If you live on the Central Coast of California, you may have noticed an increase in earwigs around your home or garden. These creepy crawlies are not harmful to humans, but their presence can be unsettling. What’s even more puzzling is that many residents are reporting that these earwigs seem to be coming from the ocean.
In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this earwig invasion and what you can do to keep them away from your home.
What are Earwigs?
Earwigs are insects with elongated bodies that range in size from 5-25mm. They have a pair of pincers on their backside that they use for defense and capturing prey. Earwigs are attracted to moist environments, which is why they are often found in gardens, under rocks, and in other damp areas.
Despite their menacing appearance, earwigs are not harmful to humans. They do not spread diseases or bite people, but they can cause damage to plants by eating the leaves and flowers.
Why are Earwigs Coming from the Ocean?
One theory behind the recent earwig invasion is related to the warming ocean temperatures along the Central Coast. As the ocean water warms, it creates a moist and humid environment that is ideal for earwigs. This environment also encourages the growth of algae and other marine plants, which provide a food source for these insects.
Another possible reason for the increase in earwigs is related to human activity. As more people move to coastal communities, there is an increase in construction and landscape activities that can disrupt the natural habitat of these insects. This disruption can cause earwigs to seek out new environments, including homes and gardens.
How to Keep Earwigs Away from Your Home
If you’re dealing with an earwig invasion at your home, there are several steps you can take to keep them away.
1. Remove Moisture
Earwigs are attracted to moist environments, so it’s important to remove any sources of moisture around your home. This can include fixing leaks, using a dehumidifier, and ensuring proper drainage in your yard.
2. Seal Cracks and Crevices
Earwigs can enter your home through small cracks and crevices, so it’s important to seal these areas. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal doors and windows, and fill any cracks in your foundation.
3. Keep Your Yard Clean
Earwigs are attracted to clutter, so it’s important to keep your yard clean and free of debris. This includes removing piles of leaves and branches, as well as clearing out any other cluttered areas.
4. Use Natural Repellents
There are several natural repellents that can help keep earwigs away from your home. These include diatomaceous earth, cedar oil, and citrus oils. Sprinkle these repellents around the perimeter of your home and in areas where earwigs are a problem.
Q: Are earwigs harmful to humans?
A: No, earwigs are not harmful to humans. They do not spread diseases or bite people.
Q: How do I know if I have an earwig infestation?
A: Look for signs of damage to plants and flowers in your garden, as well as the presence of earwigs around your home.
Q: What should I do if I find an earwig in my home?
A: Use a vacuum or broom to remove the earwig from your home, and take steps to prevent future infestations.
Q: Can I use pesticides to get rid of earwigs?
A: Pesticides can be effective in getting rid of earwigs, but they can also harm beneficial insects and other wildlife. It’s best to use natural repellents and other preventive measures first.
In conclusion, the recent earwig invasion on the Central Coast of California is likely due to a combination of warming ocean temperatures and human activity. If you’re dealing with an earwig infestation, taking steps to remove moisture, seal cracks, and keep your yard clean can help keep these pests away from your home.
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