There’s nothing extra ordinary about the earwig. No super hard shell that keeps pesticides from penetrating, they’re not fast enough to out run even a sleepy eye housewife with a fly swatter and yet it seems you can’t kill these things. In reality it’s not that you don’t smoosh the thing all over your bathroom floor on the bottom of your shoe, it’s dead alright. It is however that with one dead another pops up in its place. Not so much like german roaches mind you but later that day or perhaps even a week later you’ll find another wayward earwig near the spot where his kin earlier lost his life. It is difficult at times to control the earwig let alone achieve zero population in or around your home.
Population growth of the earwig is not a fast process, females lay only 50 to 60 eggs early in the spring and there is usually only one generation per year. Maybe this is the reason that the mother earwig is very protective of her nest and will fight off would be attackers. Earwigs defenses are few and even though they have ominous looking pincers they are basically harmless. Besides the large pincers it seems that the legend of the earwig is what puts most home owners uneasy in their presence. Old folk lore stories say that earwigs often crawl in sleeping peoples ears at night and lodge into their brains. While there have been instances of these and other bugs getting into ear cavities it is by no means a huge on going problem.
Our homes are for the most part a paradise which earwigs enjoy. Even a meticulously well maintained home can be over run. We give the bugs everything they need to thrive and even maintain these standards all summer long without being the wiser. Our landscaping habits and constant supply of water give the earwig every advantage. While one year of ideal conditions may not be enough to produce massive numbers, just a few years of conducive surroundings can make the population explode.
The drier the area the less you’ll have earwigs and this is why inside populations can’t survive very long. Earwigs are constantly on the move looking for food and it’s usually an opportune crack or open door that earwigs use to get in. They often find their way to the bathroom of a house because of the lure of life giving water. There is no express strategy of the earwig to infest your home. It is mostly the wandering tendencies that eventually lead the earwig inside. As populations get bigger and food competition is tougher or if things dry out a bit you’ll have earwigs on the move looking for a better situation which often leads them inside.
Earwigs are not as able bodied as other insects but find it easy to enter homes through cracks and crevices. Front door thresholds or back sliding glass doors are the most common spot you find earwigs coming in. We often place potted plants near these entries and even put welcome mats out just in front of the doors. All these items collect dampness underneath and offer the nocturnal bug a great place to hide and replenish their much needed moisture. This in turn puts the earwig in close proximity of the main entries and from there it’s only a few inches from them coming into your home. With the repetitive cycles that we the home owner practice every year it’s no wonder the earwig eventually explodes.