Earwigs are small insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They have elongated bodies, long antennae, and pincers at the end of their abdomen. Earwigs are commonly found in gardens, under stones or logs, and in other damp areas. One of the most interesting things about earwigs is their diet. In this article, we will explore what earwigs eat, including wood.
What Do Earwigs Eat?
Earwigs are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Their diet mainly consists of insects, spiders, mites, and other small invertebrates. They also feed on decaying plant matter, fruits, and vegetables.
Earwigs are known to be scavengers and will eat just about anything they can find. They have been observed feeding on dead insects and other arthropods. They are also attracted to sweet and sticky substances such as honeydew produced by aphids.
Do Earwigs Eat Wood?
Yes, earwigs do eat wood. While they are not considered to be primary wood-destroying insects like termites or carpenter ants, they can still cause damage to wooden structures over time.
Earwigs are attracted to moist and decaying wood because it provides them with a source of food and shelter. They will often burrow into wooden structures such as fence posts or garden furniture to create a nest.
If left untreated, earwig infestations can cause significant damage to wooden structures. It is important to take preventative measures to keep earwigs away from your property.
How Can You Prevent Earwig Infestations?
There are several things you can do to prevent earwig infestations on your property:
Remove debris: Earwigs love damp and dark places like piles of leaves or mulch. Clear away any debris from your property to discourage earwigs from hiding there.
Reduce moisture: Earwigs are attracted to moist areas. Fix any leaks or standing water around your property.
Seal entry points: Earwigs can enter your home through cracks and crevices. Seal any entry points to prevent them from getting inside.
Use insecticides: There are several insecticides that can be used to kill earwigs. However, it is important to use them safely and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do earwigs bite humans?
Yes, earwigs can bite humans but they are not aggressive and only do so when they feel threatened. Their pincers are used primarily for defense and mating.
Are earwigs harmful to plants?
Earwigs can be harmful to plants if they feed on them. They are known to feed on fruits, vegetables, and flowers. However, they also feed on other insects that can be harmful to plants such as aphids.
Can earwigs cause damage to wooden structures?
Yes, earwigs can cause damage to wooden structures over time if left untreated. They are attracted to moist and decaying wood because it provides them with a source of food and shelter.
How do you get rid of an earwig infestation?
There are several ways to get rid of an earwig infestation including removing debris, reducing moisture, sealing entry points, and using insecticides. It is best to contact a pest control professional for severe infestations.
In conclusion, earwigs are omnivorous insects that eat both plants and animals. Their diet includes insects, spiders, mites, decaying plant matter, fruits, and vegetables. They can also cause damage to wooden structures over time if left untreated. By taking preventative measures such as removing debris and reducing moisture, you can keep earwigs away from your property.
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