What Attracts Earwigs to My Home?

Written by a2o on . Posted in Blog

Children commonly fear earwigs because of the large pincher the insects have on their backsides. The pincher is often large and prominent enough that earwigs have been nicknamed “pincher bugs” by many. But no matter what the bugs are called, you probably do not want them invading your home.

You may spot earwigs in groups or find the insects in specific areas of the house. Help avoid the presence of the insects with some knowledge about earwigs. Once earwigs have entered your home, a professional pest control company will help get rid of the bugs and these extra tips will prevent them from returning.


Despite the large and intimidating pincher, earwigs do not proactively attack other insects, they do not want to actually crawl in the ears of humans, and they are pretty non-aggressive bugs. The pincher itself is more of a defense mechanism against other bugs or threats like birds. If you were to handle earwigs, the pincher would likely not even be able to penetrate human skin.

One of the main attractants for earwigs are houseplants you own. A majority of their diet comes from the leaves of plants, which a bunch of earwigs could end up destroying after a long feeding session.

Besides houseplants in general, earwigs feed off of several specific fruit and vegetable plants. For example, earwigs commonly feed off of any type of soft fruit plant like strawberries and blackberries. Soft vegetable plants earwigs feed off of include leaf-based vegetables like lettuce and kale.

Move these plants to the outdoors or keep an eye on them to prevent earwigs from feeding on the fruits and vegetables.

Earwigs enjoy wet areas, so if houseplants are over-watered, then earwigs may be drawn to the wet soil or standing water on the bottom trays of a pot. Keep excess water off of your houseplants to avoid the presence of earwigs.

Moist and Dark Areas

Other than the plants in your home, earwigs become drawn to moist and dark areas. The areas may include closets and basements. Even though the insects may be initially drawn to the plants in your home, the small bugs could be drawn to a more permanent area in a dark location.

While you may not see or mind earwigs in your basement, another dark and moist area in your home may be susceptible to the earwigs: your food pantry. Once inside a food pantry, groups of earwigs could feed off flour-based foods.

Along with bags of flour, don’t be surprised to see earwigs feeding off flour-based foods like cookies, breads, and cereals. Well packaged products will help keep the insects out, but they do have the ability to chew their way through cardboard.

Storage Boxes

Speaking of cardboard, storage boxes you keep in a garage or basement could act as a big attractant for earwigs. A storage box isn’t something the bugs feed off; they are actually locations where they will nest and breed more earwigs.

The nest areas are the ones you want to focus on to prevent earwig populations from growing inside your home. As an alternative to cardboard storage boxes, try to replace a majority of the boxes with plastic totes. The totes will provide you ample protection from the earwigs and other critters who make their way inside a garage or basement area.

If you choose to keep the cardboard boxes, keep each box off ground level to help prevent easy access for the insects.

Windows and Doors

When earwigs do enter the home, they will typically take the most obvious route. The main areas include windows and doors. Examine your windows or doors for any cracks, holes, or broken areas.

For example, if a screen door has a hole in it, then earwigs could make their way into the home. Also, houseplants located on the exterior of a window or door could act as an attractant and eventually lead earwigs into the home. Planters may be placed on both sides of an entry door to the home and attract the bugs.

Check for the bugs within the plants and ensure your front door remains fully shut to help prevent the earwigs from access to the home. The same idea applies to any plants you place in window boxes or on the window sill.

Another vulnerable area to consider are any windows with air conditioners installed. The moisture from the air conditioner will naturally draw the bugs towards your home. An opening or vent area could allow the earwigs to enter. Keep the air conditioner area fully sealed and block off all the gap.

The intimidating look of the earwig species is something no one wants to deal with in their home. Along with understanding the life of earwigs, our professionals at Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management will help remove the insects and their nests from your home. Contact us today.