Earwigs are considered semi-social insects. This means you may see them gathering in groups. It is when large groups of earwigs aggregate that you will often see noticeable damage to plants. Additionally, mothers will stay with their eggs until they have become nymphs, in some cases watching over the nest until the later-stage nymphs no longer wander back home after foraging.
These insects do not typically want to be inside your home. In addition to being nocturnal, earwigs are primarily outdoor pests. However, they are often brought inside accidentally by way of plants, fruits or other items. They may also wander into your home in search of food, moisture, or if threatened by outside weather conditions.
Earwigs like areas that are dark and offer moisture. If you do have them inside your home, they are most likely going to be in crawl spaces or basements. Outdoors, you may see them near the base of plants, in mulched areas, woodpiles, under flowerpots or below decks or patios.
One of the easiest ways to control earwig populations is to reduce these moist, dark areas that they find appealing. Traps may also be an effective way to remove them.
Now that you know some of the basics of earwig behavior, you’ll know where to look for them in your home and yard. If you are seeing large numbers of earwigs, consider calling a pest management professional to discuss control options.