Earwigs In House
Dealing with Earwigs in Your House
Finding earwigs in your house can be a very unnerving discovery. How long have they been there? Are there just a few running about or is there a colony somewhere inside the house? These are probably just a few of the questions running around in your head. The one that is likely to be in the forefront of your mind is: how can you get rid of earwigs in your house? There are many do-it-yourself remedies that you can use to rid your house of earwigs as well as decrease the chances of them re-entering.
The Earwig’s Favorite Hiding Places
Although the urban legend surrounding earwigs says that they love to crawl into peoples’ ears to munch on their brains, the reality is that the earwig likes damp and dark places. Before you tackle your current earwig situation, you might want to get rid of any vulnerable places which might allow more earwigs to enter your home. One of their favorite places to gain entrance to a house is through the foundation where the area is moist. To make the foundation less enticing to earwigs, make sure the grass is trimmed from the area. You should also keep leaves raked back from the area which can collect moisture. Rocks and other structures should be overturned or removed from the area entirely if possible. If you don’t like the foundation to be completely exposed, try putting pebbles or gravel rocks against the foundation. This will keep exposure to a minimum and prevent water from pooling nearby.
Cracks or gaps between the windows and doors are other very likely places where earwigs (and other bugs) can help themselves into your home. Although it is possible to use putty to block up these areas, it may be wiser to use caulk. Caulk is a hard foam-like substance that is weatherproof and durable. Not only will it keep earwigs and other pests out of your house, but it can also cut down on drafts. Caulk and a caulking gun are very affordable and can easily be found at your local home improvement or hardware shop. Weather stripping is also fairly cheap and is great for sealing those slightly larger gaps in doorways and windows.
Getting Rid of Earwigs in Your House
As for the existing earwig problem, there are several things you can do yourself to get rid of these unpleasant creatures. If you have found a large concentration of earwigs in one particular spot, one option you have is the vacuum cleaner. If you have a hose on the machine, use that to remove the earwigs from their hiding spot. You should also do your best to vacuum up the little white bits around this area, which are eggs. It may take a bit of effort to use this method, as the earwigs are likely to run away at the sound of the vacuum. It does work well with, though, particularly with furniture and other easy to reach places.
If you don’t fancy the idea of using a vacuum, then boric acid is a good option to try. Boric acid is a substance that is toxic to most insects. It is a white powder that can be purchased from any store that sells insect repellent. The key to using boric acid productively is to sprinkle the powder where it will come into direct contact with the earwigs. It will not work unless they get it on themselves. If you know a path that the earwigs frequently travel or if you know where they are nesting, then these are the places where you should sprinkle the powder. Boric acid is fairly safe for humans and animals to touch, but can be harmful if ingested, so make sure your pets and children keep away from the substance.
If you cannot find where the earwigs are located, try setting a trap for them. They LOVE soggy newspapers! Try rolling up a newspaper and tying it with a rubber band. Soak this in water for a few seconds and then place it in a dark place. Chances are that the earwigs will have found their way deep into the pages of the newspaper throughout the night. Carefully lift the newspaper into a plastic bag and seal the bag. This can be disposed of in your everyday trash bin, but be careful not to throw it into the compost bin, if you have one.
Earwigs are definitely not a pleasure to see in your home, but they certainly aren’t the worst insect that could find its way in. Take precautionary measures like moving lawn furniture and outdoor cloth items away from the house. Anything that can hold moisture and provide protection is a tempting prospective home to the earwig.