Fact Stranger Than Fiction

One of the following statements is fact and the other is fiction, can you tell which is which? Earwig “moms” pick up and lick each of their eggs every day until they hatch.  Earwigs purposely crawl into the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain.

Although at least one movie would have us believe otherwise, if you guessed “mom” earwigs licking their eggs as fact you are correct. Regardless that earwigs are so named because of the widespread superstition that they bore into sleeping people’s brains, it is in fact fiction.

The mothering instinct in female earwigs doesn’t stop with egg licking behavior. After hatching, the young will remain in the burrow they share with mom, who returns daily with food for her young.  After the young molt their first “skin” they will venture out nightly in search of food, returning to the borrow daily.  After molting their second “skin” the young will leave the borrow permanently, making room for the next batch of eggs.

Earwigs are active at night and hide during the day in dark moist areas. The lush, landscaped environment created for our own enjoyment is frequently the perfect habitat for earwigs as well.  Features such as dense ground cover, mulch, patio stones, ornamental rocks, flower pots, firewood and dog houses all provide an excellent spot for earwigs to pass the day.  Removal of any unnecessary clutter or debris outside will reduce earwig harborage sites.

Moisture reduction is also a key factor to minimizing earwig populations. Having good drainage and grading, keeping the grass short, bagging clippings and reducing mulch levels to less than 2 inches are all good practices.  Because earwigs require moisture and are active at night, watering the lawn in the morning so it will dry before evening will help with earwig control.

If you should be experiencing a problem with earwigs, or any other pest, please contact Mr. Bugg’s Pest Patrol today for an evaluation and solution.