The pinchers are on the back!
July 1, 2011 12:43 PM   Subscribe

What kind of bug is this?

What is this bug? Another angle and another. How do I get rid of them?
Any other info is welcome, like do they bite? will it kill me in my sleep? will it make me obey Khan's every command?
Found three in the kitchen at a new place. Would rather not keep finding them. A bit irritated that I can't keep food out on the counter. I would like and effective eradication plan that doesn't involve a chemical bomb.
Watch it move.
posted by cjorgensen to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Earwig, harmless.
posted by Akke at 12:46 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Just throw them out and keep your kitchen dry and clean. They will not return unless you have holes in the wall they have access through.
posted by Akke at 12:52 PM on July 1, 2011

If you have a lot of dead leaves around your house, clean them up. Earwigs love piles of decaying garden waste!
posted by cecic at 12:59 PM on July 1, 2011

Yup, that's a pincher bug otherwise known as an Earwig. We use to get them all around our concrete patio in the evening when I was younger.

The internet suggests you can lure them into a home made trap by taking a small container and filling it with veggtable oil. Leave the container overnight in a place you think they might be at, wait till morning. Should be a bunch of drown bugs in the oil. If there isn't, repeat the process in different areas in your kitchen. If you still don't get a lot of bugs - you probably just had a few that wandered in.

They're attracted to moisture, so make sure you don't have any leaks anywhere.
posted by royalsong at 1:02 PM on July 1, 2011

Earwigs: harmless but disgusting. And that thing they do where they leap into the air when startled - hurrhhfrfhhhrehehehgghghghh! (That's the sound of me having the heebie-jeebies.)

Simple but ridiculously effective earwig trap: roll up some newspaper. Soak it in water. Leave it out overnight in an earwigg-y area. Next morning, throw away. (Ideally into a distant compost heap.)
posted by ErikaB at 1:10 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

Seconding the dead leaves. It's a good idea to keep a 4' clear barrier around the house. Dead leaves are paradise to earwigs.
posted by Kronur at 1:43 PM on July 1, 2011

And despite the name, no, they will not try to crawl into your ear.
posted by clerestory at 3:14 PM on July 1, 2011

Make sure that you don't leave laundry out, especially if it's even a little bit damp. If you have any mats or carpets outdoors, they may attract the evil critters. Get in the habit of shaking out clothes before putting them on - earwig pinches aren't dangerous, but they hurt like the dickens!
posted by Bergamot at 7:11 PM on July 1, 2011

Thanks all.

This is a brand new (to us) place and the previous owners were fairly meticulous. We're mostly still in boxes, so it's not really a "keep things clean and dry" issue.

This said, we've begun removing the leaves from around the house and have found a few outside.

This is a new problem, and we think that one of the contributing factors is that the city has torn down a whole slew of trees less than a half a block from the house in preparation for roadwork. Our theory is that the destruction of their habitat has forced them to find new homes in the surrounding areas, and that we're mostly getting hit by that.

Knowing what these things are has allowed us to look up ways to mitigate them.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:54 PM on July 5, 2011

Also worth noting that earwig populations are believed to be higher right now in the upper midwest due to the wet spring. I know at my place in Southern MN we started seeing them last year in droves and we still have them this year. In prior years and had seen few to none.

It may have nothing to do with you or the new place, just coincidental timing with a boom in a prey insect population.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 1:41 PM on July 6, 2011

Haven't seen one in weeks. We cleared brush and put down some natural pesticide. Seems to have done the trick.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:18 PM on August 1, 2011

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