Extreme Earwig Infestation
Monday, July 29, 2013
“It was reminiscent of a horror flick where the walls were
crawling with creatures.”
That was the reaction of entomologist Kevin Hathorne when he
first saw the earwig* infestation at a retired couple’s vacation
home in the mountains of North Carolina.
The couple first noticed a swarm of insects above their house
and heard them falling onto the home’s metal roof. Over the next
few days, the insects, which they recognized as earwigs, came
pouring into the cabin through the natural cracks in the wood logs.
Eventually, the bugs made their way into cabinets and closets and
covered the floors of the home.
Pictures from left to right:
Outside view of the house; earwigs by glass doors in master
bedroom; earwigs on floor in guest bedroom; earwigs by vent;
earwigs around door frame; earwigs swept into a
More patient than most people, the couple vacuumed up the
earwigs every few days, but the bugs just kept coming. There wasn’t
a place the couple could go in their home where they didn’t see,
feel or step on earwigs. No one they called in could come up with
an explanation for this highly unusual earwig behavior, and the
only extended relief came in the winter when the bugs finally died
Following advice from Hathorne, the couple re-stained their
home, hoping it was something in the original wood stain that was
attracting the earwigs. They also took on the task of caulking as
many cracks as possible, which is no easy feat in a log home.
Thankfully, the change in wood stain and caulking efforts paid
off as only a handful of earwigs appeared the following spring.
The story should end there with a happy ending, but the couple
only had relief for a short while. A tornado damaged their home and
the surrounding area, and even after clean-up and tree removal, the
earwigs returned. Local pest control professionals continued to
work with the couple to minimize the infestation each season.
*Earwigs get their name from the myth that they crawl into
sleeping people's ears and tunnel into their brains. The long
cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an
Thank you to Terminix Service, Inc. for
sharing this Extreme Infestation story.View Comments
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