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Mike's Pest Control, Inc.
735 W. League City Parkway
League City, TX 77573

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Earwigs Accidental Home Insect Invaders

Mike's Pest Control Library

Earwigs are abundant in North Texas and are a nuisance when they invade homes. They are rarely harmful to man, but have large, pincher-like abdominal appendages called forceps, which present a formidable appearance.

Earwigs have flattened bodies and can enter homes through very small cracks. However, they are accidental invaders and do not reproduce indoors.

A few earwig species cause some damage by feeding on crops and ornamental plants but most play a beneficial role by feeding on other insects. Some species emit a foul odor. However, the most common complaint against the earwig is its mere presence in homes and apartments. Its name comes from a European superstition that the insect would enter the ear of a sleeping person and bore into the brain.

Biology and Description

Earwigs are medium-sized insects ranging from 5 to 31 mm (1/4 to 1-1/4 inches) in length. They are flattened from top to bottom, which allows them to crawl through extremely small cracks. Their color ranges from brown to black and some species have yellow or buff-colored stripes or a reddish coloring on the head and body. All earwigs have a pair of hardened abdominal appendages which protrude backwards as a tail. These appendages vary between species and from male to female. Adult earwigs also have a short, leathery pair of wings.

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