Combatting Earwigs Indoors and Out By: Nathan Woolf Date: March 5, 2015If fearsome-looking bugs featuring a set of nasty-looking pincers are scurrying about your home, chances are they are earwigs. While not dangerous to humans, earwigs wreak havoc on certain plants, although they also eat many “bad” bugs. Nonetheless, most people could do without their presence in their homes and yards. The best method of dealing with them is preventing their entry into your home.Earwigs Love MoistureIndoors or out, earwigs gravitate to moist areas. They feed at night and hang out in dark, moist places during the day.Common Earwig Daytime HangoutsSprinkler system expansion jointsDrip irrigation system connectorsBeneath concrete slabs or larger rocks located near irrigated areasUnderneath loose clods of dirtBeneath wood boardsUnder densely grown vines or weedsWithin damaged fruit (such as peaches or apricots)The underside of rotted woodOmnivorous EarwigsEarwigs are omnivores, and their preferred foods include:AphidsMitesInsect eggsMarigoldsPetuniasDahliasHostasSoft fruitsIndoor EarwigsEarwigs inside the home pose no real danger to humans, despite old tales of their ear canal-crawling, brain-sucking proclivities.Why Earwigs Come InsideArid weather conditions make it hard to find moist areas outsideOutdoor temperatures dip too lowTo search for food, although little they find indoors appeals to themHow Earwigs Enter HousesFor earwigs, it is all about moisture, and so they may follow a moisture trail into the houseBoxes or household items stored in a damp area and brought inside may transport earwigsSince foundation cracks often coincide with moisture, earwigs find their way in through small exterior openingsEradicating Earwigs, Indoors and OutEarwigs that enter homes in search of water and food often find the indoor climate hostile.Most home interiors are far too dry for moisture-loving earwigs, and, as a result, they dry up and die rather quickly.Sweep up or vacuum up any earwigs found indoors, but be sure to kill them or they will just come back in, given the chance.Keeping earwigs out requires barriers and unappealing conditions (dryness).Maintain good barriersSeal both outdoor cracks as well as indoor ones (baseboards, tiles, and flooring) with caulkKeep any moisture harboring items away from the home’s foundationInstall new or replace worn weatherstripping around doors and windows, as this keeps earwigs out and prevents light from seeping out around door edges (more on that below!)Place steel wool around pipe openings beneath sinksYard maintenanceDo not overwater plants and gardensRemove plant and leaf litter, woodpiles, rolled-up carpets, tarps, and pool or patio umbrellas and equipment from the home’s perimeterTrim landscaping so it does not touch the houseKeep downspouts and drains in good working order so that they properly remove and disperse waterRemove ivy growing on the side of the houseClean out roof guttersGrade gardens and landscaping so that groundwater flows away from structures and does not pool anywhereMake sure crawlspaces are ventilated so they do not become dampLight and the Average EarwigIt seems counterintuitive, but earwigs have a natural curiosity for light. Outdoor lighting may be one culprit in attracting large numbers to your yard. With a nearby window (or even light streaming out from the inside), earwigs may find a way into your home. Consider switching to yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs, and maintain weatherstripping.Trap Them If You Dare—or Call a ProfessionalAs mentioned, common damp yard items can attract earwigs—but you can use this to your advantage. Provide a place that appeals to them and you may be able to get rid of a lot of them once they discover the bounty. Some people even use specialized traps filled with “attractive” concoctions containing everything from beer to the water in which tuna is packed.Alternatively, remove the debris and lawn items that attract them. They may just stay away on their own!