Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are fascinating insects that can be found in various environments across the world. These insects are known for their pincer-like appendages at the end of their bodies, which they use for defense and to capture prey. Earwigs are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active during the night. However, there are certain conditions that can increase or decrease their activity levels.

Factors That Affect Earwig Activity

  1. Temperature: Earwigs are cold-blooded creatures, which means their activity levels depend on the surrounding temperature. They are most active when the temperature is warm and humid. During hot summer nights, earwigs may be more active than usual as they search for moisture.

  2. Light: Like most nocturnal insects, earwigs prefer darkness and tend to avoid light. They are most active during the night when it is dark and cool outside. Artificial lights, such as streetlights or porch lights, may attract earwigs and increase their activity levels.

  3. Moisture: Earwigs require moisture to survive and reproduce. They are most active when there is high humidity or after rainfall when moisture is abundant. In dry environments, earwigs may become less active as they search for water sources.

  4. Seasonal Changes: Earwig activity levels may change with the seasons. In some regions, earwigs may be more active during the spring and summer months when temperatures are warmer and rainfall is more frequent. During the fall and winter months, earwigs may become less active as temperatures drop.

Identifying Earwig Activity

Earwig activity can be identified by several signs, including:

  • Damage to plants: Earwigs feed on leaves and flowers of plants, causing visible damage to foliage.
  • Presence of earwig droppings: Earwig droppings resemble black pepper and can be found near areas where the insects are active.
  • Sightings of earwigs: Earwigs are nocturnal creatures, so they may be difficult to spot during the day. However, if you see them crawling around your home or garden at night, it’s a sign that they are active.

Controlling Earwig Activity

If earwigs are causing damage to your plants or invading your home, there are several ways to control their activity:

  1. Remove hiding places: Earwigs hide in dark, moist areas during the day. Removing debris and clutter from your yard can help reduce their hiding places.
  2. Reduce moisture: Since earwigs require moisture to survive, reducing moisture sources around your home can help control their activity. Fixing leaky faucets and removing standing water can help reduce earwig populations.
  3. Use pesticides: There are several pesticides available that can be used to control earwig populations. However, it’s important to use them carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid harming beneficial insects or polluting the environment.


Q: Are earwigs harmful to humans?

A: Earwigs do not pose a significant threat to humans. Although they have pincers, they rarely use them on humans and do not carry diseases.

Q: Can earwigs fly?

A: No, earwigs do not have wings and cannot fly.

Q: How long do earwigs live?

A: Earwigs typically live for about one year.

Q: Are earwigs beneficial insects?

A: Yes, earwigs can be beneficial insects as they feed on other insects such as aphids and mites.

Q: Do earwigs eat wood?

A: No, earwigs do not eat wood but may be attracted to moist or decaying wood as a hiding place.

In conclusion, earwigs are fascinating insects that are most active during warm, humid nights. By understanding the factors that affect their activity levels, you can identify and control earwig populations around your home or garden.