Why Are There Earwigs In My Knoxville, TN Home?

October 15, 2021

Earwigs are weird and ugly-looking, which is enough to freak out many Knoxville home and business owners when they see one of these insects crawling across their floor. The good news is earwigs are more harmless than both their name and their looks suggest. These insects aren’t venomous, and while they can pinch, their forceps rarely break the skin. Many times, earwig pinches don’t even hurt. Still, you don’t want a houseful of these bugs crawling around. Here’s what you can do to keep them away. 

an earwig crawling on a kitchen counter

Earwigs: Myth Vs. Reality

Earwigs get their name from the idea that they crawl inside your ear to access your brain, either to eat it or lay eggs in it. This idea has no basis in reality. It comes from a Medieval European myth that has been discredited by science for a long time. Still, the name stuck. And even though earwigs don't crawl in your ear, the legend that they do still seem to follow them wherever they go.

Earwigs do have a pair of forceps on their rear end. They use these tools to catch prey, fight for mates, and defend themselves against predators. That means if you scare an earwig, it might just pinch you. However, even the nastiest earwig pinch can't do more than leave little pinpricks in your skin – if it manages to break the skin at all. That means there's no reason to be afraid of these insects. 

Earwig Diet And Behavior

Earwigs aren't picky. They'll eat just about anything they run across. Their favorite foods include everything from fungi to fallen leaves to fruit and even nectar. They can catch and eat live insects, and they'll also scavenge dead insect bodies if they run across them. Earwigs love to hang out in places where they have easy access to a meal, which is why you'll find them chilling under piles of wet leaves or inside rotten logs.

Unlike other pest varieties, earwigs prefer to stay outside. They don't root through our garbage, and they can have a hard time competing with roaches and other common indoor pests. However, the one time you might start seeing an uptick of earwig activity indoors is during inclement weather. Floods, droughts, heatwaves, cold snaps (especially during late spring or early fall), and other extreme weather events might drive earwigs inside your home as they seek shelter or moisture. 

Earwig Prevention

Since you don't have much other than moisture inside your house that could attract earwigs, your earwig prevention efforts should focus more on the exterior of your home. You can keep earwigs away using a two-pronged approach:

  1. Make it hard for them to get in. Inspect your home, looking for potential entry points like cracks and holes. Seal up all these potential entry points with silicone caulk. Also, ensure all window and door screens fit well and are free of tears or holes. Fill any gaps underneath doors or windows with weather stripping.
  2. Get rid of things that attract earwigs to areas near your home's exterior. Keep firewood dry, covered, and off the ground. Also, make sure it's stored away from your home's siding and foundation. Rake leaf litter before it gets wet and remove it from your house's vicinity. Make sure vegetation isn't too thick close to your home. 

If you do wind up getting a severe earwig infestation, they can be hard to eradicate. Earwigs avoid people as a general rule, so finding them all to kill them is almost impossible. Fortunately, here at Urbanex, we know all the tricks in the earwig playbook. Our state-of-the-art home pest control process can ensure that not only do we get rid of the entire original infestation, but new ones can't arise to take its place. So give us a call or visit our contact page to schedule your service. 

Tags: home pest control | earwigs in knowville | preventing earwigs |

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