Physical Characteristics

The adult earwig is about 1/4 inch to 1 inch long and has an elongated body. The earwig ranges in color from pale brown with dark markings to reddish brown to black. On its tail is a forcep-like pincer: straight for females, curved for males. 




The Earwig gets its name from an old European superstition that this insect would enter a human’s ear and bore its way into the brain. Earwigs are nocturnal; during the day, they hide in moist, shady places – under stones, logs, even in mulch. Earwigs are the gourmands of the arthropod world – they’ll feed on living or dead plants, living or dead insects, and will occasionally damage vegetables, flowers, fruit, shrubs and trees. They also will dine on aphids, which makes them a beneficial predator.


Earwigs are classified as occasional invaders, and if they’re getting into your house, it’s by mistake. Your Clark technician can point out ways to keep them outside, where they belong. This integrated pest management (IPM) practice is called exclusion.

Latin name: Forficula auricularia