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Pest Guide - Earwigs

Adults and nymphs have characteristic "pinchers" or forceps-like structures on the back end of their brown to black somewhat flattened bodies. They may be as long as 1 inch and have three pairs of well-developed legs. Nymphal stages are wingless, but some adult earwigs have hind wings neatly folded underneath short cover-like forewings. However, they rarely fly.

Earwigs are active at night and seek dark places during the day such as underneath rocks, bark, and plant debris. They also occur indoors, particularly during periods of unfavorable outdoor conditions. They feed mainly on both dead and living insects and mosses, lichens, algae and fungi. Indoors, their food consists of sweet, oily and greasy foods.

Earwigs are generally harmless; feed mainly on arthropods and decaying organic matter. They can be a nuisance when they invade homes.