As residential pest control becomes increasingly important, homeowners need to learn about pincher bugs and their potential for causing serious infestations. Pincher bugs, also known as earwigs, are small insects that feed on plants and decaying matter. While they’re not considered dangerous to humans, their presence can be an indicator of larger pest problems in residential homes. Signs of a pincher bug infestation include an increase in their numbers around your home or yard as well as seeing them inside the house in dark places such as under furniture, floorboards or even inside cupboards and drawers. They can damage plants, fabric and, although rarely, they will bite. If you notice any of these telltale signs, it’s important to call a professional pest control service right away to help prevent further damage and protect your home from unwanted pests. Professional residential pest control technicians have the knowledge and experience needed to identify the source of the infestation and suggest effective methods for removing any existing pincher bug populations while also implementing preventative measures to keep them from returning. At AIPM, we can provide you with advice on how best to protect your property against other pests too, like silverfish, ants, crickets, cockroaches and spiders, which can often accompany pincher bugs if left untreated. In addition to providing residential pest control services, we also offer educational resources so homeowners can learn more about identifying common residential pests and techniques for proper pest prevention and control – helping everyone stay safe from infestations!

Pincher Bugs’ appearance

difference of pincher bug's tail end between male and female
Image courtesy of Wisconsin Horticulture

Pincher bugs have a distinct appearance. The pincher bugs, scientifically known as Forficula auricularia, are members of the suborder Forficulina within the order Dermaptera. They have a long history, being first recorded by Aristotle and later classified by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Pincher bugs are found throughout the world in many different habitats, but they are especially common in gardens and other outdoor spaces.

Pincher bugs come in many sizes, with their bodies typically growing up to ¾ inch long. They have distinctively curved or straight forceps that vary depending on gender – males typically have curved forceps while females have straight forceps – as well as two pairs of wings that, for most species, remain unused for flying. The coloration of these insects can range from brown to black. As pest control solutions become more common, these pest species are gradually decreasing in number due to the use of insecticides and pesticides. However, pincher bugs continue to be a pest problem in many parts of the world where pest control is not utilized as effectively or frequently as it should be.

Are pincher bugs serious?

While pincher bugs appear scarier than they actually are–thanks to the long, sharp-looking forceps attached to the front of their head–compared to other pests, they do not cause a lot of structural damage and rarely transmit harmful diseases. However, they can still be a nuisance and pose a serious risk to homeowners.

Earwigs may bite humans if they feel threatened and, although they don’t have venomous bites or stingers, their forceps can pinch and cause skin irritations or infection if not treated properly. To stay safe from earwig bites, use pest control methods to get rid of them around your home or garden before they become a problem for you or your family.

examples of pincher bug bite, fabric damage and garden damage
Pincher bug bit image courtesy of

Pincher bugs are capable of gnawing holes through household fabrics such as curtains and furniture upholstery and can also quickly eat through flowers, vegetables, and plants which could ultimately ruin your garden if they are not immediately removed.

It’s important to remember that earwigs are more scared of you than you are of them! If pest control isn’t enough to keep them away from your house, wear gloves when gardening or doing other outdoor activities where earwigs may be present so that you don’t accidentally get bitten by one of these creatures.

How do pincher bugs enter my home?

Pincher bugs can gain access to homes through a variety of ways. Gaps in windows or doors that are not properly sealed provide potential entry points, as well as cracks and crevices in the home’s foundation. Earwigs can also be transported inside by objects brought in from outside, such as plants or lumber. These hitchhiking bugs can quickly settle in and begin to reproduce.

Although earwigs typically live outdoors, they may enter the home in search of food or the warmth of indoor temperatures.

Once an earwig infestation begins to form, it is important to take measures to reduce their numbers and prevent future invasions. To do this, pest control methods must be employed both inside and outside the home. Cracks and crevices should be sealed shut with caulk or steel wool and screens should be inspected for holes and repaired when necessary. Objects from outside should be examined before bringing them into the home and any existing pests should be removed manually when possible. Taking these simple steps can help keep earwigs out of your home for good!

Types of pincher bugs in Southern California

Southern California is home to a wide variety of pest control problems, one of the most common of which are pincher bugs. The three main types of pincher bugs that can be found in this region are European earwigs, Red-legged earwigs and Striped earwigs. Depending on the type, these insects vary in size, shape and color, ranging from dark brown to black or red. However, all three types share an affinity for damp environments and will typically inhabit areas such as under rocks and logs or inside houses if given the opportunity.

a european earwig, red-legged earwig and striped earwig
Images courtesy of, and
  • European earwigs have a distinctive pair of pincers located at their hind end that are used for catching prey and defending themselves from predators. These pincers are also used to communicate with other earwigs through releasing pheromones.
  • Red-legged earwigs have comparatively longer legs than European earwigs and feature a rounded abdomen instead of a pointed one.
  • Striped earwigs tend to be larger than both European and Red-legged varieties and often appear black with white stripes along their backs. Unlike the other two species, Striped earwigs prefer warm climates and will generally stay outdoors rather than entering buildings or homes.

Pincher bug life cycle and reproduction

Earwig life cycle and reproduction is an interesting process that residential homeowners must be aware of. During the fall and winter, female earwigs will burrow into the ground to lay large clusters of eggs, sometimes up to thirty or more. These eggs are small and light in color when they first hatch in the early spring months. During this time, they remain close to their mother until they have their first molt. This is when they begin foraging for food independently. After molting several times, the earwigs become larger and darker in hue. The typical lifespan of earwigs is one year due to reproductive maturity being reached at around eight weeks old.

pincher bugs in different stages of life shown in order
Image courtesy of BugBoy.

Once they have reached maturity, the adult earwig will look for a mate during its mating season which usually happens between May and August. Their reproductive organs mature during this time and mating can occur over multiple days with multiple partners. Earwigs mate by recognizing pheromones in each other’s scent glands located near their abdomen area. Females will create a pocket in soil where she deposits her eggs with a gel-like substance known as “ootheca”. This helps protect them from predators until hatching occurs two weeks later, allowing her to provide some protection from egg predation until then. Female earwigs can lay anywhere from 20-50 eggs per clutch and the lifespan once they hatch is of around one year.

Pincher bug behavior and diet

Earwigs are pest control nightmares for homeowners, as they can invade kitchens and cause significant damage. They often lurk around dark, damp spots like cupboards or under appliances, but may move around the kitchen during nightfall to feed on plant-based food sources. Earwigs are omnivorous; they eat both living organisms such as insects, as well as dead ones like plant material and soft fruits. They can also feed on grains, cereals, pet food, and even human foods like crumbs or nuts. To control these pests, it’s important to locate potential hiding spots in your kitchen and around your home and seal off entry points with caulk or other pest-proofing materials.

Outdoors, pincher bugs prefer areas with high humidity such as garden beds or moist soil. These pest bugs enjoy eating a variety of plants including flowers, leaves, roots and stems from trees. They also feast on other bugs like aphids and snails to satisfy their dietary needs. To discourage them from entering gardens, it’s important to remove excess mulch or wood piles that can attract earwig activity. Additionally, it helps to reduce clutter in your garden bed by disposing of fallen leaves and rotting vegetables quickly to keep them away.

Pincher bug control

Pincher bugs pest control inside your home and garden is important for any homeowner who wants to keep their property pest-free. Early action is always the best way to prevent these pests from entering your home. Some things to try are:

  • Sealing up any cracks or gaps around doors and windows
  • Drying out humid areas with a fan
  • Making sure that any gardens are properly maintained.

However, if earwigs have already made their way into your home, there are still pest control measures you can take. These include:

  • Granule treatments
  • Pesticide application
  • Light traps
  • Boric acid spray
  • DIY deterrents like a soap-water solution.

If these solutions don’t work, then be sure to contact a residential pest control professional for assistance. Professional pest controllers can safely remove the earwig infestation and provide advice on how to prevent them from returning in the future.

In addition to pest control techniques designed for indoor use, gardeners should also be aware of pest control methods they can use specifically in their gardens. Earwig infestations can cause significant damage to gardens if not treated promptly. Eliminating their habitat by removing moist piles of mulch or organic debris will help reduce the likelihood of an infestation occurring in the first place. Chemical controls like insecticides and baits may also be used for more serious earwig problems; however it’s always important to read labels carefully before applying them as this will ensure they are used safely and effectively.

In conclusion, pest control measures should always be taken when dealing with pincher bugs indoors or outdoors – early prevention usually works best but there are plenty of treatment options available if pest activity is identified in either location.

Contact us at 888-344-6567 or request a quote here to effectively handle any and all types of pincher bug infestations on your property. Keep your home safe and pincher bugs outside with AIPM’s comprehensive pest control services.