Earwigs are small (less than an inch long) insects with large pincers at the ends of their bodies. These pincers are not dangerous to humans, and are primarily used to “battle” other earwigs. Contrary to the myths, earwigs do not burrow into human ears. They prefer moist environments, like wet soil in gardens or under home foundations. Earwigs eat decaying matter and occasionally small plants.

For the most part, earwigs are nocturnal, coming out at night to eat and move around. Curiously, they are also attracted to lights during the night, and will gather around porchlights and patios in the summer. Earwigs cannot survive in household environments for very long, and usually only venture inside for food or to escape bad weather.

Keeping a clean yard is paramount to preventing earwigs (and other pests). Clean up piles of wood, leaves and garbage, and keep a “dry moat” around the perimeter of the house – this means keeping that area free of mulch, dead leaves, rotting wood, and moist shrubs.