Earwigs: A nuisance pest

The dreaded earwigs we have heard all the horror stories connected with them. As a kid, a lot of us remember being told that earwigs would burrow into our ears while we were sleeping with those menacing looking pincers, they have been making children everywhere terrified to leave their ears exposed when camping ever since. But the contrary to popular legend they do not climb into ears and lay eggs in the brains. That is just not true.

You can quickly recognize an earwig due to their pincers that protrude from their flexible abdomens. They look very menacing and can be intimidating to anyone that comes into contact with them. Now, these pincers aren’t made to hurt people, but rather to ward off predators, catch prey and play a role in mating rituals. They rarely bite, however, if they do they can cause a little pinch.

These scary little insects want a comfortable environment that is out of the weather. They will move inside when the weather gets cooler, find a wet basement or another moist area indoors and take up residence for the winter months. They are attracted to light and will crawl around looking for tiny crevices, holes or gaps that create an entryway into your humble abode, and they don’t’ need much room to crawl through since they are somewhat flat.

Whether they are indoors or outdoors, they are feeding on dead plants and insects and the females are laying eggs and tending to their young. In other words, they are growing their population, which means an annoying infestation in your home and yard. And, nobody wants a bunch of earwigs scurrying around day and night.

European earwigs can cause substantial damage to seedling plants and soft fruit as well as to sweet corn. Damaged seedlings may be missing all or parts of their leaves and stem. Leaves on older plants, including fruit trees, have numerous irregular holes or are chewed around the edges.

Earwigs may attack soft fruit such as apricots, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries but don’t harm hard fruit such as apples.

On corn, earwigs feed on silks and prevent pollination, causing poor kernel development. Earwigs may also seriously damage flowers including zinnias, marigolds, and dahlias.

Let us look at some evidence about earwig infestation:

Weather drawing out earwigs in large numbers on Central Coast

Oct 22, 2016,KSBY

With the warm weather this week,coastal residents are seeing an increase in certain critters in and around their homes.

Mary Cottle of Morro Bay was out on her porch this week when she noticed her garden overrun by the intruders.

“They are all over the place. They were crawling on my windows,” said Cottle. She says not only were the earwigs crawling around her, the uninvited guests tried to follow her inside her home. “They were very, very much trying to get into my house. It was like a horror movie.”

But her home isn’t the only one to be invaded this week. Exterminators at Brezden Pest Control have been busy picking up phone calls.

Earwig invasion: Pincer bugs wriggle into S.F. Homes

July 1, 2016,Argus Leader

Kristy Seiler returned from a peaceful vacation to find her home overrun by six-legged intruders.

“They were everywhere,” said Seiler. “In the sinks, in the drain, in the gas burner, in my son’s keyboard, on the walls.

The sight of the tiny, roach-like pincer bugs was enough to make Seiler want to move, she said, but her home isn’t the only one to be invaded this summer.

“I have two young kids, and I would find (earwigs) by the dozens in their sock drawers,” Johannsen said.”I’d take out a folded shirt and three would fall out.”

Johannsen said she thought it was just her house, but after posting on social media, she learned several of her friends were having issues with earwigs, too.

Earwigs actually are beneficial insects, most of the time. They’re part of a large group of creatures that are sanitary engineers; they help clean up the environment by feeding on decaying plant material and live and dead insects.

The current insecticides are used to control this menace. However, earwig is a hardy insect and the chemicals used in most over-the-counter products are completely ineffective to an earwig infestation but can be very dangerous to the home.

C Tech Corporation offers a range of non-toxic, non-hazardous anti-insect aversive, which can be successfully used to keep this pesky creature at bay. TermirepelTM can be easily described as insect aversive, used against all types of insects and which works on the mechanism of repellency. It means that it does not kill the target insects but only repel them, thus balancing the ecology and helping in maintaining the goal of sustainability.

TermirepelTM masterbatch can be incorporated into wires, cables, pipes during the manufacturing process, also in agricultural films to protect crops. TermirepelTM liquid concentrate can be mixed in paints in a predetermined ratio and can be applied on walls and other applications and lacquer can be applied as a topical application on fences, wooden objects, furniture, walls, ceilings etc. to keep earwig away from homes, buildings as well as from the crops.

The repelling mechanism of the product would ward off the earwigs and other insects.

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