Learn about Utah Earwigs

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Earwigs are long, flattened insects, ranging from light reddish brown to black in color, and are easily recognized by their “pinchers” forceps-like appendages on the end of the abdomen. Adults range in length from 1/4 to 1 inch in length.
Picture of earwigs in Utah


Earwigs are active at night and seek dark, moist places during the day, such as underneath rocks, bark, and plant debris. At night, they can be found near lights. Earwigs will invade homes, particularly when outdoor environmental conditions become unfavorable (excess heat, cold, or rainfall). Their flattened bodies can get through tiny cracks and gaps in doors, windows, and the foundation. Indoors hide in cracks and crevices or under furniture and carpeting.

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Although they are scavengers, they feed mainly on dead and living insects and decaying organic plant matter. Indoors, their food consists of sweet, oily, and greasy foods.

Life Cycle & Reproduction

Female earwigs lay eggs in burrows (called chambers) 2 to 3 inches beneath the soil’s surface. Eggs are produced in clusters and hatch in about two weeks. Female earwigs stay with the eggs and young nymphs. Nymphs leave the nest in a few days and begin to develop by going through five stages over a 45 to 175-day period, depending on the temperature. All developmental stages can overwinter.


Generally, Earwigs are harmless; they feed mainly on arthropods and decaying organic matter. They can be a nuisance when they invade homes.

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