Earwigs are very common pests around homes in Atlanta. These insects were once believed to crawl into human ears and sew them shut.

Identification

  • Have a pair of forcep-like appendages on the rear of the abdomen which contributed to the medieval belief that the insect could sew the ear shut

Environment

  • Can exist in large numbers around homes that have large quantities of mulch and organic matter around the foundation
  • Will enter through cracks in the slab or around door and window frames

Threats

  • Do not cause any damage to the structure, but can be a nuisance if in your home
  • Some species can emit a noxious odor
  • Generally beneficial decomposers of organic matter when outdoors, but some species will attack ornamental plants and vegetables
  • Strawberries are a particularly attractive target
  • Females will dig a burrow up to 9 inches deep under mulch and lay a cluster of eggs
  • Eggs hatch into nymphal earwigs which will leave the burrow and begin the path to adulthood

Treatment

  • Granular baits around the exterior perimeter
  • Residual spray applications around the perimeter

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