Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
INTELLIGENT CONTROLS FOR EARWIGS
Earwig females tend their young. Like roaches, they are crack and crevice oriented. They place their eggs in moist depressions or holes, guard them, groom them until they hatch, and take care of the early stage nymphs. Earwigs grow with gradual/simple metamorphosis: older nymphs and adults harbor together - their gregarious behavior is (like the cockroach) the result of an aggregation pheromone.
Approximately 1,100 species of earwigs have been described worldwide. About 22 species occur in the U. S., but only a few are household pests. The common name of "earwig" comes from an old European superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. The old Anglo-Saxon word earwig literally means "ear-creature". This belief is basically without foundation; only occasionally one will try to hide inside a human ear. Dermaptera refers to the "skin-like" forewings present in winged species, and the term forficulina translates into "little scissors." Antennae are thread-like and about half the body length. The forceps-like abdominal cerci are apparently used as both offensive and defensive warnings or weapons, and are sometimes used to capture prey and to fold their wings after flight. As frightening as they look these pincers are not considered harmful to people. They are considered to be beneficial insects by many people because they are predators on some small insects, e.g., aphids, and they are primarily scavengers of dead animal or plant materials, although they do feed on and/or damage live plant materials. Populations generally build up around building foundations. If you must kill them simply spray the foundation with dish soap water and/or diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (1 - 2 oz. per gallon of water). Properly install and use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner and/or fans.
Vacuum basement areas or elsewhere inside or outside to remove earwigs.
See the "inspection" traps. Add a little honey or peanut butter (and a little earwig frass), bury or place a shallow dish, bottle, jar, or an empty tuna/sardine can in the earth - so the "hole" is now at ground level - add or leave a little fish oil in your "trap" - in the early a.m. shake the contents of each "trap" into a bucket of soapy water. You can also make shallow traps with soapy or diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint.
Properly install a dehumidifier and fans to establish a low moisture zone around the building.
Prepare a band of vegetation-free (and bark/mulch-free) area around the building.
Caulk/seal all cracks and crevices in the foundation. Lightly dust with Comet® or talcum or medicated
body powder or food-grade DE.
Sprays of detergents and/or dish soaps are known to quickly kill earwigs. Use pesticidal soaps when labeled for this use, or better still spray with diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Pepper- mint (1 - 2 oz. per gallon of water).
Bait with 5% or less boric acid or food-grade DE in corn meal lightly coated with corn oil - don't forget to add a little earwig frass. Keep all baits out of the roach of children, pets and wildlife.
Earwigs will not cross a stripe of petroleum jelly or duct tape placed sticky-side up.
A tachnid fly parasite imported from Europe will greatly reduce earwig populations. Plant dill, parsley, sweet clover, fennel, buckwheat and herbs to make these flies feel at home.
Leave a couple of cans (half full of beer) out overnight - tomorrow they may be full of earwigs.
Steam clean the infested area.
If you still are having earwig problems, read The Best Control© or The Best Control II© on CD-ROM.