- adults: 1/2 – 5/8 inch; elongate brown body with a red-brown head
- prominent pair of pinchers on the rear of the body
- reduced wings expose abdomen
Host Plants, Diet & Damage
- tree fruits; berries; vegetable fruits; leafy vegetables and herbs; grasses; grains; ornamentals
- omnivorous: feed on plant buds, flowers, fruits and leaves, fungal spores, detritus, insects
- can be beneficial predators
- create tattered appearance in leaves and flowers; make holes in fruit
- nuisance pest indoors
Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage
- overwinter as adults in the soil or in aboveground aggregations
- 30-50 eggs laid in spring; may lay one or more clutches
- females care for young through first immature stage
- hide in dark, tight and moist places during the daytime
- at least two generations per year
- Low population levels can be tolerated.
- Monitor with rolled corrugated cardboard traps, baited traps (e.g., vegetable oil with fish oil or bacon grease), or by investigating night activity with a flashlight.
- Exclude from trees using sticky adhesive such as Tangletrap.
- Exclude from homes with properly installed door sweeps.
- Pesticide applications may be necessary to control large, damaging populations.
For more information, see our European Earwig fact sheet.