Pesky Little Critters

States with Earwigs:
Where to Find These Pincered Insects

Updated: June 10, 2023

Earwigs are a common household pest that can be found in many parts of the United States. These insects, also known as pincher bugs, get their name from the pincers on their tail end, which they use for defense and to capture their prey. While earwigs are generally harmless to humans, they can cause damage to plants and crops, making them a nuisance for gardeners and farmers.

In this article, we will explore the states where earwigs are commonly found, their habitats, and how to prevent them from taking over your home and garden.

Where Are Earwigs Found in the United States?

Earwigs are found in every state in the United States. However, they are more prevalent in certain regions due to their preferred habitats. Earwigs thrive in moist environments, so areas with high humidity levels and plenty of vegetation are prime locations for these insects.

In general, earwigs are most common in the following states:

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Arizona
  • Texas

However, earwigs can be found in any state where the climate is suitable for them.

Habitats of Earwigs

Earwigs prefer dark, damp environments, such as under rocks or in rotting logs. They also like to burrow into mulch and soil to lay their eggs. In homes, earwigs are often found in basements, bathrooms, and other damp areas.

Earwigs are most active at night and feed on a variety of plants and insects. They are attracted to light sources and may be found near outdoor lights or inside windowsills.

How to Prevent Earwigs

Preventing an earwig infestation begins with keeping your home and garden clean and dry. Here are some tips for preventing earwigs:

  • Remove debris from your yard, such as fallen leaves and rotting wood.
  • Keep your gutters clean and free of debris to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Seal up any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation, windows, and doors.
  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas of your home, such as basements and bathrooms.
  • Place sticky traps near light sources to capture earwigs.

How to Get Rid of Earwigs

If you already have an earwig infestation, there are several ways to get rid of these insects:

  • Vacuum them up: Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any earwigs you find in your home.
  • Use bait traps: Set up bait traps around your home and garden to lure earwigs in and trap them.
  • Apply insecticide: Apply an insecticide spray or powder around your home and garden to kill earwigs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are generally not dangerous to humans. While they do have pincers on their tail end, they rarely use them to pinch people. However, earwigs can cause damage to plants and crops.

How do I know if I have an earwig infestation?

If you see large numbers of earwigs in your home or garden, you may have an infestation. Look for them in damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms, or near light sources.

Can I prevent earwigs from entering my home?

Yes, keeping your home and garden clean and dry is the best way to prevent earwigs from entering. Seal up any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation and keep gutters clean and free of debris.

How do I get rid of earwigs naturally?

There are several natural remedies for getting rid of earwigs, including diatomaceous earth, essential oils, and boric acid. However, these methods may not be as effective as insecticides or bait traps.

Can earwigs fly?

No, earwigs cannot fly. They can only crawl and move short distances by using their pincers to grasp onto surfaces.


Earwigs are common household pests that can be found in every state in the United States. They thrive in moist environments and can cause damage to plants and crops. However, with proper prevention and control methods, you can keep these pincered insects at bay and enjoy a pest-free home and garden.