Earwigs – Signs Of An Infestation And Treatment Options
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Earwigs are tiny insects of the Dermaptera family. The body is elongated, ranging between 2-3/4 by 3 inches in length. The abdomen is covered with “cerci,” tiny appendages that are shaped like medical forceps. The main purposes of the cerci are grasping and sensory. It is not unusual for the earwig to utilize its cerci in battle, during copulation, and moving from place to place.
Experts believe there are more than 900 insects belonging to the Dermaptera family. If you ask most people in Denver, they will admit to being familiar with the earwig.
The longest earwig species today is the Saint Helena Giant, which has been recorded at three inches in length. Some earwig species have wings while others do not.
To differentiate between the female and male earwig, experts recommend examining the cerci. The female’s cerci are slightly larger than the male’s. The curvature of the female cerci is more revealing than the male.
While winged-earwig can fly, it rarely does for one reason or another. A flying earwig may catch you off guard since the insect rarely utilizes its wings to fly.
Earwig Infestations – Why Is My Home A Target
Earwigs are drawn to moisture and warmth. They can be found living near water sources, such as the shower, commode, and plumbing pipes. In its natural habitat, the earwig will opt to live in warm, damp areas. Finding the perfect place to build a suitable nest outdoors in the winter is extremely difficult for the earwig. This is why these insects work diligently to access homes and businesses.
Earwigs – Harmless Or Dangerous
Earwigs are not classified as “dangerous” insects. However, they have been known to be aggressive in dangerous situations. Do not try to pick up an earwig without gloves because the likelihood of getting pinched is extremely high.
Earwigs do not generate venom but they will utilize their cerci to protect themselves.
Earwig Infestations – Treatment Options
Traps, pesticides, and insecticides are utilized to eradicate earwig infestations. Mild to moderate infestations can easily be eliminated with a single pesticide and traps. More severe infestations may warrant a professional extermination home visit.
These insects are also drawn to bright lighting. When your lights are bright, it is an invitation to your home.
Denver, Colorado has a decent selection of licensed exterminators. These professionals are very familiar with the earwig. If you are unsure which insect is living in your home, request an in-home inspection. Most exterminator companies offer free inspections to the residents of Denver.
Earwig Infestation Treatment – Is It Safe
This is not a simple “yes” or “no” answer. In fact, many factors that will impact treatment. These factors include insecticide/pesticide type, infestation severity, the application process, and extermination method.
Most insecticides and pesticides have been shown to contain chemicals that pose a risk to humans and pets. Following the manufacturer’s application instructions will help minimize these risks for your home.
If you are concerned about these chemicals, you should only consider organic and natural insecticides and pesticides. Stick with traps and organic pesticides to eradicate your earwig infestation.
Earwig Infestation Prevention
The best and only way to prevent an earwig infestation is quarterly, visual home inspections. Look in problematic areas, such as the kitchen, bathroom, garage, and laundry room. All of these areas offer a warm shelter, with a probable food source.
The earwig diet consists of rotting vegetation, such as carrots, parsnips, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Sealing off cracks and crevices will also eliminate any potential access points for the earwig. Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. Utilize a dehumidifier in damp areas to reduce moisture.