Finding Earwigs In Your Home Could Be A Sign Of Another More Harmful Infestation

Earwigs are pesky creatures that like to eat decaying organic matter, including weak or dead bugs. Damp basements, dark cupboards, and steamy bathrooms are hotspots for these critters in your home. While they might take a bite of your houseplants and are unsightly, you should think twice before killing that earwig. These creatures won't lay eggs indoors, aren't toxic, and don't bite. In fact, they might be helpful by warning you of a greater pest issue at hand — termites.

Spotting earwigs in your home could mean you're facing a termite infestation. Each year 600,000 homes are affected by termites in the United States, causing billions of dollars in damage and repair. These wood-eaters are usually out of sight, tunneling through timber, and the ruin is already done by the time homeowners notice them. However, earwigs can be a more visible indicator that termites are present. Here's how the two insects are related and what to do if you find earwigs in your home.

Earwigs may be a sign of termites

Spotting one or two earwigs in your home might be harmless. Their presence could signify that there is water or decaying plant matter that is drawing a couple of the insects in. However, with a large number of earwigs, that can be a sign you have a termite infestation. Termites feast on wood, whether trees, furniture, or your home's structural support beams. As the critters tunnel through the lumber and leave holes in the planks, moisture can collect in these crevices and cause the wood to rot. This moist, decaying wood is the ideal environment for earwigs.

Termites create the perfect conditions to lure earwigs into your space. So, if you don't have any attractive spots of moisture and decay inside or near your home, like houseplants, leaky hoses, or piles of leaves, widespread wood damage could be the earwig magnet. And termites may be the cause of such destruction. In the event that you find earwigs in your home, whether a few or a swarm, there are simple steps you can take to eliminate the pests and mitigate any damage.

What to do if earwigs are in your home

If you notice earwigs in your home, you need to check for moisture spots and clear them up — rake the leaf litter, turn up the dehumidifier, seal the compost bin, and fix leaky pipes. While damp, decaying areas lure them in, the earwigs are most likely coming from a crack or hole somewhere in your home. To keep earwigs out of your house, close off any crevices they can come in from.

Most importantly, have a pest control professional inspect your home. A certified technician will be able to tell you what is attracting the earwigs, whether it be termites, wood rot, or another culprit. If termites were the ones inviting the earwigs, you'd be able to prevent the wood-eaters from causing more destruction and repair the damaged lumber. Then, you can tackle the root issue to eliminate both pest species and ensure they don't return. So before you crush that earwig, remember it could just be the messenger warning you of termites.