Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are a common insect found throughout the world. They are known for their distinctive pincers, which they use for defense and hunting. Earwigs are also known to be pests that can cause damage to plants and crops. Understanding when earwigs emerge each year can be helpful in controlling their population and preventing damage.

Earwig Life Cycle

Before discussing when earwigs emerge each year, it’s important to understand their life cycle. Earwigs go through four stages of development: egg, nymph, adult, and senescent adult. Female earwigs lay eggs in the soil or other protected areas in the fall or early winter, which then hatch in the spring.

Nymphs are small and resemble adults but lack wings. They feed on insects, plants, and decaying organic matter. As nymphs grow, they molt several times before becoming adults.

Adult earwigs are typically active at night and hide during the day in dark, moist areas such as mulch, rocks, and debris. They feed on a variety of insects, plants, and organic matter.

When Do Earwigs Emerge Each Year?

Earwigs emerge each year in the spring when temperatures start to warm up. The exact timing can vary depending on the climate and location. In some areas, earwigs may emerge as early as March or April, while in others they may not emerge until May or June.

In general, earwigs prefer moist environments with plenty of organic matter. They are often found in gardens, under rocks or logs, and in other outdoor areas with vegetation.

Controlling Earwig Populations

If you’re dealing with an earwig infestation, there are several steps you can take to control their population:

  • Remove debris: Clean up any debris such as leaves or grass clippings where earwigs may be hiding.
  • Reduce moisture: Earwigs thrive in moist environments, so try to keep areas around your home as dry as possible.
  • Use traps: You can purchase earwig traps or make your own using rolled-up newspaper or cardboard. Place the traps in areas where earwigs are likely to hide.
  • Use insecticides: If you have a severe infestation, you may need to use insecticides to control the population. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use caution around children and pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are earwigs harmful to humans?

Earwigs are not harmful to humans. While they may look intimidating with their pincers, they are not aggressive and do not typically bite. However, they can cause damage to plants and crops.

How do I prevent earwigs from entering my home?

To prevent earwigs from entering your home, make sure all windows and doors have tight-fitting screens. Seal any cracks or openings around doors and windows. Keep the area around your home dry and free of debris.

What do earwigs eat?

Earwigs are omnivores and will eat a variety of insects, plants, and organic matter. They are often found feeding on flowers, fruits, and vegetables in gardens.

Do earwigs fly?

No, earwigs do not fly. They have wings but only use them for short gliding flights or to help them balance while climbing.

Can I use natural methods to control earwig populations?

Yes, there are several natural methods you can use to control earwig populations. These include using diatomaceous earth, neem oil, or essential oils such as lavender or peppermint. You can also introduce natural predators such as birds or beneficial insects like ladybugs.