Pest Library | Earwigs

Order Dermaptera

Earwig - Dermaptera
Color: Dark brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow
Size: 1″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Throughout the U.S.
Earwigs got their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people’s ears and tunnel into their brains.┬áThe long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig.


Earwigs hide during the day and feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects at night.


These insects live together outdoors in large numbers. They can be found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes. They gain entry to a structure through exterior cracks


Contrary to folklore, earwigs do not crawl into ears and eat peoples’ brains at night. They do not spread diseases, but their menacing appearance can be alarming to a homeowner.


Remove harborage sites such as leaf piles, mulch piles or other vegetation. Seal cracks and crevices well to prevent structural entry.

* Information courtesy of National Pest Management Association, Inc.