An earwig, or Forficula auricularia, is a small, usually harmless insect. It is not dangerous for humans or animals. It does not sting and does not carry diseases. On the other hand, a massive infestation is harmful for the garden and the plants. This critter will feed on roots, flowers, buds, fruits and vegetables, not to mention shrubs. Result: plants die. Natural methods and insecticides can get rid of it, but it should then be used with caution. The ideal would be to call on a professional for an effective and lasting extermination of earwigs. At Solution Cimex, we are here for just that.
How to identify an earwig?
An earwig is easy to identify thanks to its particularly fearsome appearance, although this insect is actually harmless to humans. It reaches a length of between 1 to 2 cm in adulthood. Its body is enveloped in a shiny brown shell. On its head are two antennae about 1 cm long, and two chewing mouthpieces.
The earwig has a pair of membrane wings, but it uses them little. At the end of its abdomen are scissor-like claws. They serve as weapons in the event of an attack by predators. Also, they are useful during mating. The insect is attracted by larvae, slug eggs, flies, caterpillars, aphids, and plants.
This pest is characterized by its nocturnal activities. It prefers to go out at night to feed. During the day, it takes refuge under stones, in garbage cans or in cavities in the ground. It seems to enjoy dark, narrow, damp areas.
How to detect the presence of earwigs?
Several clues alert to the presence of earwigs. Dark colored sticky spots appear on the walls of the house. You can also find it under the leaves of trees and shrubs. Note that these marks are the result of excrement left by insects. Leaves with holes or irregular edges are among the notable signs of the presence of these pests. In any case, it is necessary to observe the garden from bottom to bottom, because these insects can hide in various places.
Inspect under stones, between flower petals or even inside rotten fruit. During the day, earwigs take refuge in cool, damp places.
How do you keep these pests away?
There are various precautions you can take to avoid an earwig infestation. Garden maintenance is one of them. Plants in the process of decomposition must in particular be removed. These are dead leaves as well as fruits and vegetables on the verge of rotting. Also remove wood and debris near the house to prevent them from becoming havens for pests.
It will be necessary to remove, at the same time, the objects/structures likely to become a place of habitat for the earwigs. These are decorative stones, mulch or wood logs. Since these pests like moist places, as we said above, damaged outdoor faucets should be repaired. Also, rainwater should be directed in a direction away from the foundation of the house.
Finally, regularly prune trees and shrubs, places appreciated by earwigs. They offer favorable conditions for their development, due to their humidity. And since these insects are good climbers, it is advisable to cut the branches to prevent them from using them to access the house.
How to get rid of earwigs?
Various solutions are possible to get rid of earwigs:
- Set up traps: fill flower pots with straw before placing them on the ground (upside down) to attract insects. Regularly check the trap to remove earwigs before immersing them in soapy water to get rid of them.
- Prepare the ground: it is recommended to mow the lawn regularly and remove debris. Cultivate the soil in the spring to expose potential earwig eggs to the sun and reduce their chances of survival.
- Invest in chemical products: it is essential to use a pesticide adapted to the targeted pest and to follow the instructions carefully. Also, check the registration number of the product to ensure that it is approved by Health Canada. You can apply it to foundations, fences, and around shrubs.
- Contact us! Earwig extermination by a team of professionals is the guarantee of safe, effective work with lasting effects. Do not hesitate to contact us for a diagnosis of the field, an essential step to define the method adapted to your case.