Earwigs crawling in the bathroom at night can scare wits out of anyone.
They have creepy, alien-like features that can disturb your relatively peaceful bathroom routine and can be frustrating pests once they invade your restroom. Not to mention, they can leave your toilet with a distinct foul smell from their yellowish-brown secretion.
What’s even worse is when you see one earwig crawling in your toilet, it’s very likely that you’ll find another or even more of them.
In this article, we’ll go through why earwigs can live in your bathroom, how earwigs get in, and how to get rid of them using chemical and natural solutions.
What Should You Know About Earwigs?
Earwigs, also known as pincher bugs, are creepy-looking pests that can find homage in your bathroom. They are ancient bugs that have been crawling all over Earth for over 200 million years.
Earwigs are odd-looking pests that have forceps or pincers protruding from their abdomen. They are not poisonous, but their pincers do make these insects look somewhat intimidating. Not to mention, they are fast crawlers and can grow from five to 25 mm, depending on the species.
- reddish-brown and slender body
- six legs
- two antennae
- two pairs of wings
Earwigs are not known to spread harmful bacteria, but these pests are called pincher bugs for a reason. They do not bite, but they can pinch you when provoked, although it’s unlikely to break your skin.
Female earwigs lay around 40 to 50 eggs, which will hatch in about a week. Baby earwigs will shed their skin and reach adulthood after ten weeks, making it difficult to control their population once they invade your bathroom.
Earwigs are also known for the pheromones they produce, and it’s not a lovely smell you’d want in your restroom. Earwigs use this foul odor to repel predators.
The pheromone trail also helps the insects cluster in large numbers. They are nocturnal pests and will hide in dark nooks in your bathroom until it’s time to hunt for food at night.
Why Are There Earwigs in My Bathroom?
There are three reasons why earwigs are hanging out in your bathroom.
- Earwigs are seeking moisture.
Earwigs are moisture-loving pests, and your bathroom gives them plenty of access to a moist shelter. It’s most likely why there’s an earwig infestation in the bathroom, a cluster of them hanging out in wet, humid, and cold locations. That includes damp areas like your shower, drain, sink, and bathtub.
- Earwigs are looking for shelter.
Earwigs also love to stay in the dark, so often, you can find them taking shelter in dark and undisturbed places in your restroom.
When the outdoor temperature gets too cold or too hot, your temperature-friendly bathroom makes an attractive breeding ground for earwigs as well.
- Earwigs are looking for food.
Earwigs may be in your bathroom looking for food. They are not picky eaters and will feed on crumbs or spilled food in your bathroom. If you have live plants in the bathroom, some earwigs will also feast on them, especially on dead or dying leaves.
How Do Earwigs Get Into the Bathroom?
Earwigs come into your bathroom usually through open doors and windows. They can also enter your toilet or shower through broken screens and wall cracks. Leaky pipes and drains will also attract them as they look for moist and cool shelter.
Once earwigs enter your bathroom, you can find them where it’s dark, damp, and undisturbed during the day. That includes inside the cabinets, under the sink, or behind the toilet. If you have furniture inside the bathroom, it’s also likely that some earwigs are hanging out under the cushion.
Meanwhile, during the night, earwigs will start crawling around your restroom, hunting for food. It’s why you might spot them crawling on the bathroom floor, walls, bathtub, or around your lighting fixtures.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs in the Bathroom
You can use several natural and chemical solutions to get rid of earwigs in the bathroom for good.
These natural home remedies can kill earwigs crawling in your bathroom.
- Alcohol and Water
Alcohol is a surfactant that can penetrate the earwig’s waxy coat. It will kill earwigs as soon as the alcohol gets in contact with their body.
How to Use
Mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol together, and use it to spray at earwigs in drains and sink or where you found them in the bathroom. This simple solution can kill and get rid of earwigs instantly.
- Dish Soap and Water
Dish soap can also be an effective homemade insecticidal soap to kill any earwigs you found crawling in your restroom.
How to Use
Fill a spray bottle with tap water and add a couple of drops of dish soap. Shake the mixture and start spraying it on the insects or dark places where they are hiding.
Make sure to cover the sink and drains where earwigs are frequent. Repeat the process until you don’t see any earwig crawling in your bathroom anymore.
- Soy Sauce and Oil Traps
To get rid of earwigs in the bathroom, you can lure them into a trap. The soy sauce smell will attract earwigs from hiding, encouraging them to climb into the liquid looking for food. Meanwhile, the cooking oil will trap and drown them in the solution.
How to Use
Combine soy sauce and cooking oil inside a small container, but don’t cover it. Any kind of oil you have in the kitchen will work fine. Then, place the container in corners and crevices in your bath where you found earwigs.
Get rid of earwigs using chemicals, such as:
- Boric Acid Powder
You can find boric acid powder in most hardware stores, and you can use this to kill earwigs hanging out in hard-to-reach areas in your bathroom, like deep cracks and holes.
How to Use
Dust the powder where earwigs are taking shelter or where earwigs can crawl through the dust. Remember that earwigs need to get in contact with the acid powder for them to die. Also, it may take around a week for this solution to kill the pests.
- Store-Bought Pesticides
Purchase a pesticide or insecticide that can target earwigs in your bathroom. Some practical options against earwigs include Diatomaceous Earth, pyrethrin, permethrin, bifenthrin, malathion, and carbaryl as active ingredients.
How to Use
When using granular pesticides and pesticide dust like Diatomaceous Earth, spread it by hand or use a handheld spreader in areas where earwigs feed or live. That includes around the windowsill, cracks, and crevices in bathroom walls.
When using liquid pesticides, spray it directly on earwigs hanging out in your toilet. You can use the pesticide on their usual crawl spaces, under the sink, and behind the toilet.
How to Prevent Earwigs from Coming Back to My Bathroom
Once you have removed earwigs in your restroom, you can prevent them from returning by taking away what makes your bathroom attractive to them.
- Keep possible entries secure.
If your bathroom windows have a screen, make sure that they are intact and don’t have holes in them. Check for cracks and holes in the walls, ceiling, bathroom fans, and leaky drains and pipes.
Repair or cover any potential location where earwigs can enter your restroom. Caulk any cracks in the walls and fix any dripping wet spots.
- Dehumidify your bathroom.
If you minimize the humidity in your bathroom, it won’t be an attractive shelter or breeding ground for earwigs. Using a dehumidifier or turning on the bathroom fan can help eliminate the dampness and extra moisture in the restroom. Ultimately, it will prevent earwigs from coming back in the toilet if they don’t have a moist area to call home.
- Vacuum your restroom often.
Cleaning and vacuuming your toilet often will not only suck up any wandering earwigs from the bathroom floor. It can also eliminate food crumbs that attract earwigs to go inside the restroom. If no food sources litter on your bathroom floor and counters, earwigs won’t return looking for food.