Earwigs 101


Terra firma is home to innumerable crawling creatures, and one of the creepiest crawlies around is surely the earwig. A nocturnal insect around since the late Triassic Period, the name earwig is derived from the Old English are (ear) and wicga (insect)—perhaps relating to the folkloric claim that the bugs crawl inside people’s ears and tunnel through the brain to lay their eggs.

About the Earwig

Up to 2 inches long, the winged earwig rarely flies but can scurry as fast as a cockroach. In fact, they are often mistaken for cockroaches because of their long antennae and reddish-brown bodies. But the earwig possesses a distinctive feature in its cerci, an impressive set of abdominal pincers used to capture prey and defend itself. The male earwig’s pincers are curved, while the female’s pincers tend to be straight. Although not aggressive or dangerous to humans or dogs, earwigs will use their pincers if threatened. A curious dog may well find a nervous earwig clamped on his nose! Earwigs also can produce a foul odor when disturbed or crushed.

Because earwigs prefer a damp outdoor environment, they generally invade human habitats only if food is scarce or the weather becomes extremely dry. They can flatten out their bodies to fit into tight crevices, facilitating entry and concealment. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are favorite hangouts for earwigs. A dog’s water bowl, with the inevitable surrounding droplets, is an inviting place for earwigs to congregate. And nothing will ruin your appetite faster than opening a kitchen cabinet only to be greeted by one. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to rid your home of earwigs and prevent them from returning.


  • Kill earwigs hiding in wall or floor crevices with Bio Spot Active Care™ Flea & Tick Home Spray.
  • Protect your yard with Bio Spot Active Care™ Yard & Garden Spray to kill earwigs and other pests at the source. Shrubs, trees, grasses, and flower beds will stay earwig-free for up to four weeks.


  • Reduce lighting around doors, windows, and other entry points to your home. Despite their nocturnal proclivity, earwigs are attracted to light.
  • Don’t leave wet towels or bath rugs lying around on the floor. Earwigs are drawn to their moisture.
  • Seal cracks around doors, windows, and plumbing with caulking or weather stripping.
Did You Know?

People say that normal shedding is one of the top drawbacks to owning a dog.