Adult European Earwig - Female & Male

Earwigs (Fozficula auzicularia) are common insects which occur in or about homes, yards, and gardens. Earwigs cause concern because of their appearance but they are harmless, cannot sting, and are not able to bite or pinch hard enough to cause any injury to the skin of people.

The European earwig is dark reddish-brown with a reddish head, about 1/2 to 1 inch long and is easily recognized by the prominent forceps or pincers at the rear. The young are much like the adults. In the spring, the female lays a batch of about 30 eggs in cells beneath the soil surface. The eggs are brooded by the female. After hatching, the female stays with the nymphs, keeping the nest tightly closed to prevent their escape. After molting once, the young nymphs disperse.

Four nymphal stages occur before adult maturity is reached in 68 or more days. There is usually only one generation per year. Earwigs eat almost anything they can chew but prefer plant food and may cause damage to garden plants. Earwigs hide in large numbers in the yard under stones, boards, mats, boxes, newspapers, and in the crotches of trees. They invade homes, infest bedrooms and closets. the adults are winged and can fly, but rarely do so. They are active mainly at night.
Occasional invaders | Ornamental pests

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