Updated: June 10, 2023

Earwigs are a common insect that can be found in many parts of the world. While they are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance if they invade your home or garden. In this article, we will discuss what earwigs look like and how to identify them.


Earwigs are small insects that are about 1 inch in length. They have long antennae and a pair of pincers at the end of their abdomen. These pincers are used to defend themselves and for mating purposes.

Their bodies are flattened and elongated, with two pairs of wings. The front wings are hard and protect the hind wings, which are membranous and used for flight.

Earwigs come in different colors, including brown, black, and reddish-brown. They have a distinctive appearance that makes them easy to identify.


Earwigs are nocturnal insects that thrive in warm and humid environments. They can be found in gardens, under rocks, in piles of leaves, and in other dark and damp places.

Earwigs are attracted to light, so they may also be found around outdoor lights or inside homes near windows. They do not usually infest homes but may enter through cracks or gaps in doors and windows.


Earwigs are omnivorous insects that feed on a variety of plants and insects. They are also known to eat other earwigs, especially during times of food scarcity.

During the day, earwigs hide in dark places such as under rocks or inside crevices. At night, they come out to feed and mate. Earwigs are not aggressive towards humans but may pinch if they feel threatened.

Life Cycle

Earwigs go through three stages of development: egg, nymph, and adult. The female earwig lays her eggs in soil or other dark and moist environments. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which look like miniature versions of the adult earwig.

The nymphs molt several times before reaching adulthood. Once they reach adulthood, earwigs can live for up to a year.

How to Identify an Earwig Infestation

If you suspect that you have an earwig infestation, there are a few signs to look for. Earwigs leave behind small holes in leaves and flowers as they feed. They may also leave behind droppings that resemble small black pellets.

If you see earwigs around your home or garden, it is important to take action to prevent them from becoming a larger problem.

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent earwigs from entering your home, seal any cracks or gaps in doors and windows. Remove any piles of leaves or debris near your home, as these can provide a hiding place for earwigs.

In the garden, keep plants well-maintained and remove any dead or decaying plant matter. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control earwig populations if necessary.


Q: Are earwigs harmful to humans?

A: No, earwigs are not harmful to humans. They do not carry diseases and do not bite unless provoked.

Q: Can earwigs fly?

A: Yes, earwigs have two pairs of wings, but they are not strong flyers.

Q: How do I get rid of earwigs in my home?

A: Seal any cracks or gaps in doors and windows. Remove any debris near your home, and use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control populations if necessary.

In conclusion, earwigs are small insects with distinctive features that make them easy to identify. While they are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance if they invade your home or garden. By taking preventative measures and treating infestations when necessary, you can keep earwigs under control and enjoy a pest-free environment.