Just the term 'earwig' is enough to make anybody cringe. These occasional invaders offer some benefits and some challenges to your backyard foliage. Today, we will discuss both. Earwigs are small to medium-sized insects that have flat bodies. They look very similar to silverfish except that they are black or brown in color. Some may have stripes and reddish coloring on their head and limbs.
They vary in size from 1/4 inch to 1 1/4 inch in length, some of that length including the pincher-like forceps that earwigs use to defend themselves. Earwigs also have wings and are capable of flight, although you will hardly ever see them flying. There are some horrifying stories floating around about earwigs, but many are myths. Let's take a look at the truth about earwigs in Kingston.
Earwigs Don’t Like Your Ear
You’ve likely heard that earwigs climb into the human ear and lay eggs. Maybe you’ve even heard that earwigs enter the human ear and burrow into your brain. These are falsehoods that have made the earwig one of the most feared insects around. While they certainly can cause damage, it isn’t for either of these reasons.
Earwigs Love Your Garden
The real problem with earwigs is the damage they can cause in a greenhouse or a garden. While earwigs are not a threat to people or animals (except smaller insects), they can do significant damage to your beautiful garden or your prize greenhouse plants. You can easily identify a potential earwig problem by ragged edges and holes that appear in your plants and vegetation. Earwigs also eat other insects and a variety of vegetation that includes fungi, moss, and lichens. They will also eat decaying organic material such as moist, rotting leaves or mulch.
Earwigs may find their way inside your home for the greasy remains, soft fruits, and flowers most often found in your kitchen. Since earwigs are nocturnal, you probably won’t even see them feasting in your garden or on your plants. You will, however, note the damage that they leave behind.
In the end, earwigs aren’t dangerous to people or pets. The pincher-like forceps may hurt or break the skin if an earwig were to bite you. Since there could conceivably be germs or bacteria present, washing the affected area with soap and water is a good idea. You could even use antibacterial cream to be on the safe side.
How To Prevent An Earwig Infestation
There are many DIY methods found online for getting rid of earwigs invading your garden. It’s hit or miss as to whether or not they work. Keeping moisture down is one way to keep the earwigs away. This is hard to do in a garden or greenhouse, but earwigs can also find their way into your home. This is when earwigs really start to become a problem. A small population in your garden can be beneficial by helping to rid the area of even more destructive pests and by cleaning up decaying materials, thereby helping to keep areas sanitary. For this very reason, reducing the presence of decaying food sources is a great way to help prevent an earwig infestation.
How To Control An Earwig Infestation
The truth about earwigs in Kingston or anywhere else is that they can be both problematic and beneficial. In small numbers, they are a natural part of the ecosystem. However, when out of hand, they can become destructive, not to mention a huge nuisance.
If you're dealing with an earwig problem, our experts at Pestmaster® Services can help you negotiate your earwig infestation. We can help you determine the extent of the problem and offer the best solution possible for earwig prevention and control. Contact us today to discuss all of your pest control options!