Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are a common sight in many gardens and homes, and they are known for their distinctive pincers on their backsides. While it’s not uncommon to see a single earwig scurrying around, you might wonder what to call a group of them. In this article, we will explore the answer to that question and other interesting facts about earwigs.

What Are Earwigs?

Earwigs belong to the order Dermaptera, which means “skin wings.” This name was given to them because their forewings are thin and leathery. They have a flattened body shape and are usually brown or black in color. Earwigs have long antennae used for sensing their environment, and they also have two curved pincers on their abdomens. These pincers, called cerci, are used for defense and mating.

Earwigs can be found all over the world, but they prefer warm and humid environments. They are known to feed on both plant material and other insects, making them both pests and beneficial insects depending on the situation.

What Do You Call a Group of Earwigs?

A group of earwigs is called a “colony” or “nest.” However, it’s important to note that earwigs are not social insects like ants or bees. They do not live in large groups or have a specific hierarchy. Instead, earwigs usually live alone or in small groups of males and females during mating season.

How Do Earwigs Mate?

Earwigs mate by engaging in a courtship ritual that involves the male releasing pheromones to attract a female. Once the female has been attracted, the male will use his cerci to grasp onto her and guide her towards his sperm packet. The female will then use her cerci to pick up the sperm and fertilize her eggs.

After mating, the female will lay her eggs in a burrow or crevice. The eggs will hatch into small, white nymphs that resemble the adult earwig but do not have pincers yet. The nymphs will molt several times before reaching adulthood.

Are Earwigs Dangerous?

Earwigs are not dangerous to humans. While they do have pincers, they are not strong enough to cause harm to humans. In fact, earwigs are beneficial insects in some situations because they feed on other pests like aphids and mites.

However, earwigs can become a nuisance if they invade your home or garden in large numbers. They may feed on your plants or crawl into your home looking for shelter. If you are experiencing an earwig infestation, it’s best to contact a pest control professional for help.

How Can You Prevent Earwigs from Invading Your Home?

To prevent earwigs from invading your home, you can take several steps:

  • Keep your home clean and free of clutter.
  • Seal any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation or walls.
  • Trim back any vegetation that is touching your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home.
  • Keep outdoor lights off at night as they attract earwigs.


In conclusion, a group of earwigs is called a colony or nest. While they may look intimidating with their pincers, they are not dangerous to humans and can even be beneficial in some situations. By taking steps to prevent them from invading your home, you can enjoy their presence without the nuisance.


Q: Do earwigs fly?

A: No, earwigs do not fly. They have wings, but they are not strong enough for sustained flight.

Q: Do earwigs bite?

A: While earwigs have pincers, they are not strong enough to cause harm to humans. Earwigs are not known to bite.

Q: Can earwigs swim?

A: Earwigs are not good swimmers and will usually avoid water if possible.

Q: Are earwigs nocturnal?

A: Yes, earwigs are primarily active at night and will hide during the day.