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Pincher Bugs? Earwigs? What are these things?

Undoubtedly, this is by far our number one call right now! Earwigs have taken over homes by the hundreds! These creepy, little unwanted visitors surprise us under everything we pick up: bath towels, clothing, dish rags, flower pots and more.

Pincer Bugs/Pincher Bugs/Earwigs; What you are dealing with?:


Earwigs are omnivores, meaning they will feed on decaying plant and animal matter as well. They can be found in just about anything during the late spring and summer months. Mom’s beautiful flowers, dad’s prized peach trees, and the kids’ picnic table. All the above are a delicious variety of earwig food sources and with the females laying 20-80 eggs in just 2 days time, you can imagine the appetite they must have. Have you seen a pregnant lady at the all-you-can-eat-buffet? Just saying…I only know from my own experience, and that was just eating for 2!! Not 80!!!

The name earwig comes from an old wive’s tale about how they would climb inside human ear canals and lay their eggs. Rest assured, this is not true. The egg part that is. It is entirely possible for them to crawl in your ears! After all, it is damp and dark! But as for the pinching part…there is no need to worry as they are not harmful to humans. They do not have nearly enough strength in those creepy little pinchers to do any damage to your skin. It’s bad enough they look intimidating, I was glad to learn they can’t really hurt you!

How to get rid of Pincher Bugs:

There are a few ways to help reduce the chances of having earwig infestations.

1. Avoid over watering your lawn and landscape. Earwigs love moist areas and over watering creates the perfect habitat!

2. Keep your lawn manicured. Allowing your grass to grow long provides a safe, dark, damp place for earwigs to creep around in.

3. De-clutter around the foundation of your home. If there is nothing on your sidewalk, porch or patio for an earwig to hide under, mission accomplished! Objects like firewood, toy boxes and dog houses placed right up along your foundation and siding creates a safe breeding ground for pincher bugs.

4. Seal around doors and windows. In the heat of summer, earwigs are opportunists and will seek out a cool place. That means, if there is the slightest cracks or crevices; under your door, around your window screens, or under your garage door and in crawl spaces, they will get in!

5. Pick up your clothing, and bath towels. Okay…my youngest two are guilty of this. Every time without fail, they come in from running through the sprinklers or playing in the pool and where does their towel end up?? On the closet or bedroom floor. Damp areas are an earwig haven!

6. If all this isn’t quite enough, enlist the help of your favorite company, Barrier Pest Control! Applying a quarterly barrier around the exterior of your home, not only will help reduce or get rid of earwigs, but help you sleep more soundly!! ( Without the fear of your ears being invaded!)

Let us know if you are having issues with earwigs this year and we would be happy to get right out!

Blog for this week, courtesy of Marie

Picture courtesy of Franco Patrizia

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Service Area (Southwest Idaho)

Our pest control services are also available in Boise, Garden City, Eagle, Emmett, Meridian, Kuna, Nampa, Melba, Middleton, Star, Marsing, Homedale, Caldwell and Mountain Home.