Earwigs make a mess of your garden in a few ways, but the most obvious is that they feast on your plants. They eat plant leaves and flowers, which can be damaging to many different types of plants. Earwigs also eat aphids and other pests, so if you have earwigs in your garden, you may have fewer pest problems than if you didn’t.
Earwigs also lay their eggs in soil and under rocks and logs, so finding them in your garden isn’t as unusual as it might seem. If you find an earwig in your garden, there’s no need to freak out! Earwigs are actually pretty harmless—they don’t typically bite people or pets unless they’re threatened or handled roughly.
Earwigs are insects with the scientific name Forficulidae. They are found on all continents except Antarctica. There are 2,000 known species of earwig, most of which live in the tropics.Earwigs have a pair of pincers (called forceps) on their abdomen, and they use these to capture prey and defend themselves from predators.
Though there are many species of earwigs, they all share some similar characteristics. They tend to be brownish-black in color and between 5 and 25 mm long. Their bodies can be divided into three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They have six legs (three pairs), two antennae, compound eyes, and chewing mouthparts.
Earwigs lay tiny white eggs inside small burrows they dig into the ground or in rotting wood. The female usually hovers over the eggs until they hatch—sometimes for several months at a time! After hatching, nymphs look like adults except for their lack of wings; however, their forceps are soft and weak during this stage.