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Orange County, California's Top Five Earwig Questions Answered

March 15, 2022 - Earwigs

With many pests in Orange County, people can have misconceptions or, at the very least, a lot of questions. With earwigs, this is especially true because old wives' tales and fake online accounts provide all kinds of misinformation. To make sure you get answers to your biggest questions about earwigs in Orange County we've provided a handy Q&A below.

Question One: What Do Earwigs Do In Your Ear?

With a name like earwig, it's natural for people to assume that the stories about these bugs crawling into peoples' ear canals are true. In reality, they are wildly overblown. Earwigs are no more likely to crawl inside your ear than any other bug -- which is to say not very likely at all. In fact, our ear wax contains toxic compounds that insects don't want to come into contact with. Earwigs are one of those rare pests where their name is due to tall-tales rather than their actual behavior. If a bug does crawl inside your year, it certainly won't feel pleasant, but it won't eat your brain or drill through your ear canal -- or whatever other nightmare scenario you've heard of.

Question Two: Are Earwigs Dangerous?

OK, they don't really crawl in your ear, but maybe they're dangerous in some other way, right? Plenty of pests can spread diseases or pose other kinds of health risks. Earwigs aren't one of them. While their formidable rear pincers look scary, they actually can't break the skin and are mostly used to help them traverse areas with foliage and debris. Contrary to the horror stories you may have about these bugs, earwigs are pretty much harmless. While they don't spread sickness or feed on people and pets, earwigs can contaminate food sources like other scavengers. Aside from that, they are most destructive to your outdoor plants since they are often found in gardens or crawling within the grass.

Question Three: How Did An Earwig Get In My Bed?

Just because earwigs are mostly outdoor pests doesn't mean that they won't venture inside or end up there in a number of ways. Like all pests, earwigs are attracted indoors in search of food, water, and shelter. Human homes and businesses provide these in spades, so earwigs will find cracks or holes and gain access. Once inside, they look for areas to lay their eggs, usually in dark and hidden corners of a property. While this can include just about anywhere that meets those conditions, underneath or on the undersides of mattresses and bed frames can be a frequent target for invasive pests. Earwigs can also use their rear pincers to latch onto clothing, being carried directly into people's homes from outdoors. There are all kinds of ways for earwigs and other pests to make it inside, which is why early prevention is key.

Question Four: What Attracts Earwigs To Your House?

While we touched on it above, it's important to dig into the factors that attract invasive pests to your property. 

Here they are in more detail:

  • Food: Earwigs mostly eat plant matter, but they can be attracted by sugary aromas or sources of protein, especially if food is left out or crumbs gather around a property. Pests always seem to find those areas that we can't easily clean.
  • Moisture: Earwigs and other bugs are attracted to moist areas, not only for the water they provide for them to drink but for the water damage that usually provides them with easier access to the voids of our properties.
  • Shelter: Pests are attracted to debris of all kinds, from yard trimming piles outdoors or excess clutter in storage areas of our interior. All provide nesting grounds and places for them to hide and wait.

To keep earwigs away, practice basic pest prevention: Eliminate entry points, avoid moisture problems, and clean up food messes. 

Question Five: How Do You Get Rid Of Earwigs?

Ideally, property owners will address those attractants long before pest populations have a chance to move in. The trouble is that these factors are incredibly hard to completely clamp down on, and pests, pretty much by definition, are good at finding ways to subvert our best efforts at keeping them away. That's why the best form of pest protection comes from Orange County pest control professionals who can make sure nothing slips through the cracks -- literally. At Black Diamond Pest Control, we offer superior home pest control protection against earwigs and other invasive insects. We can not only address existing problems, but we can also help you avoid future infestations. Contact us today to get started on a free inspection of your property.