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What Seattle Residents Should Know About Earwig Infestations?

The earwig is a small insect that belongs to the Dermaptera order. These species have unique characteristics that are utilized by exterminators and researchers for identification purposes. You too can utilize these same characteristics to determine what insect species is invading your home. The approximately 1/3” long, slender body with curved “cerci,” pincers that work in the same fashion as forceps. The cerci protrude from the earwig’s abdomen, where they tend to be the most useful – food-foraging, security, and building nests.

The earwig species is comprised of both winged and wingless insects. The winged earwig has two sets of wings, one in the rear and the other in the front. The body ranges between dark brown and reddish/brown. One species that has been shown to grow larger than the other members of the Dermaptera order is the Saint Helena giant earwig, which grows up to 3” in length.

Scientists have uncovered more than 900 Dermaptera species that are drawn to warm climates. The earwig became commonly known as the insect that accessed the human brain through the ear canal. The old wise tale claimed the earwig reproduced in the victim’s ear. Of course, there was no evidence to back up the story, so it became known as an old wise tale instead.

Why Is My Seattle Home Under An Earwig Threat?

Earwigs tend to invade homes during the hottest summer months. While the insect is drawn to moderately warm climates, temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit are found to be unbearable. To avoid the hot weather, the earwig will infiltrate vulnerable buildings. In this case, vulnerable means having available exterior-to-interior access points. The earwig is commonly known to infiltrate buildings through small crevices, cracks, and gaps underneath entrance doors and between thresholds.

Once the insect makes its way into the building, it will immediate get to work finding discrete shelter. Indoor earwig sightings are reportedly bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces, underneath kitchen sinks, sewage pipes, and attics, where the temperatures are moderately warm and humidity levels are high.

The good news, earwigs are not known to reproduce after a home infiltration. However, the insect will feast on your potted plants and processed food.

Do Earwigs Transmit Diseases To Humans?

No, there is no scientific evidence to back up this theory. However, the earwig has been linked to foodborne illnesses. Earwigs consume contaminated food, which is later evacuated from the body through fecal matter. The fecal matter is deposited into the victim’s processed food supply and later consumed by a household member, resulting in a foodborne illness.

Earwig-foodborne illnesses are rare, but are reports are more common during the latter part of the summer season.

What Is The Best Pest Control Approach To Eradicate Earwigs?

We believe professional pest control is the best solution because it combines multiple treatments, routine in-home inspections, and prevention. Our pest management not only targets live earwigs inside the home, but it also targets those on the exterior of the home, waiting patiently for their opportunity to infiltrate.

We also target the impacted home’s food storage and disposal systems. We highly recommend transitioning from manufacturing food packages, such as paperboard and plastic bags, to glass and thick plastic containers with lids. This will protect the household members against earwig-foodborne illnesses.

We also suggest lowering the humidity in problematic areas by installing more air vents and dehumidifiers.

When Will The Exterminator Be Available For The Home Inspection?

Once our extermination team in Seattle receives your home inspection request, a customer support representative will initiate processing. This can take between 24 and 48 hours to complete, at which time a licensed exterminator will be dispatched to your home. If you feel your earwig problem needs immediate professional attention, do not hesitate to inquire about our same-day and emergency pest control services.

Do Earwig Pest Control Products Contain Toxic Ingredients That Are Harmful To The Environment?

It is true, some pesticides do contain chemicals that pose some risks to the environment and humans. However, our Seattle exterminators have joined forces with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and pesticide manufacturers to combat these risks. So far, we have successfully minimized environmental and human health risks due to chemical-based pesticides by following a set of guidelines. These guidelines target the transport, handling, treatment, and storage of chemical-based pesticides.

Is It Possible To Prevent A Repeat Earwig Infestation?

Yes, with the proper pest control tools, knowledge, and few regimen alterations, it is very possible. We highly recommend starting with your existing processed food storage regimen. If you are currently utilizing the original manufacturer’s packaging to store nuts, flour, cookies, chips, candy, dried cereal, dog food, and cornmeal, you are putting your family at risk of an earwig-foodborne illness.

We suggest transitioning to solid containers with lids to prevent future non-refrigerated food infiltration of earwigs. We also believe proper household waste disposal will also deter earwigs from infiltrating your home. If there is no food supply available, the earwigs that do infiltrate your home will not hang out very long.

We also recommend targeting high-humidity areas by improving ventilation. Install dehumidifiers and a venting system if necessary. Last, but not least, all potential access points must be completely sealed. You can utilize a waterproof sealant like silicone or caulk for this process. Larger holes around utility lines will need to be filled in with custom-to-fit plywood, followed by a waterproof sealant. Inspect your entrance doors to ensure there are no gaps between the bottom of the door and the top of the threshold. Call us with your pest control questions without further delay!

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