Earwigs are very strange looking, small to medium-sized insects found on all continents except Antarctica. Earwigs are members of the order Dermaptera and are distinguished by the pair of forceps-like pincers at the end of the abdomen. 

These insects get their name from a superstitious myth, claiming that earwigs crawl into your ear as you sleep and find their way into the brain, where they lay eggs and cause insanity, but this is not true at all. Research indicates that the United States is home to over 20 species of earwigs, but the most common type is the European Earwig (Forficula auricularia).

Although the earwig’s formidable pincers can make them look intimidating, these creatures don’t bite. They might pinch when threatened, but they are considered more of a nuisance pest. Keep reading to learn more about earwigs.

Identifying Earwigs

Earwigs look like Staphylinid beetles, or Rove Beetles, but are typically distinguished from the beetles by their two forceps-like pincers at the rear and have elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies. Here are other features to help you identify earwigs:

Color: They come in various colors ranging from brown, yellow, black, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on the species.

Size: Earwigs measure between .2 and 2 inches.

Bodily Features: Besides the pair of pincers that protrude at the end of the abdomen, they have six legs that enable them to run very fast and thread-like antennae. They have two pairs of wings, meaning they can fly but rarely do so. Female earwigs are smaller than males, have shorter pincers, and have eight visible abdominal segments. 

Habitat: They prefer hot and humid environments and like to hide under woodpiles, rocks, boards, and other secluded areas around your home. When they do make their way into the home, they are usually found near sinks, tubs, and drains, so usually the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room.

Diet: Earwigs primarily feed on decaying plant material and wood. They also feed on flowers, leaves, fruits, fungi, and insects like aphids and worms. They have been known to invade plants and gardens and can cause quite a bit of damage to your plants. 

Are Earwigs Dangerous?

The pair of pincers at the end of the Earwig may make these creatures seem dangerous, but they are not. Besides inflicting painful pinches if they feel threatened, these insects won’t harm you, and they certainly won’t crawl into your ears when you’re asleep.

However, these creatures can be a nuisance if they infest your home. They can destroy vegetable or flower gardens and inhibit crop yield by destroying young seedlings. Some earwig species are able to produce a foul-smelling fluid for self-defense. 

How to Prevent and Control Earwigs

Earwigs love humid areas, so start by focusing on any water sources. Repair gutters that drain water next to your house and remove all woodpiles or logs sitting near your home. Seal any cracks in the foundation and make sure all doors and windows are sealed tight. 

Earwigs may not be as dangerous as beetles and termites, but they can be quite annoying. While there are several DIY methods to control earwigs, the best approach is to let a professional pest control company help you get rid of these insects. Leaving it to the experts will help keep them away from your home and out of your garden, so give Domain Pest Control a call today for a free quote on general pest control!

Read Our Latest Blogs

Cockroaches: Facts vs Myths

Cockroaches: Facts vs Myths Cockroaches are notorious creatures renowned for their tendency to rapidly infest homes, cause health problems, and spark havoc and fear. Because of their terrible reputation, most people are understandably disgusted by these pesky creatures.  Despite the negative press, cockroaches are actually quite useful creatures with an important environmental role, which many

Read More »

Differences in Termites and Ants

Differences in Termites and Ants Although termites and ants are two distinct species, they also share some similarities that make it challenging for most people to differentiate between them. Both pests are notoriously destructive creatures you wouldn’t want in your home. Often mistaken for each other are carpenter ants and termites, mostly due to both

Read More »


Mice A mouse is one of the most widespread rodents in many parts of the world. Mice are nocturnal creatures, meaning they play and forage at night and spend the day sleeping. These pesky creatures are active all year round and thus can wreak havoc in your home or business throughout the year.   Mice

Read More »
Scroll to Top

Current Service

Fill out the form below and our team will get back to you shortly, or skip the wait and give us a call


302 Hidatsa St.

Buda, TX 78610

Covered Pests


Fire ant
Red ant
Acrobat ant
Sugar/house ant


Brown recluse
Black widow
Orb weaver
Wolf spider

"Common" roaches

Oriental roach
Smokey brown roach
American roach
Brown banded roach

Rodents (extra add on)

Join Our Newsletter

Signing up for our email newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, updates, and pest control tips