Most of us can recognize an earwig when we see one, their pincers are the giveaway. Earwigs are reddish-brown in color, and are slightly over ½ inch long. Although they are somewhat creepy in appearance, earwigs are primarily just nuisance pests. Earwigs, both the young and the adults, require moisture to live. They are usually found around foundations, in mulch, and under rocks or boards. Although earwigs are primarily found outdoors, they have been known to live inside buildings and homes. The points of entry include windows and doors. Earwig populations can grow quickly, which is why it is better to prevent a potential problem before it happens.
They are active at night, and some species are attracted in large numbers to lights. During the day, they usually find shelter beneath stones, boards and debris. Earwigs are often transported great distances in potted plants, nursery stock or other plant material.
Earwig populations will often build up in damp places, such as under decaying leaves and in mulch around outdoor plantings. They feed on damp decaying vegetable matter, as well as on new roots and green leaves.
In wooded areas, millipedes live in piles of leaf litter. In dry weather, they will migrate out of the littler piles as the leaves dry, and they may cross roads and enter buildings in large numbers. This behavior may also occur in lawns that contain thick thatch layers, or yards where large piles of leaves or compost piles are present. Because Earwigs feed and reproduce in decaying organic matter, it may be necessary to remove plant mulch, leaves and other vegetation around the foundation to obtain acceptable suppression. If areas of thick mulch or groundcover where the millipede infestation is focused cannot be cleared of the material, effective control may be difficult.