Earwigs in Wisconsin
Earwigs get their name from the unfounded superstition that the pests crawl into the ears of sleeping humans in order to bore into the brain. While the insects exhibit no such behavior, they are still prominent household pests throughout the world.
Earwigs enjoy a varied diet that mostly consists of plant and animal matter, regularly consuming leaves, fungi, aphids, flies, fruits, vegetables, flowers, spiders, caterpillar pupae, beetle eggs, and springtails.
Earwigs usually live outdoors feeding on plant material. Indoors, they are found in cracks and crevices and under furniture and carpeting.
Earwig Life Cycle
After mating in the late summer, females lay 30 to 55 eggs, which they gather and store in a shallow hole. The female will then stand guard over the eggs and coat them with a protective layer of saliva. Depending on the weather, the eggs hatch between 20 and 70 days.
Newly emerging earwigs are called nymphs and undergo four nymphal instars of development.
Developing earwigs reach adulthood in August or September, when they become sexually mature and start to mate.
Earwigs nibble on and damage the leaves and flowers of plants. The damage caused by adult earwigs is not enough to kill or seriously harm plant life, but the insects are capable of creating long-term problems related to the health and vitality of vegetation. Indoors, humans tend to find pests annoying and even frightening or repulsive.