Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They are characterized by their pincer-like cerci, which they use for defense and mating purposes. These insects have a notorious reputation for being creepy and invading homes, but the truth is that they are not harmful to humans and can even be beneficial in some cases.


Earwigs are small insects that measure between 5 and 25 mm in length. They have a flattened body shape and are usually brown or black in color. Their most distinctive feature is their cerci, which are two curved pincers located at the end of their abdomen. Earwigs use their cerci for defense, to catch prey, and for mating purposes.


Earwigs are found all over the world, but they prefer humid and warm climates. They are most commonly found in gardens, under rocks, in mulch piles, and other damp places. However, earwigs can also be found inside homes, especially during the fall and winter months when they seek shelter from the cold.


Earwigs are omnivorous insects that feed on a variety of things including plants, insects, and decaying organic matter. They are considered beneficial insects because they help to control other pests such as aphids and mites.


Earwigs are primarily nocturnal insects that hide during the day and come out at night to feed. They are not aggressive towards humans and will only use their cerci for defense if they feel threatened. Earwigs can also release a foul-smelling liquid from their scent glands as a defense mechanism.

Prevention and Control

Preventing earwigs from entering your home can be achieved by sealing cracks and gaps in doors, windows, and foundations. You should also remove any debris or clutter around your home that may attract earwigs. If you do find earwigs in your home, you can simply vacuum them up or use a sticky trap to catch them.


Are earwigs harmful to humans?

No, earwigs are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting and are not known to transmit any diseases.

Can earwigs damage my home?

No, earwigs do not cause any structural damage to homes. They may stain fabrics and walls with their feces, but this is easily cleaned up.

How can I tell if I have an earwig infestation?

The most common sign of an earwig infestation is the presence of the insects themselves. You may also notice small holes in leaves or flowers in your garden, which could indicate that earwigs are feeding on them.

Can I use pesticides to control earwigs?

Yes, you can use pesticides to control earwigs. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to use only as directed. You should also consider using natural methods of control such as diatomaceous earth or neem oil.


Earwigs are often misunderstood insects that are harmless to humans and can even be beneficial in some cases. By understanding their behavior and habitat, you can prevent them from entering your home and avoid any unnecessary fear or concern. If you do have an infestation, there are a variety of treatments available that can help you control the problem.