EARWIGS AND PINCHER BUGS
|Picture of Earwigs
Approximately 1,100 worldwide species of earwigs (pincher bugs) have been described, but only 22 species
of earwigs )are known to exist in the United States. Fortunately, only a few species of them are household pests.
It has been thought by many homeowners that earwigs crawl into your ears while you are sleeping and
lay their eggs. This is just a myth.
IDENTIFICATION. What do they look like. Earwigs are brownish to black in color, narrow
bodied, elongate and somewhat flattened insects, 1/4 inch to 1 inch in length (as seen in above picture). Earwigs which
are sometimes refered to as pincher bugs have chewing mouthparts, and the tarsus of each leg has three segments. The
antennae of the adults earwigs have 10 segments. The nymphs have fewer antennal segments, with additional segments being added
at each molt. Adults (pincher bug's) may be winged or winged or wingless. When wings are present they barely extend
onto the abdomen and resemble the wings of the rove beetle.
The presence of forcep-like cerci which look like pinchers is the key character distinguishing earwigs
from other groups of insects. The cerci are used by the earwig (pincher bug) as both defensive and offensive weapons,
and occasionally are used to capture prey. Additionally, the morphology of the cerci is quite variable and may be used as
an aid in distinguishing between species as well as sexes. The cerci of females are much straighter when compared to the strongly
curved cerci of the male.
Home remedy to get rid of earwigs.
To trap earwigs or pincher bugs take rolls of damp newspaper and place them in your garden, basement, around
your house foundation, garage, or anyplace and leave for 24 hours.
They are attracted to the newspaper and will take cover inside the rolls. Discard newspapers in plastic
bag and place in garbage.
Scented sticky boards can also be placed out to trap them.
The following preventative measures help control earwigs (pincher bug). Eliminate
any accumulations of moisture, Also, eliminate damp conditions in crawl spaces under homes, around outside faucets, air conditioning
units and other places. Reduce lawn and flower bed watering wherever possible. Remove or alter places that attract earwigs
such as flower gardens and sheltered areas under trash and compost or wood piles. Keep grass and weeds cut short around structural
foundations. Also reduce outside lights at night, since these tend to attract ear wigs.
Earwigs gain access indoors through very small cracks and crevices. Use caulking and weatherstripping around doors,
windows, pipes and other places to exclude them. Earwigs generally enter the home at the ground level, so pay particular attention
to low areas.
Maternal care is readily exhibited among earwigs. Female earwigs(pincher bugs) dig a burrow or earthen
cell into which they deposit approximately 20 to 60 eggs. Once this is complete, the female earwig gather the eggs and
organize them into a pile. The female earwig tends to the eggs and guards the "nest" from all intruders, including her
Questions About Earwigs
I am an organic gardener...and i can't seem to get rid of pincher bugs in my garden...is the product you mentioned really
safe to use around vegetables? The bugs especially like my lettuce plants. They dig into the dirt in the garden and lay
eggs in the plants - always in the lettuce but other places as well. I want to get rid of them...so my biggest concern is...how
organic is it? Thanks for your help.
SUBJECT: Re: pincher bug problem
Non toxic Diatomaceous earth powder is completely safe to use in your garden on plants and vegetables to stop earwigs.
You can lightly dust the leaves and stems of plants and also make a barrier on the ground around the plants.Here is a home
remedy you might want to try.
If (pincher bugs) earwigs are a menace, vegetable oil can come to your rescue. Several cat food-sized cans, filled halfway
with vegetable oil, clobbers them. Set the cans where the varmints tend to be; those pesky critters crawl in the cans but
don't get out.
Subject: pincher bugs everywhere
we have pincher bugs every where, they are all in the grass outside, yesterday i pulled a lot of the long grass by the
house and sprayed them. they are in the house,, they even get in the refrigerator. how can i get rid of them. i hate them.
SUBJECT: Re: pincher bugs everywhere
Spreading non toxic diatomaceous earth powder in areas outside your home and inside your basement will help to keep pincher
bugs (earwigs) under control. DE will kill any insect that crawls through it but it is harmless to people and pets. Keeping
grass and weeds cut short will also help. Keep outdoor lighting turned off at night as much as possible as earwigs are attracted
to the light at night.
Do pincher bugs really pinch?
Yes, they can give you a small pinch with
their pincher's but it does not hurt.