Adult earwigs are about 5/8-inch long, dark brown in color, with a red head and pale yellow-brown legs. They usually have two pairs of wings, the hind wings being fully developed and found folded beneath the short, leathery front wings. Earwigs have a pincer-like appendage at the end of their abdomens that is called a forcep.

Earwig females are interesting because they display a kind of mothering instinct, protecting their eggs and nymphs like a mother hen. Eggs are laid in a nest-like shallow depression beneath a board or stone or in cracks and crevices around a building foundation.

Earwigs usually live outdoors under stones or other protection and feed on plant material. They are very general feeders so they seldom do a great deal of damage to any particular plant. They will sometimes invade homes, doing so at night. During daylight hours they will hide in cracks and crevices, under furniture, or beneath carpeting.

As earwigs are plant feeders, maintaining a 12”-18” vegetation-free zone around the foundation and caulking cracks and crevices will help to reduce the number of invaders.