In Earwig management, it is important to use both chemical and non-chemical methods for total control. While pesticide application will go a long way to reduce populations, total population control can only be achieved by also eliminating existing conditions that support the infestation.
Step 1) Non-chemical Earwig Control
Nonchemical methods for earwig control are:
- Physical Removal- For heavier infestations, large numbers of earwigs may be removed using a vacuum. After removal, the vacuum bag should be sealed in a plastic bag and discarded.
- Harborage Removal- Harborage removal is key to lasting earwig control. This includes eliminating piles of lumber, bricks, and other stacked items that create clusters of tight spaces, elimination of vegetation and other heavy ground coverings near homes and buildings, trimming back tree and shrub limbs from walls and roof, and keeping gutters clear of leaves and other debris.
- Managment of Excess Moisture- Earwigs and other pests thrive on excess moisture. Foundation moisture can by minimized by adjusting the direction of irrigation sprinklers, and watering in the morning rather than the evening so that the sun can dry vegetation quickly. Attics and crawlspaces should be properly ventilated.
- Exterior Lighting Modification- Using yellow "bug light" bulbs or sodium exterior lights on the outside of a structure may reduce the numbers of earwigs attracted to a structure.
- Exclusion- Earwigs and other pests can be kept out of structures to a large degree by installing tight-fitting screens, weatherstripping around doors and windows, and caulking cracks and crevices.
- Traps- Sometimes a rolled newspaper placed in a dark corner during the night can take advantage of the earwig's tendency to crawl into cracks and crevices. The newspaper can then be shaken in the morning over a pail of soapy water. Insect Glue Boards may also be used in areas where earwigs travel.
Step 2) Chemical Earwig Control
The most effective chemical control method for Earwig control is to apply a perimeter treatment both inside and outside the infested structure.
- First, apply a residual pesticide labeled for earwigs ( Demon WP Insecticide or Suspend SC both provide excellent results) with a Gallon Sprayer around the entire outdoor perimeter and indoor along baseboards.
- Next, using a Hand Duster, apply waterproof residual Delta Dust Insecticide (lasts up to 8 months) underneath baseboards, inside of cracks and crevices, and behind cabinets.
- Cy-Kick may also be used and kept on hand for contact kill when earwigs are spotted on countertops or walls. This aerosol product may also be used around window and door frames (providing a 4 to 6 week residual).