Size: 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length
Color: Brownish with Red colored head
Location Found: Plants and near water sources
Earwigs are part of the insect order Dermaptera , which are considered to be one of the smaller insect orders. Commonly called pincher bugs, earwigs can be identified by a set of forceps-like pinchers on their abdomen. Mostly nocturnal, earwigs often hide in small, moist crevices during the day. Commonly, you will find them hiding under outdoor furniture, near water hoses, garbage cans, and non-correct fitting well caps. For most, well caps are a hot spot for spotting earwigs as these are an ideal habitat location for them. Although, earwigs do not pose a direct health threat, if they were to fall into the water supply and die the bacteria from their bodies decaying can cause health problems. The common earwig will seek shelter in homes during the winter as their bodies cannot withstand the cold temperatures of winter. The common earwig will also seek shelter in homes during the summer looking for water. However, earwigs do not cause damage in doors. With being part of what’s considered one of the smallest insect orders, earwigs are mostly scavengers, but some are omnivorous or predatory. Earwig’s diets can consist of aphids, mites, fleas, insect eggs, decaying plant and or insect matter, dahlias, marigolds, lettuce, potatoes, corn, hostas, mosses, lichens and algae. European earwigs cause severe damage to seedlings and soft fruit. Earwig’s damage on plants can reflect small holes on fruit, leaves, flowers and new plant growth. This damage can be confused with other insect traits like slugs, cutworm, caterpillar and even rabbits. If you see damage on your plants during the day but cannot locate the culprit, check plants at night for earwigs.
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