Updated: June 10, 2023

Earwigs are small insects that are found in many parts of the world. They have long, slender bodies, and two long, curved forceps at the end of their abdomen. The order Dermaptera includes more than 2,000 species of earwigs, which are divided into four suborders. Earwigs are considered to be beneficial insects because they prey on other harmful insects, such as aphids and caterpillars.

Life Cycle of an Earwig

The life cycle of an earwig includes four stages: egg, nymph, adult and death.

Egg Stage

Female earwigs lay eggs in protected places such as crevices, under rocks and in soil. A single female can lay up to 50 eggs at a time. The eggs are oval-shaped and white in color. They take about 10 to 14 days to hatch.

Nymph Stage

Once hatched, the immature earwigs look similar to adults, but they are smaller and lack wings. During the nymph stage, the young earwigs molt several times before reaching adulthood. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to three months depending on the species.

Adult Stage

Upon reaching adulthood, earwigs have wings and can reproduce. They feed on plants and other insects, and can live for up to one year.

Death Stage

Earwigs eventually die due to injury or old age. The average life span of an earwig is one year.

How Long Do Earwigs Live?

Adult earwigs typically live for one to two years in the wild. However, some species have been known to survive for up to three years under ideal conditions such as warm temperatures and plenty of food sources.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

Several factors can affect an earwig’s lifespan. In colder climates, earwigs may not survive as long due to their inability to tolerate cold temperatures. Additionally, if food is scarce, earwigs may not live as long since they need a steady supply of food to survive.


Earwigs have several predators including spiders, birds, and larger insects such as beetles and ants. These predators pose a serious threat to earwigs since they can quickly reduce their population size.