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Animals

What are earwigs; how to get rid of earwigs

These dark-brown insects with the forbidding rear pincers are harmless to humans-they don’t pinch. Earwigs feed at night on decaying vegetation, dead insects, and sometimes on plants and ripe fruits. If you find small, ragged holes in leaves, petals, or fruits, look for earwigs by flashlight.

Try trapping them in rolled-up newspapers left out overnight. Shake the traps over warm, soapy water the next day. Or spray or dust plants and soil with carbaryl, diazinon, malathion, or chlorpyrifos.

Earwigs occasionally migrate into the house or are brought in on fruits and flowers from the garden. They hide under mops, brooms, rugs, and in piles of laundry. To stem an invasion, apply the household formulation of carbaryl, diazinon, or malathion around foundation walls and door sills and, indoors, along baseboards where you see the insects.