Skip to main content

Montreal sees increase in earwigs -- here's what to do if they bug you

Have earwigs been bugging you? You're not alone. Experts say there's been an increase in earwigs in Montreal this summer because of the consistent rainy weather.

Although earwigs might be offputting to some, experts assure that they are harmless to humans.

"If you disturb an earwig, it will arc its abdomen end and then look, you know, ferocious trying to pinch you, but those pincers are not strong enough to pierce through our skin," said Andre-Philippe Drapeau Picard, an entomologist at the Montreal Insectarium.

In fact, earwigs have potential benefits for your yards.

"They are mostly beneficial, the earwigs, because they are omnivores. So they eat decaying matter, and they contribute to nutrient cycling. They can also be predators, and so they feed on various stuff like insect larvae, slug eggs and aphids. So they contribute to pest control," said Drapeau Picard.

However, earwigs could be to blame for chewing on your plants. If that's an issue, Drapeau Picard suggested making your yard less damp to avoid having an abundance of earwigs.

"Removing stuff that keeps it wet, like logs, for example. Mulch too. We can also use traps made of cardboard or newspaper. You can make it wet and then leave it on the ground for a few days. And they will seek shelter inside those traps during the day. You can empty them once in a while to get rid of the extra earwigs," he said.

In Montreal, using pesticides in your yard is illegal if you don't have a permit. Additionally, as earwigs are harmless and pesticide regulations are strict in the city, don't expect an exterminator to help you kill them off, either.

"They are mostly beneficial, so it's better to learn to live with them," said Drapeau Picard. Top Stories

Stay Connected