Earwigs have flattened bodies that vary in colour from pale brown to black with dark markings. Adults are about 16 mm in length, with very long slender antennae and a pair of forceps at the rear. The forceps are strongly curved in males, whereas they curved slightly in females. Earwigs use their forceps to fend off predators or catch prey as well as use them for mating.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of the earwig consists of three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. In early spring, the female earwig after overwintering in the soil starts to egg-laying near the surface of the soil. It can lay up clutches of 30-60 eggs. In about seven days, the eggs hatch, and nymphs emerge. The nymphs are similar to adults but are smaller, and wingless, and forceps are smaller and straighter than those adults. Adults have wings but rarely fly. Generally, there is one generation a year.


Earwigs have biting/chewing mouthparts and attack living plants. They feed on buds, leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals, and leave ragged holes in plant tissues. They can chew off corn silks and hide inside ripe apricots and peaches next to the pit.