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Attack of the Florida Earwig…It’s All About the Defense

earwig-751492_1280Earwigs are odd-looking, slender, shiny black insects with pincers on their abdomens. They are approximately 1-2” in length and tend to congregate in damp areas. Many species of earwigs have the ability to produce a foul-smelling substance as a line of defense. Apparently, their habit of crawling into ear canals is a myth, but the one instance of a written report on the insect creeping into the damp, warm inner ear occurred at the time it was named. The name stuck, but, thankfully, their habit of occupying ears did not. Learn how you can keep earwigs out of your home by reading the following information brought to you by your Orlando pest control company, Apex Pest Control.

  • Their Smell: The odor an earwig produces may be a pheromone, which draws other near earwigs. If you note one or two earwigs under a damp surface, such as a pet water bowl, gently remove them before the pheromone is released.
  • Their Love of Water: Because damp areas are a huge draw for earwigs, these insects are easily controlled by removing wet towels and clothing from the floor, repairing leaks, and elevating pet water dishes. If you note an infestation, sweep the insects out of the house. Chances are they are living outside and the pheromones of a single insect attracted some inside your home. If you have water leaks inside or outside your home, earwigs may take advantage of the abundant water supply and arrive in droves. Once the leaks are repaired, the earwigs will find a new place to gather.
  • What Harm are They? Earwigs cause no structural harm to homes or people, even their pincers are ineffective, which means an interior infestation is generally difficult to pinpoint. Outside, though, earwigs can damage plants by eating through leaves and plant stems. Plant damage from an earwig mimics caterpillar damage.
  • How to Spot Them: Outside, walk the perimeter of your home in the evening since they are nocturnal, shining a flashlight along the foundation. Earwigs are easily spotted since they gather in numbers and may appear at ground level or in cracks directly above the foundation.
  • Prevention: To prevent exterior infestations, fix any leaks, especially around the air conditioner. Earwigs are prone to hiding in decaying mulch, old patches of wet leaves, and in gutters that have not been maintained. Because earwigs are subterranean, the proper insecticide is necessary to reach their nesting areas. Finding the nests is the ultimate form of defense, and spraying the perimeter of your home will prevent interior visits.

Contact Apex Pest Control, the premier Orlando pest control company, at (866) 675-4070 if you note earwigs lurking inside your home or within your garden. While they may not be dangerous, they are certainly not welcome! Read our past blogs for more information pertaining to pest control, lawn maintenance, and more.

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