They're usually found across our fair state about this time of year in late summer, but is a bumper crop of earwigs now ready to descend on Minnesota?

Minnesota may be the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but we might also be the Land of 10,000 (or likely way more) common earwigs later this summer, if what's happening in other nearby states also happens here in our neck of the woods.

In case you don't know, earwigs are an increasingly more common insect across the North Star State, usually found only during summer. The University of Minnesota Extention says they're not a native Minnesota insect, but were instead native to Europe and first started appearing here over 30 years ago.

The U of M notes that earwigs are about 5/8 inch long, with a flat, reddish-brown body and very short wings. They also have what appears to be a very menacing pair of pinchers on the tip of their abdomen, which they use to protect themselves and to grab and hold prey.

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But, here's the thing: Despite their menacing look, earwigs do *not* cause damage to people, property or food, and they don't reproduce indoors. Those pinchers aren't usually strong enough to do any harm to humans. But they do look pretty creepy, especially if you see one crawling along the floor or wall of your house!


Earwigs are mainly considered a household nuisance, with the U of M noting that they often enter homes and other buildings during summer (July and August), sometimes in large numbers-- which could be the case they year.

After not seeing any in our house the past several years, I just found one on the stairs leading to our walkout basement the other day. If you haven't seen any at your house yet, chances are you might in the coming days and weeks.

That's because our mild winter combined with our recent wet spring and early summer in Minnesota have created conditions that earwigs really like. According to this story from WGRD in Grand Rapids, they're already out in massive numbers in other Midwest states like Michigan and Illinois that have experienced similar weather to ours in Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society says earwigs can be a pest in your garden, where they've been known to chew irregular holes in leaves and flower blossoms of marigolds, dahlias, butterfly bushes, and hostas. Most plants can tolerate earwigs, but there are some things you can do to try to prevent them in the first place, according to the U of M:

Keep your home and garden clean

  • Clean up debris that earwigs can hide under, such as leaves, plant debris, bricks, piles of lumber, and similar things.
  • Thin out or remove mulch.

Excess moisture attracts earwigs

  • Minimize excess moisture in the landscape.
  • Be sure that the landscape has good drainage and that irrigation systems are working properly.
  • Water more thoroughly and deeply but less often so the surface of the soil remains drier.

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Colors to Avoid Wearing in Minnesota Unless You Love Mosquitoes

A study by the University of Washington found that mosquitoes seem to be attracted to certain colors while ignoring others. The findings may make you rethink your summer wardrobe!

Here's a look at the colors these little bloodsuckers love and hate.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart