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Chances are, you’ve seen an earwig in your garden, or perhaps inside your home or business. These occasional invaders have a creepy appearance and should not be found around your property, as the presence of pests may suggest lack of cleanliness. If you keep noticing earwigs inside your premises, contact a pest control professional to eliminate the issue. Western Exterminator can help!

When you reach out to us about an earwig issue, we will conduct an inspection and use the appropriate control method to ensure the earwigs are eradicated. The first step is to contact us online or call 800-937-8398 to arrange a time for a specialist to come out and learn more about the problem.

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Home pest control

For over 100 years, Western Exterminator has protected families just like yours from pest infestations.


This is perhaps the strangest looking bug out there. And coming from us, that says a lot. If 'earwig' doesn't sound odd enough, it's also known as the 'pincher bug' thanks to a huge pair of pinchers - on its butt. Its body is long and flat, and has two sets of wings. The front ones are leathery, short and meet in a straight line down the back. The hind wings are fan-shaped and folded under the front wings. It also has a pair of threadlike antennae about half its own body length.

Pincher bug

You may call these critters pincher bugs rather than earwigs. If you’ve ever seen an earwig, you probably noticed cerci (pinchers). Earwigs can catch prey like flies with their cerci. Additionally, they can use the cerci for self-defense and for closing their wings. The pinchers can also help with mating.

Among European earwigs, males’ cerci have more of a curve than those of the females (which are thinner and more straight). The cerci of European earwig nymphs are straight.

Where found

These guys have been doing pretty well for themselves, as there are already 22 different species in the U.S. alone.


Earwigs are hard-core winter enthusiasts, and spend the frigid season outdoors. They hang out in pairs in underground cells or burrows in winter. Females lay and tend their eggs and newly-hatched nymphs underground too.


If it's dead, it's dinner. Especially if it's a plant or insect. On a lighter note, European earwigs are more refined than their yankee counterparts, enjoying honey straight from the comb.


Thankfully, both ears and wigs are safe from earwigs, unless you've got any dead bugs or plants in them. Instead they damage vegetables, flowers, fruits, ornamental plants and sometimes cultivated plants. Red-legged earwigs infest Irish and sweet potatoes sitting in storage, roots of greenhouse vegetables, flour mills and breweries. Striped earwigs aren't known to do any damage to plants.


Despite being nocturnal, earwigs are attracted to light. European and red-legged earwigs may enter homes through cracks or may be brought inside on other items.

How to get rid of earwigs

Luckily this insect is only an 'occasional invader' into our homes and businesses.

Control can be achieved by applying residual materials around the exterior of the structure. To aid control, address areas of high moisture. Check under stones, dark areas, between wooden fence boards, and moist areas of gardens near the structure. Clean up accumulated leaves and debris, and create an 18-inch vegetation-free zone around the foundation. Also check doors that may need weather stripping along the bottom to prevent insects from entering. Inside areas will also need treatment - however, the source will be the exterior, and control should thus be concentrated there.

You can use a vacuum to remove insects found inside in lieu of pesticide application. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Control with liquid residual pesticides, baits or dusts. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.

Excess moisture control

Proper drainage of moisture is a highly effective way to keep earwigs away. You can do this by making sure water sprinklers are pointed in the right direction on your lawn, by placing fans and vapor barriers in crawl spaces and making sure sump pumps work.

Earwig exclusion

Fill cracks and crevices around windows, doors and at the base of your foundation. All vents should have tight fitting insect screens.

Professional earwig exterminator

Western Exterminator pest control specialists not only remove earwigs, but they prevent them from returning. Our pest control specialists will inspect your property to make sure it’s not vulnerable for earwig and other pest infestations.

We also provide traps and insecticide treatments if necessary. Western Exterminator uses a combination of treatment methods so you can expect the best pest control results in the industry.

Your local Western Exterminator pest control specialists is just a phone call away. Call us at 800-937-8398 or contact us online so you can receive professional pest control service.

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