Earwigs

Pest Control Methods

earwigEarwigs have an elongated and flattened or cylindrical body. They can be winged or wingless, and they have chewing mouthparts. The abdomen is long, flexible and telescopic. The two forcep-like cerci on the end of the abdomen are heavily hardened and vary in shape and size between species. The forewings, called ‘tegmina’, are short and lack veins. The large, membranous and semicircular hindwings fold up fan-like under the tegmina and can be unfurled or folded very quickly.

They come in a range in colours, including: yellow, yellow brown, orange brown, reddish brown, dark brown and black, and sometimes are a combination of these. Earwig size range from 5 to 50 mm in length.

Most earwig species are found in the wetter parts of Victoria, usually living under logs, rocks, in the soil and sometimes in the nests of ants and termites. The forceps are used for defence, catching and carrying prey and sometimes to help unfold the fanlike, membranous hindwing before flight. In some species the male and female may use the forceps to grip each other during copulation.

Earwigs are mostly omnivorous eating a wide variety of live and decaying plant and animal material.

The life cycle of earwigs includes some unusual behaviour. After mating, the female lays 20-80 eggs in rotting vegetation, under logs or rocks. Sometimes the male assists with the nest building, but he is given his marching orders when the female is ready to lay her eggs. The females care for the eggs by collecting them up if they become scattered and clean the eggs by licking off fungus and parasites. The eggs will hatch after 2-3 weeks.

The young basically look the same as adults and moult 4 or 5 five times before reaching maturity. In winged species, the wings are not fully developed until the final moult. The mother will stay with her young during the first couple of stages, protecting and feeding her brood, and at this stage the females may even become cannibalistic.

The cost for Professional Pest Control for Earwigs

The cost for professional pest control of earwigs, using professional strength low hazard (non-solvent based) insecticides registered for earwigs eradication, will depend on earwigs species, the size of property, the extent of infestation and the ease of access. Please call Fumapest Termite & Pest Control on 1800 113 112 for a FREE quotation.

Consumer Protection Advice – Pesticide Safety Issues

Pesticide safety be wary of very cheap prices for earwigs control – check which pesticides are to be used. The far cheaper, less effective, solvent based pesticides can be harmful in premises where occupants may suffer from asthmatic or other bronchial ailments.

Be careful when selecting a pest controller, make sure they have the experience and the knowledge of earwigs and earwig control pesticides.