Pest Control Services


Diet:
Herbivore
Avg Life Span:
1 year
Size:
80 mm (3.1 in)
Weight:
.8 gram


Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera, found throughout the Americas, Eurasia, Australia and New Zealand. With 1,800 species in 12 families, they are one of the smaller insect orders. Earwigs have characteristic cerci, a pair of forceps pincers on their abdomen, and membranous wings folded underneath short fore wings, hence the scientific order name, "skin wings." Some groups are tiny parasites on mammals and lack the typical pincers. Earwigs rarely use their flying ability.

Earwigs are nocturnal; they often hide in small, moist crevices during the day, and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops is commonly blamed on earwigs, especially the common earwig Forficula auricularia.

Earwigs have five molts in the year before they become adults. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs may care for their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over offspring until their second molt. As the nymphs molt, sexual dimorphism such as differences in pincer shapes begins to show.

Few earwigs survive winter outdoors in cold climates. They can be found in tight crevices in woodland, fields and gardens. Out of about 1,800 species, about 25 occur in North America, 45 in Europe (including 7 in Britain), and 60 in Australia.

Look at other pictures of common pests and descriptions we have by clicking here.

Please keep in mind these are just the most common pest we deal with on a regular basis. There are many, many other pests we can deal with that are not in our database.  Just call us and we can help.

Not the Pest Your looking for?

Earwig (Dermaptera) Details

Earwig Fast Facts