Subject: What is this?
Location: Los Angeles
May 6, 2016 8:57 am
Hi there, wondering if you can identify this, and know how to keep them at bay.
Signature: David


Dear David,
This is an Earwig, a common insect in the garden and they readily enter homes.  We believe your individual is a male European Earwig,
Forficula auricularia, based on images found on BugGuide.  According to Penn State Department of Entomology:  “Earwigs are active at night and hide during the day in cracks and crevices. They are mainly scavengers and occasionally feed on plants. The eggs are laid in burrows in the ground and most species overwinter as adults.”  The site further elaborates:  “Because large numbers may seek shelter in and around homes, the European earwig also has become a notorious household pest in some areas. Although population explosions of this insect are not as intensive as those following its initial introduction into the United States, it is not uncommon to have isolated areas with high populations during periods of warm and humid weather.  When earwigs do invade homes, they can get into everything, including laundry, furniture, loaves of bread, and even clothing and bedding. They hide in cracks and crevices throughout the home and are difficult to keep out, even with the use of screens and other mechanical barriers.”  We do not provide extermination advice, but the Penn State site does provide this management strategy:  “Modification of surrounding areas – Earwigs can be found in large numbers under boards, in tree holes, under decaying bark, or wherever it is moist and dark. The first step to controlling earwigs is to eliminate these and other breeding and nesting places. Homeowners should remove decaying vegetable matter around the home, such as piles of leaves or grass clippings. They should also repair poorly placed rain downspouts and broken irrigation systems, which contribute to moist, dark areas that are attractive to nesting females.”

Ah, brilliant!  That’s definitely it. Thank you so much!!!

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