Have you ever heard the superstition that earwigs crawl into your ears at night? While that isn't true, this peculiar-looking insect is a small pest, measuring at approximately 1/4 to 1 inch in length and one that comes into your home seeking moisture and food. They’re reddish-brown in color and have a set of pincers attached to their abdomen. Earwigs have two sets of slender wings, though they don’t actually fly much.
While earwigs may seem intimidating, they are not considered poisonous to humans and are not known carriers of any particular diseases. And with over 20 species living in the United States, you’re bound to run into them while living in Houston. Some earwigs that are common to the Houston area are:
This is the most common type of earwig that you will encounter in the United States. They are nocturnal and seek refuge primarily in layers of moist soil, decaying vegetation, and other dark, secluded outdoor spaces. They are known to damage vegetation because it’s their main food source, along with other insects.
This type of earwig is most notable for the two long, dark stripes that run the course of their bodies, while being light tan in color. Striped earwigs don’t care as much about your outdoor garden as other species do and will only take to the indoors when they are in search of moisture.
With brown bands on their yellow legs, this is the most dominant type of earwig in the southern United States, making an occurrence far more likely. They do not possess wings but do have a distinct upturned shape and are dark brown in coloring. This type of earwig will absolutely break into your home in large numbers, unlike some of their shy cousins.
Four Tips For Preventing Earwigs
While it poses no imminent threat to your health, an earwig infestation can be unnerving and unsightly. If earwigs have found their way inside your home, it’s because they are hoping to find food and shelter or simply because of a change in the weather. Here are four tried-and-true ways to keep earwigs out of your Houston home:
Addressing moisture issues - Earwigs make their way into your home when there is a distinct change in weather or a dry spell. These insects tend to seek damp, cool, dark places to make up for the moisture they’re not getting on the outside. Houston homeowners should be aware of and address any leaking faucets, drainstops, bath tubs, pipes, shower heads, or anything else of that nature.
Seal up potential points of entry - Earwigs are minuscule pests that can fit through the tiniest of cracks with ease. Make sure to properly caulk any openings or crevices in your home’s foundation, replace any worn weather stripping, patch worn screens in doors and windows, ensure that your windows have no gaps, and seal up any other vulnerabilities around your property.
Clear yard debris - Since earwigs love cool, damp places to hide, it’s easy for an infestation to grow in a pile of yard debris that has been left out. Yard clutter gives pests of all shapes and sizes a place to hide, lay their eggs, and spawn an infestation. Furthermore, earwigs eat through decomposing vegetation, so this is a clear-cut food source for them. Be sure to properly dispose of any yard trimmings and store them securely until they can be disposed of.
Ongoing pest control - The best way to keep all pests, including earwigs, off of your Houston property is with ongoing pest control assistance from the professionals at All-Safe Pest & Termite. Contact us today to learn more about keeping your home free from pests.