How to Get Rid of Earwigs in the Bathroom
Earwigs, commonly known as pincher bugs, are those insects that can give anyone the creeps. It is hard to explain, but those big pinchers might have something to do with it. Fortunately, earwigs are not particularly harmful to humans, and the most common place where you find them is in the bathroom and kitchen. If you want to get rid of them, we have a few tips.
Why Do I Have earwigs in My Bathroom?
Earwigs love to live in the soil. They feed on any decaying organic matter, including rotten wood. They love to burrow and like damp, cool places. This is exactly why they are attracted to kitchens and bathrooms.
Earwigs are foragers, and they are omnivores. They will feed on rotten wood, so if you have a bathroom that has leaked for some time that has softened the wood, then it has everything earwigs need to make your home into their home.
Do Earwigs Come Up Through Drains?
Often, earwigs come into the house as hitchhikers on things such as firewood, plant soil, or mud on the bottom of your boots. They might also come through gaps in your baseboards or near window wells, particularly if the wood has not been maintained and is rotten.
It is more likely that they probably came from outside through an opening, including drains. If your drain has a small opening around the pipe, it is more likely that they came through that opening rather than the drain itself.
One of the best ways to prevent earwigs from coming up your drains or around them is to first make sure they are properly caulked and sealed. To keep them from coming up the drain itself, you can install a wire mesh screen in the drain or make sure the drain is stoppered at night.
If you have any rotten wood around your drain, the floor around your toilet, or underneath your sinks and cabinets, replacing it or getting it repaired will eliminate the environment that attracts them.
Do Earwigs Drown in Water?
Earwigs, like many insects, do not have lungs. Instead, they breathe through small holes on the side of their bodies called spiracles. Earwigs have 14 spiracles. Since they like moist areas, this might bring up the question of how they prevent their spiracles from becoming clogged in the rain and wet environments.
The answer is that the spiracles are covered with a waxy substance that helps prevent water from getting into them. Spiracles will let in liquid that has a low surface tension, vapors, and gases. They like moist areas, but they are not water insects and cannot breathe underwater. If you put them in water, they can remain on the surface of the water due to surface tension, but they do not swim. No information could be found on how long that they can do this.
This also gives you a method for attracting and getting rid of them if you find them around your home. One tried and true method is putting a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle and spraying them. The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the water and allows the water to enter their spiracles which causes them to drown. Putting a few drops of alcohol in water also has the same effect.
Another method for getting rid of earwigs is to put a few drops of olive oil in water and spray it on them. The oil clogs their spiracles, and they cannot breathe. Some people create traps by combining soy sauce and oil in a low container and placing it near where they have been seen. The soy sauce attracts the earwigs, and when they climb in, they drown.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your Bathroom
Using dish soap, alcohol, or oil will kill earwigs within a few minutes. The only problem is that this only works for the ones you can see, and there are likely plenty more where that came from. The good thing to know is that earwigs are not harmful. Even though their pinchers look menacing, they will only pinch you with them in defense. If they do, it will likely only result in a small welt similar to a mosquito bite.
Earwigs are not known to transmit any known diseases to humans or animals, and they are not known to destroy homes. If earwigs are consuming your home, then it is because the wood is already rotten.
The best way to keep earwigs from your home is to remove their environment. This means repairing any wood that has rotted, taking care of any moisture issues, and removing any hiding places from your home.
Earwigs are attracted to rotting food, so keeping the trash taken out and cleaning up any food spills can go a long way in keeping them out of your home. You should also look for any small cracks around your windows or where pipes come into your home.
Sealing them will help keep earwigs out. You should also look for cracks around your baseboards or the bottoms of your doors and use weatherstripping and sealants where needed.
Boric acid is another method for controlling earwigs. This is a fine powder that you can get at most hardware for home improvement stores. You can put a fine dusting around the baseboards and entrances to your home. You can also put it in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards where they might enter the home.
The key is to make sure that you only have a fine dusting that you cannot see because the insects need to walk through it accidentally. If they see it, they will walk around it. Boric acid disrupts their digestive tract and nervous system, causing them to dehydrate and die eventually.
Essential oils like peppermint, neem, lavender, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, clove, and basil also repel pincher bugs. Placing a few drops of these oils in water may discourage earwigs from entering the area. The problem is that the oils eventually evaporate, and you need to replace them often. Some claim that these methods work to keep them away, but no studies could support or deny their effectiveness.
One thing to keep in mind is that, unlike other insects, not much time has been spent researching how to get rid of earwigs. This is because they are not known to be particularly destructive or harmful to human beings.
It is just that people do not like their appearances. Oil traps, soap and water, boric acid, and essential oils might help eliminate existing populations, but they are likely to come back unless the conditions that attract them are resolved.
The best way to rid your bathroom, kitchen, or any other parts of your home from earwigs is to eliminate any dampness, rotten material, or tiny cracks and crevices where they can hide. They especially love areas in rock walls and between bricks. The best thing to do is to look around and see if any areas have conditions that would attract them.