Believed to be native to Europe, but now found throughout the world. It is found commonly in the southern states of the U.S. and less commonly in most of the other U.S. states and north to southern Canada as well as Hawaii.
This is the most common earwig species in Florida but rarely reaches damaging populations, being primarily a nuisance pest. Adults overwinter deep in the soil. Females deposit up to 7 clutches of eggs during warm weather with around 50 eggs per clutch. There typically will be 2 generations per year in warm regions. These earwigs will feed on some amount of plant material, but most of their food is other insects and they are considered to be highly beneficial as predators.
The adults of this species are without wings. They are less than 3/4 inch long with females larger than males. The overall color is a very dark brown to black but with pale legs, and the legs tend to have darker rings around them, giving them their common name.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Exclusion is a primary control option, and their benefit as predators must be considered before attempting to kill them in large numbers. Reduction of exterior harborage sites is vital, such as lumber or firewood piles, yard debris, or other unnecessary piled materials on the soil. Control of moisture also reduces the favorable habitats for earwigs. Granular insect baits are accepted in exterior locations, and pyrethroid insecticide applications will intercept wandering earwigs along pathways and around foundations.