Bath and North East Somerset Council Does Not provide a pest control service for the treatment of earwigs.


1. What do they look like?

2. Where do they live?

3. What do they eat?

4. Are they a health hazard?

5. Can they be a problem?

6. How can I control them?

7. What products can I use to get rid of them?

8. How do I use the insecticide safely?


1. Earwigs are dark brown and between 10 and 14 mm long, have wings but never fly.

2. Usually they are active at night, spending the day in moist, shady areas such as beneath stones or in cracks in walls. Earwigs spend most of their time outdoors in moist damp places, but if the weather is hot and dry for a long time they may go indoors.

3. They eat a variety of things, from flowers, fruit, vegetables to leaves and decaying organic matter. Some earwigs are predatory, feeding on aphids, insects and spiders.

4. Although earwigs are not known to transmit disease, they can cause distress if seen in the home.

5. Although they can sometimes be found inside a home, they are mainly a garden pest that may cause damage to flowers, fruit and vegetables. They can also be beneficial as they eat greenfly.

6. Vacuuming regularly inside your home in the areas that have been ‘invaded' by earwigs may be a convenient solution.  You could also try removing nearby vegetation; compost heaps or block possible entry points. Getting rid of the moist, damp conditions that maybe present will also discourage the pest. If this is not successful, you could try using an insecticide.

7. When buying insecticide read the label carefully to ensure that it treats earwigs. You can buy them from hardware stores, chemists and most supermarkets. There are a number of different types of insecticide available. They can either be dusts, sprays or gels. Try to buy an insecticide that is ‘residual’; which means that the killing action lasts a few days after treatment.

8. Always take great care when using insecticides. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not place insecticides where children or animals can come into contact with them. Wash hands immediately after use.

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