Live in the Chicago, IL area? See Why Earwig Control Is a Must

When you were young, you may have found earwigs—and their reported habit of attacking the brain via the ear canal—distressing. Now, as a home or business owner, you know better. Earwigs cannot reach the brain in this way (though some have crawled into unsuspecting people’s ears). But that doesn’t make them less of a nuisance.

If you live or work in the Chicago, IL area, earwig control presents a unique challenge. Below you’ll learn how to identify these pests, keep them out, and treat the infestation.

How to Spot Earwigs

The United States has 22 species of earwig. Luckily, most species look similar so you can identify by sight.

Earwigs exhibit narrow, flattened bodies that are colored black or brown. They have a set of pincers at the back of their bodies and antennae at the head. While the pincers look intimidating, they lack the strength to harm humans.Pest I13-790bd63ca4

Earwigs thrive in moist areas protected from direct sunlight. You may find earwigs in a basement or crawlspace, or under possessions that block the sun’s rays.

These insects are not social so large-scale infestations rarely occur in the Chicago, IL area. Earwig control often consists of treating the infestation, then removing vegetation from around the home and preventing future entry.

How Indoor Earwigs Enter Your Home

Most earwigs live outdoors and pose the biggest threat to gardens, where they eat plant material. However, earwigs enter homes in several ways. Below you’ll find the most common methods of infiltration:

  • In Bundles: Earwigs nest in moist, dark areas. Sometimes they penetrate storage boxes, lumber piles, packed tents, and other items you willingly bring into your home. When you bring the bundle inside, the insects come with you.
  • In Houseplants: If you leave your plants outside, they can attract earwigs. Often earwigs position themselves under plant pots in the tray meant to catch water. On occasion, earwigs may even take up residence in over-watered plant soil.
  • Through Gaps and Cracks: Earwigs enter homes through any gaps or cracks open to the inside. This includes obvious vulnerable spots, like missing basement window screens, as well as less conspicuous crevices, like those found around improperly sealed doors.

How to End the Infestation

When you notice an infestation, contact a Chicago, IL area earwig control specialist. While you wait for extermination (or attempt to prevent further infestation), remove anything that makes the area around your home wet or dark like overgrown foliage.