What Do Earwigs Eat?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Updated on March 8, 2023

We’ve all heard the old wives’ tales of ‘earwigs’ creeping into ears and feeding on human brains.

While we can’t vouch for how true that story is, today we are going to discuss the actual diet of earwigs (aka: pincher bugs) and what they eat to survive in the world.

Earwigs can be a huge threat especially to your farms and gardens because these bugs are famous for feeding on and destroying anything that comes in their way.

So it’s important to take proper preventive measures to ensure that your property is as uninhabitable for them as possible.

But for what, we first need to understand what do earwigs eat and what attracts them to our homes and gardens. Let’s find out.

Related: How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your House

What Do Earwigs Eat in the House?

earwig diet

Being omnivores, these tiny insects eat other smaller insects, pollen, some plants, decayed leaves, etc.

An earwig likes to prey upon sowbugs, mites, eggs of other insects, and aphids.

However, once they are inside the house, the earwig eats a wide range of different food like stored cookies, flour, bread, etc.

A common question among many people is whether earwigs eat wood. No such evidence has been found yet of earwig chomping on wood.

Even though not a significant threat to humans, it is still quite impossible to harmoniously co-exist with earwigs if you are into gardening or own many house plants.

Earwigs are opportunistic eaters, they don’t just stick to decayed leaves but also seedlings, soft fruits like apricots, and many other houseplants.

They can create a big nuisance in your garden too, eating up all those leafy vegetables.

See Also: What Do Stink Bugs Eat?

Frequently Asked Questions About Earwigs

earwig on leaf

Do Earwigs Eat Plants?

Yes. Earwigs do eat plants compromising of various flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Some of these include dahlias, hollyhock, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry, blackberry, peaches, sunflowers, celery, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, seedling beets and beans, roots and tender grass shoots, etc.

Related: What Do Boxelder Bugs Eat?

Do Earwigs Eat Bed Bugs?

No such specific evidence has been found of earwig eating bed bugs.

However, the earwigs’ diet includes many other smaller insects, so; it won’t be a shocker if they eat bed bugs.

Do Earwigs Eat Wood?

No. Earwigs do not eat wood.

Can Earwigs Eat Clothes?

Yes, as I have mentioned above, earwigs are notorious opportunistic eaters.

They eat a wide range of food as soon as they enter houses. So, as their food range expands, they can definitely eat clothes.

Do Earwigs Eat Termites?

Earwigs do eat other smaller insects depending on the species.

However, no such mention has been made anywhere of earwig feasting on termites.

Read Also: Can Stink Bugs Fly?

How to Get Rid of Earwigs?

earwig infestation

Earwigs can be a nuisance to your home or garden. The easiest way to get rid of earwigs is to keep the place free of excess moisture.

You can also try dimming the lights outside your house, as earwigs tend to get attracted to light.

Clearing off decaying leaves is another way to keep these pests at bay. Also, keep checking your drainage system, don’t let the drains get blocked.

For those that have a serious earwig infestation, professional help is usually the best course of action.

How to Exterminate Earwigs Professionally

dead earwig

No one likes earwigs, no matter if there is one or many of them crawling around.

However, in the case of a sever earwig infestation, it is always recommended to get help from a professional exterminator to get rid of these dreadful looking creatures for you quickly and permanently.

To help you with this, click the link below to get multiple free quotes from local pest control companies, to help you compare different providers and choose the right one for your budget.

Want to Let the Pros Handle It?
Get a free quote from top pest control companies in your area.

Final Words

Earwigs have earned a bad reputation for being fatal to humans. Those old wives’ tales about earwig crawling up a person’s ear and causing death may be untrue, but it’s not inaccurate that they do cause harm to human lives.

An earwig infestation can do severe damage to gardeners and even farmers by feeding and destroying the field crops and plantations. These little buggers build their colonies around the foundations of homes.

When you see an earwig, it’s best to assume there are many others out of sight. Now that you know what earwigs like to eat, making sure they have no easy source of food should be your top priority.