Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs, also known as pincher bugs or pincer bugs, are a common sight in many Canadian households. These small insects are known for their distinctive pincers, which they use for defense and mating purposes. Despite their prevalence in Canada, many people don’t know when earwigs first arrived in the country. In this article, we’ll explore the history of earwigs in Canada and what you should know about these pests.

Earwig Origins

Earwigs are believed to have originated in Asia, although they can now be found all over the world. They are commonly found in warm, humid climates and are particularly prevalent in tropical regions. Earwigs can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, forests, and urban environments.

Earwigs in Canada

Earwigs were first observed in Canada in the early 1900s. It is believed that they were introduced to the country through imported goods or on ships traveling from Asia. Since their arrival, earwigs have become a common pest in many parts of the country. They are particularly prevalent in British Columbia and Ontario, but can be found in other regions as well.

Earwig Behavior

Earwigs are nocturnal insects and are most active at night. During the day, they hide in dark, moist places such as under rocks or logs. Earwigs are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods, including other insects, plants, and decaying matter. They are also known to feed on crops and can cause damage to fruits and vegetables.

Preventing Earwig Infestations

There are several steps you can take to prevent earwig infestations in your home or garden. These include:

  • Removing debris: Earwigs thrive in dark, moist environments, so removing piles of leaves or other debris can help prevent them from taking up residence in your yard.
  • Sealing cracks: Earwigs can enter your home through small cracks and crevices. Sealing these openings can help keep them out.
  • Reducing moisture: Moisture is essential for earwigs to survive. Fixing leaky pipes and ensuring that your home is well-ventilated can help reduce humidity levels and discourage earwigs from taking up residence.

Treating Earwig Infestations

If you already have an earwig infestation, there are several treatment options available. These include:

  • Insecticides: There are a variety of insecticides on the market that are effective against earwigs. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using these products.
  • Traps: Earwig traps can also be effective in reducing populations. These traps are typically placed in areas where earwigs are known to congregate, such as under rocks or in gardens.


Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are not considered dangerous to humans. While they do have pincers, they are not venomous and do not pose a significant threat.

How do I know if I have an earwig infestation?

Common signs of an earwig infestation include seeing large numbers of the insects in your home or garden, as well as finding damage to crops or other vegetation.

Can I get rid of earwigs without using chemicals?

Yes, there are several non-chemical methods for controlling earwigs, including removing debris from your yard and reducing moisture levels in your home.

How long do earwigs live?

Earwigs typically live for one year. Females lay eggs in the spring, which hatch into nymphs. These nymphs will grow into adults by the fall and will overwinter before mating and laying eggs themselves.

Do earwigs fly?

No, earwigs do not have wings and are not capable of flight.

In conclusion, earwigs have been present in Canada since the early 1900s and have become a common pest in many parts of the country. While they are not considered dangerous to humans, they can cause damage to crops and vegetation. By taking preventative measures and treating infestations promptly, you can help keep earwigs from taking over your home or garden.