Where did the earwig get her name? Probably from the old wives tale that earwigs burrowed into the brains of humans through the ear and laid eggs. Yes it does sound like an episode from the Twilight Zone.
Earwigs are easy to recognize because they have pincers coming off the end of the abdomen. They are about .25 – 1.25 inches long, flattened and usually brown to black in color. Some have tan markings on the body or legs. Earwigs have short wings; the top wings are leathery while the bottom wings are membranous. The pincers, or forceps, are used in defense.
Earwigs feed at night and usually eat other insects. They may supplement their diet with decaying organic matter. They can cause damage to the landscape when there are large populations. They eat foliage of plants leaving ragged edges or irregular holes.
To avoid having an influx of earwigs be sure to keep your grass cut short, fix any water leaks, seal cracks and crevices into the home with caulk or expanding foam, check weather stripping and replace if cracked or worn, stuff weep holes with copper mesh and keep down the amount of mulch used to 2 – 3 inches. Call your pest management professional to come and treat with a product labeled for earwigs.