You may have noticed lately that you have a few more garden guests than usual. These guests are the type who seem to invite themselves and certainly aren’t ones you’d want at the dinner table. Yelling, coercing and even throwing a shoe at them just doesn’t seem to get rid of these unwelcome guests. But here’s the ugly truth: You may be unknowingly keeping these little creatures more comfortable than you’d like to think.
Introducing: The Earwig.
These guys get their name from an old wives tale that claims they can crawl into your ear and eat your brain or lay eggs. While many bugs can technically enter the ear canal, the fact that earwigs specifically will enter the ear canal, lay their eggs and eat your brain is a total myth. (We can all take a collective sigh of relief.)
Though they certainly have a worse reputation than they deserve, earwigs can be a nightmare to get rid of and depending on the time of year, you may see an uptick in activity around your home as temperatures rise and lawns are watered more often. They particularly love gardening season as well.
The beautiful gardens of spring and summer bring so much enjoyment to many families. Earwigs appreciate them too. Mulching around your home or garden beds? You’ve just created the perfect home to a little earwigs family an all of their friends. They will revel in eating the roots and decaying matter in your garden and particularly enjoy corn. Earwigs love a good ear of corn (pun intended).
Your garden isn’t the only place you’ll find these wiggling, creepy little insects. The gravel around your shrubs and home are the perfect place for an earwig party. And if your house is near a field? Prepare to be on the lookout for a full-on earwig family reunion.
But don’t panic just yet. This isn’t one of those fear-mongering “the bugs are taking over the world” articles. (Though insects do makeup 98% of the animal kingdom, so maybe that’s not too far off the mark.) There are things that you can do to help prevent this creepy crawlies from invading your space.
Don’t over-water your lawn: Speak with your sprinkler company about what is recommended for watering your lawn depending on the time of year. They may give you a few pointers on how to keep from over-watering your lawn without compromising the health of your grass. Earwigs love a nice spongy lawn, so if you’re seeing an influx of earwig activity you may need to adjust your watering.
Keep the area around your house clean: This may seem like a given, but it doesn’t take much to make an earwig happy. Earwigs feed on dead and decaying matter, so keeping the area around your home free of these things can help to reduce the population.
Seal up any holes or cracks in your home: The number one priority when it comes to controlling pests isn’t necessarily to kill every living thing from your lawn. It’s to keep pests from entering your home. This is true for earwigs as well. Even after every precaution is made, these sneaky little bugs may find a way into your space. Ensure that they won’t be living in your home by sealing up any cracks or holes. Getting a professional to do a full exclusion on your house is the best way to keep pests out..
Get professionally serviced: There is a lot to be said for someone who has great products and knows how to use them. Earwigs can be extremely frustrating for anyone. If you are dealing with an earwig infestation, chances are it won’t get better on it’s on. This means it’s time to call in the big guns. A professional pest control treatment may be your best option.
Though these creepy little guys look mean, they’re actually rather docile, so don’t scream too loud when you find one clinging for dear life on your freshly harvested produce. Earwig bites are fairly rare. However, they can pinch to the point of drawing blood, so handling them isn't the best idea.
Earwig infestations are no small thing and can be an annoyance that no one wants to deal with around their home. Professional pest control may be the best route when dealing with the problem before (and after) it gets worse.