Earwigs can make their way into a home, but do not reproduce indoors or harm humans with bites or pinches. They feed on plant matter and dead insects or other small organisms around the lawn. In some circumstances earwigs are considered beneficial for their help in controlling aphids by feeding on those soft-bodied insects and eggs in gardens and landscaped areas.
Knowing where to look for earwigs in and around your home is a key first step to controlling these so-called "pincher bug" pests.
Where Do Earwigs Live or Hide?
Earwigs are always in search of dark, damp places to take shelter. They can often be found under decorations that may retain moisture--doormats, flowerpots, pavers or tiles--these items can all be home to these narrow, brown bugs.
Other places where earwigs may be hiding:
- Under a layer of mulch
- Under or in stacks of firewood
- Among discarded lawn clippings
- Under any other plant matter, especially decaying plants on the ground
With a closer look, you may also find earwigs hiding on or under your plants themselves. They may hide in or under plant buds or flowers, under leaves, or on plant stems hidden from sight.
Earwigs can find their way inside your home, either by accident or in search of shelter. These passages usually occur by way of cracks, crevices or holes in the structure that allow entry. Learn the best ways to keep earwigs out of your home with our Earwigs Prevention Guide and pay special attention to any of these types of exterior openings that should be repaired or sealed. Earwigs that gain entrance to your home are likely to seek out a dark, damp, enclosed place to hide out. Check the following areas for earwigs if you have spotted them around your home:
- Along baseboards
- Around windowsills or doorframes
- Under kitchen or bathroom sinks
- In crawl spaces
When Are Earwigs Active?
Earwigs are most active in the warmer months of the late spring through the summer. During these busy seasons for earwigs, they will mostly be active at night, when they will emerge from hiding to forage for food.
Earwigs can hibernate underground during the winter to protect themselves from the cold. They will emerge when the soil temperature warms in the spring. An earwig's life cycle can be up to a year long.