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(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Earwig

Order: Dermaptera

Family: Forficulidae

Pest Status: Earwigs are considered nuisance pests in most situations. They are attracted to and occur in great numbers in and around areas where people live.

Appearance: Earwigs are approximately 1 inch long and are easily recognized by their red-brown color, short wings, and prominent forceps-like appendages at the tip of the abdomen.

Life Cycle: During the spring and fall, females lay their eggs 2 inches deep in the soil. Females move, clean, and provide protection for the eggs until the first molt. The larvae leave the nest and mature in one season. Both eggs and adults overwinter.

Where to Collect: Earwigs require moist, cool places and are found in damp crawl spaces, flower gardens, compost piles, and trash and under boards in wood piles. Because they are attracted to lights, they may be collected in light traps.