Pesky Little Critters

Earwig Infestation:
Reasons Why You’re Seeing More of Them

Updated: June 10, 2023

If you’ve noticed an increase in the number of earwigs in your home or garden recently, you’re not alone. Many people are reporting a rise in earwig infestations across the country. Earwigs are small insects with pincers on their backsides, and while they might look scary, they’re mostly harmless. However, that doesn’t mean you want them invading your space. In this article, we’ll explore why earwigs are becoming more prevalent and what you can do to keep them at bay.

What Are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They have elongated bodies with two pairs of wings, although some species don’t have wings at all. Earwigs are typically brown or black and range in size from 5 to 25 millimeters. They get their name from the myth that they crawl into people’s ears while they sleep, but this is entirely untrue.

Why Are Earwigs Becoming More Common?

There are several factors contributing to the increase in earwig populations:

Climate Change

Earwigs thrive in warm and humid conditions, and as global temperatures continue to rise, their ideal habitat is expanding. This means that earwigs are becoming more common in areas where they were previously rare.

Landscaping Practices

Earwigs love to hide in dark, damp places like mulch, leaf litter, and piles of wood. If you have these materials near your home or garden, you’re providing an ideal habitat for earwigs. Many people use these materials for landscaping purposes, which can inadvertently attract earwigs to their property.


Earwigs are adaptable insects that can live in a variety of environments. As more land is developed for urban areas, earwigs are finding new places to call home. This means that even if you live in the middle of a city, you could still have an earwig infestation.

How to Keep Earwigs at Bay

If you’re dealing with an earwig infestation, there are several steps you can take to get rid of them:

Remove Their Habitat

As mentioned earlier, earwigs love to hide in dark, damp places. To discourage them from taking up residence in your home or garden, remove any potential hiding spots. This includes piles of wood, leaf litter, and mulch.

Fix Leaks

Earwigs need moisture to survive, so if you have any leaks in your home, fix them as soon as possible. This will help keep your home dry and less appealing to earwigs.

Seal Cracks

Earwigs can enter your home through tiny cracks and crevices, so seal up any openings in your walls or foundation. This will help prevent them from getting inside in the first place.

Use Insecticides

If you have a severe earwig infestation, you may need to use insecticides to get rid of them. There are several types of insecticides available, but be sure to read the label carefully and follow all instructions.


Are earwigs dangerous?

While earwigs might look scary, they’re mostly harmless. They don’t bite or sting humans and aren’t known to carry any diseases.

Can earwigs fly?

Most species of earwigs have wings, but they rarely fly. Instead, they use their wings for short bursts of gliding.

Do earwigs crawl into people’s ears?

No, this is entirely untrue. Earwigs have no interest in crawling into people’s ears and are unlikely to do so unless forced.

What do earwigs eat?

Earwigs are omnivores and will eat a variety of things, including plants, insects, and decaying organic matter.

How long do earwigs live?

Most earwig species live for one year or less, although some can live up to three years.


Earwigs might be creepy-looking, but they’re mostly harmless insects. If you’re dealing with an infestation, there are several steps you can take to get rid of them. By removing their habitat, fixing leaks, sealing cracks, and using insecticides if necessary, you can keep earwigs at bay and enjoy a pest-free home or garden.