or on the internet and use to control your earwig problem. A number of the insecticides are most effective when applied after a rain so note the directions on the container.
- If your infestation is severe, consider calling a local pest control specialist to reduce the number of earwigs that are living at your address. You can find his contact information in your phone book or from an internet website.