What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet

Knowing more about the earwig diet can help to deal with them more effectively.
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Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
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Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
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Last updated: January 22, 2023
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When you see earwigs, their pincers and large size make you feel like they are dangerous to humans and will bite you or consume your blood. But this is simply a misconception. In this guide, we answer the question “what do earwigs eat”.

Keep in mind that the pincers on earwigs are not dangerous to humans but are used as a defense mechanism for hunting prey. Generally, earwigs feed on decaying vegetation and prefer dark and wet areas. They also live and lay eggs in these areas.

So, what do earwigs like to eat? Let’s take a closer look.

What Do Earwigs Like to Eat?

Earwigs mostly eat decaying organic matter and insects. They also consume plants, seedlings, and flowers.

Earwigs are also considered to be helpful insects. Some gardeners will add earwigs to their garden to control aphids, so having a small number of them will be a good idea. But, if you have too many, they can cause plant damage when out of control.

Luckily, they don’t harm humans, although earwigs bite Trusted Source Earwig Bite: In Your Ear, Symptoms, and Images Earwigs can bite people, but they rarely do. Instead, they’re more likely to pinch your skin and hold on tight. Here’s what to do if you get pinched. www.healthline.com as a defensive method. Here are the foods that earwigs eat.

Decaying Organic Matter

What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet
Earwigs prefer to feed on the organic matter because they find it more nutritious than other food sources. Earwigs are known to eat a variety of things, so if they can get their hands on some nutrient-rich organic matter, they’re going to go for it.

Many earwigs prefer decaying organic matter Trusted Source Earwigs - The Australian Museum Earwig australian.museum , such as dead leaves and rotting fruit. Earwigs that eat this decaying matter usually stay in homes or garden plants. Earwigs will break down the organic matter in the garden like composing leaves, damp mulch, grass, and vegetables. They take nutrients like carbon from the decaying vegetation.

Insects

What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet
While earwigs will eat just about anything, they seem to prefer soft-bodied insects like caterpillars, aphids, and grubs. They’ll also eat other earwigs, so they’re not exactly choosy when it comes to their meals.

Despite the decaying matter being the main food of earwigs, they will also attack living things.

Earwigs can eat insects, whether they are dead or alive. These are usually very small insects like aphids, sowbugs, mites, and the eggs of other insects.

If they find the carcasses of larger animals, they also eat them. All of these provide a lot of protein to the earwig.

Plants

What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet
Earwigs are known to eat a variety of plants, including vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Some of the more common plants that they feed on include tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, squash, roses, and petunias.

Another thing that earwigs like to eat is plants as they give them a shelter and source of food. This is what makes them attracted to gardens and yards, especially those that have the kinds of plants they like. But what plants do earwigs eat? They usually eat pest plants, tender plants, and seedlings. Earwigs will also eat different kinds of fruits and vegetables aside from normal plants. This causes them to do great damage to your garden or yard; this is why it is always a good idea to use the Transport GHP Insecticide to keep your area pest-free.

Flowers

What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet
One of the most common plants that earwigs feed on is flowers. This is likely because flowers are generally soft-bodied and easy to eat. Some of the more popular flowers that earwigs like to munch on include roses, petunias, and daisies.

Another earwigs’ favorite dainty is flowers.

Earwigs usually feed on flowers of chrysanthemums, clematis, and dahlia. Some other flowers that are susceptible to earwigs include zinnias, roses, sunflowers, and hostas.

Having many flowers in your garden or your home can attract earwigs to where you are but the Cynoff EC can help to prevent it.

Seedlings

What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet
Earwigs are often attracted to seedlings because they’re soft-bodied and easy to eat.

Another item on the earwigs’ diet is the seedlings. While they mostly eat plants and flowers, they also go for seedlings before they develop. Some of these seedlings include beets and beans. They will also eat the silk of sweet corn.

What Do Earwigs Eat in The House?

What Do Earwigs Eat? Know More About Their Diet
Earwigs can invade your house in search of food so it is important to keep food stored away in airtight containers.

You might think that earwigs only eat insects, plants, and matter that is outdoors. But, you might also notice them in your house. This is because there are some foods in the home that earwigs like. So, what attracts earwigs?

Earwigs eat other insects like mites and fleas that might be in your house. As for normal foods, earwigs usually have stored cookies, bread, and flour. They also eat biscuits and rice.

Another thing about earwigs is that they hide in different places in your house. They hide in cracks, among sticks, bricks, blocks, and other rubble. Not only earwigs but also spiders can invade your house, this is why the best traps for spiders can be a great solution for stopping different crawling insects. Moist and humid places in your house will also attract earwigs. Homes with dirty floors and crawl spaces are also attractive for them. But you can use the best roach killers to eliminate earwigs and other crawling insects.

FAQ

What plants do earwigs eat?

Earwigs eat a wide range of plants. These pesky insects will eat ornamental and vegetable plants, like dahlias, butterfly bush, lettuce, potatoes, roses, hollyhocks, strawberries, and seedlings. They also feed on plant debris and like to eat corn tassels, berries, peaches, and apricots.

What insects do earwigs eat?

Insects are also a common food for earwigs, whether dead or alive. Some of the insects they eat include aphids, mites, beetle larvae, maggots, and sowbugs.

They also eat the eggs of other insects. Gardeners that have a lot of aphids and other damaging insects in your garden or yard usually introduce earwigs to get rid of them.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that there are over 1,800 species of earwigs Trusted Source Earwig - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org out there, so the insects and vegetation that they like depend on the location of the species. Despite their frightening appearance, earwigs will not bite you or feed on your blood. The only thing that these insects do is eat decaying matter, vegetation, plants, flowers, insects, and seedlings. The insects can also eat bread, flour, and crops that they find in your house. We hope we helped you to find the answer to the question “what do earwigs eat”.

References

1.
Earwig Bite: In Your Ear, Symptoms, and Images
Earwigs can bite people, but they rarely do. Instead, they’re more likely to pinch your skin and hold on tight. Here’s what to do if you get pinched.
2.
Earwigs - The Australian Museum
Earwig
3.
Earwig - Wikipedia
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