Controlling Outside Moisture – Controls The Pincer Beast (earwigs)

If I had only one piece of advice to give you on earwig control it would be just this;

Control the moisture and you will control the earwig. If I had a second nugget of truth to give, it would be to start this daunting task outside and you will go a LONG WAY to eliminating the earwig.

Earwigs simply love, need, require and actively seek out moisture on a daily basis in order to survive. When things get dry earwigs get on the move and so often this is under your door or through a unsealed crack and into your home. Many times earwigs are found in bathrooms or kitchens even if these areas are in the middle of your home and people wonder how it is they got so far. The desperate earwig is very adept at seeking out even the smallest hints of this life giving liquid so it really is no surprise for them to show up there. Sure you’ll occasionally have them in a dry hall or some other place but believe me they are intently searching out a moist place to rest and given enough time they will find it. Logically then, if you could keep the moisture levels so low that the earwig wouldn’t be happy or thrive you would see their populations diminish because those that wouldn’t die from the lack of it would move out to other areas that would support this absolute need.

Moisture Sources Outside

The best place to begin your moisture reduction is outside since this is where the earwig lives and breeds. The hard part of this is that is can be very difficult if not impossible to eradicate moisture sources outside. BUT! If you can make a dent in some or most of the list provided, you are well on your way to reducing your earwig population and that means- less earwigs (hopefully zero) inside. While not a complete list, this should give you a running start on places to check and possibly treat and stop the outside earwig, from ever coming in;

Earwigs can be found in;

A/C units especially drip lines — down spouts, under splash blocks & even gutters along the roof line themselves — window wells — leaf piles — welcome mats — under planters or deco items on stoops, porches or in landscaping — mulch — plantings — cracks in sidewalks or drives — flower boxes — toy boxes, sand boxes, play equipment — tall grass next to foundation or around base of any items listed here — deck drains in patio or pool decks — cracks and gaps in foundations — wood piles — mail boxes — under slabs — any debris or articles left on the ground — gardens — under stucco — in wood rot of door jambs or siding — flowers — in soil of planters — rail road tie & landscape timbers — in the ends of garden hoses — areas adjacent to standing water — under pet dishes — in rabbit cages — near squirrel & bird feeders — in crawl spaces under homes — under garbage cans — under and in wooden fencing — under patio stones — in & under dog houses — compost piles — carpets on patios — undisturbed debris — lawn ornaments — coiled hoses — gaps in pavers — under edges of Koi ponds — stored items next to home — under tarps — under above ground pools –under wooden decks — in pet doo —

If you’ve seen anything on this list and you have persistent earwigs, it may be well worth your time to investigate those areas and treat accordingly. While it’s true there are other factors in earwig control such as lighting, pest proofing and how to treat earwigs. Controlling the exterior moisture, goes farther than most give credit for, controlling the pincer beast.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Do you  help customers seal cracks?

  • I show them where to seal up if they’re interested but most often I get the blank look that says- “doesn’t your spray act as a physical barrier?” To answer your question though- I find that getting into the handy man realm isn’t my cup of tea so I shy away from it.

  • Stuto1

    Ditto, I’m not a handyman.