How much does it cost to exterminate earwigs?

National Average Range:
$100 - $400

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Updated: August 19, 2022

Reviewed by Irene Pomares remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

Although earwigs are not dangerous, they are creepy and annoying. Most people opt to exterminate them as they can get out of control, and no one wants that. Extermination ensures that these pesky little guys don’t return with all their friends!

Earwigs aren’t scary, but having one crawl on your foot can freak you out. Exterminating kills both the eggs and the bugs to make sure your home doesn’t become a stomping ground for a large family of earwigs. The national average cost for extermination ranges from $100 to $400, with the average homeowner paying $300 for spraying a 2,500 square feet home for earwigs. Earwig extermination cost can be as low as $75 if you need to spray a 1,000 square feet home, or as high as $600 if your house is 3,000 square feet and you need additional quarterly visits to get rid of earwigs.

Earwig Pest Control

Earwig Extermination Cost
National average cost$300
Average range$100-$400

Earwig Extermination Cost per Square Foot

As with most types of pest management, the size of your home or property is a determining factor in the cost. The longer a professional has to spend on spraying your home and yard, the more they will charge. Costs for initial spraying for a smaller home, maybe 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, would be about $75. A larger home, for example, 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, could cost as much as $300.

Earwig Extermination Cost Chart (mobile)

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Earwig Extermination Cost

An occasional earwig in your home isn’t a huge deal, but sometimes they travel in larger groups or reproduce and become annoying. Like with any other pest, professional treatment is recommended as it is more effective and lasts longer. If done incorrectly, pests can become pesticide-resistant. Then, you have a real problem.

Most pest control companies treat earwigs the same as other insects such as roaches (not German cockroaches), spiders, centipedes, and millipedes. Typically, they charge for an initial visit, ranging from $75 to $300. Then, they recommend a monthly or quarterly service to keep your home free from pests. Monthly visits for pincher bug extermination run about $40 to $100, while quarterly visits are $80 to $300. The amount of time spent on an initial visit ranges from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how big your home is and if you need all rooms treated or just a certain area. Pricing varies according to the state where you are located. Some pest control companies quote pricing monthly or quarterly but require upfront payment for an annual treatment plan.

So, what methods do professionals use to get rid of earwigs? Professional exterminators choose from three different treatment methods. Commercial strength spray is used to spray baseboards, walls, behind and around furniture and appliances, cracks, and crevices inside the home. This requires a precision fine mist sprayer. The second form is a dust that is applied with a powder duster. It pushes the fine powder under gaps in baseboards, into electrical outlets, and wall cavities. The third treatment is less common and is called a heat treatment. The expert takes a handheld heat treatment gun and treats smaller areas such as furniture. When used alone, this method is not particularly effective.

Where Do Earwigs Live?

Earwigs are nocturnal and enjoy dark, moist environments. You often see them under mats or in bathrooms, kitchens, potted plants, or your garden. They may get inside accidentally when doors are opened or when trying to escape from bad weather conditions. They gain access to your home via cracks, gapes, or holes.

Get Rid of Earwigs in Garden

Earwigs, better known as pincher bugs in the garden, are good for eating smaller insects. However, they will chew on flowering plants or, if you grow corn, the corn silks. Also, they enjoy potatoes, lettuce, strawberries, and the seedlings of beets and beans. A professional will use a spray to treat your garden.

Earwigs in Bathroom

One of the favored places for earwigs is in the bathroom. They like the damp, dark area behind the toilet, in the shower or tub, and underneath the sink. They won’t harm anything in the bathroom but are frustrating as they show up frequently. Pincher bugs in the bathroom are best treated with a fine mist residual spray.

Earwigs in Kitchen

It is not as likely to see earwigs in the kitchen except around your sink or near the refrigerator. The bugs don’t carry any diseases, so food is safe around them. Thinking of creepy crawly things in your kitchen is just gross! An exterminator will use an earwig powder treatment that concentrates in the moist areas.

Earwigs in Bedroom

Typically, you won’t see earwigs in the bedroom if your flooring is clean and dry. You may see a lone bug here and there, but they are most likely traveling to a more desirable location. A professional bug company will use spray or powder for baseboards and walls to handle a bedroom earwig invasion.

Earwigs in Carpet

Pincher bugs are generally not in carpet as it is usually dry. If you have any leaks or damp areas because of inadequate ventilation, earwigs may appear in the carpet. Earwigs typically appear more frequently in slab homes, so that is where you may see them on the carpet. Due to the nature of carpet, a spray would work best.

Earwigs in Drains

Drains are a favorite of the pincher bug. They provide the perfect environment to breed and live. Enclosed in darkness and always moist, you may see an earwig crawling into the drain. Treating a drain is problematic, as anything you use will be washed away quickly. An expert exterminator would treat the bathroom baseboards, under the sink, and behind the toilet with a spray to eliminate the bugs.

Get Rid of Earwigs in Basement

An unfinished basement can be a cold, dark, and damp place, particularly if leaky pipes are located there. Even a finished basement maintains a perfect atmosphere and living space for earwigs. Earwigs are interested in living in this dark, underground space. A professional will use a powder extermination method if the basement isn’t used too often. If it is frequently a place where children or pets play, a spray would be the natural choice.

Earwigs In Attic

Unless the attic has a leak or you live in a damp region, the attic may not provide an inviting environment where earwigs would live. If earwigs are found in the attic, you may have a leak somewhere that is drawing them to the attic. If little bugs are in the attic, the exterminator will use a powder or spray.

Types of Earwigs

There are many different species of earwigs. They all have the same basic characteristics. Some pincher bugs have wings, and some do not. They differ in color variations, the environment they prefer, and how aggressively they hunt prey.

Earwig Pest Control (mobile)

European Earwig Control

This inch-long pest is the most common type seen in the United States. Their diet consists of dead or decaying vegetation and other insects. This scary-looking insect has pinchers located on its hind end. However, it is not a harmful bug. They grow to about an inch long and are constantly scavenging for food and a cool, moist living area. The European earwig makes its way into homes or yards by piggy-backing on newspapers, cut flowers, luggage, old furniture, and damp items. A professional exterminator would use a spray to rid your home of these earwigs.

Red-legged Earwig

The red-legged earwig is not native to the United States but appears very frequently in the Southern region, particularly in Florida. Sporting a dark-colored back, yellow underbody, and yellow legs with red or brown bands around them, this earwig has antennae and forceps to complete its look. This species distinctively lacks the leathery wings that other earwigs have. They travel in larger groups, so a spray is best.

Striped Earwig

This earwig gets its name from the stripes located on his back. One of the most aggressive predators, this species preys on living and dead insects, insect eggs and larvae, caterpillars, millipedes, spiders, and other bugs. These creatures don’t generally like to reside indoors. If the weather is extremely hot or dry, they will go inside to escape the discomfort. A professional would recommend a spray as the preferred extermination method.

Maritime Earwig

The maritime earwig is otherwise known as the seaside earwig. They camp out in the wet sands of the beach but do not know how to swim. The look of this insect is similar to other earwigs. The insect has a black colored body, yellow underbelly, and pinchers. Unless you live at the beach, it is unlikely the maritime earwig would end up in your home as this species does not fly. A professional exterminator would choose to spray to remove an infestation in beach homes.

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Earwig Damage

Although earwigs are a little scary looking, their bite is not hurtful or harmful to humans or pets. Their primary interest in your home is finding a cool, moist place to hide and possibly going after crumbs of food left behind. If you have other insects, they are sometimes helpful with that problem.

Outdoors, earwigs like to eat flowers, fruit that has fallen from a tree, live plants, and rotting vegetation. They can damage their favorite blooming flowers like roses, marigolds, zinnias, and dahlias. The good news is they often find enough debris on the ground to eat and stay away from plants and flowers. They also eat aphids, snails, and slugs, so their presence may help in your garden.

All About Earwigs

of these bugs are black or brown. They are not harmful to people or animals but can create havoc in your house or garden. Although some species of earwigs have wings, they do not usually fly.

Earwigs are mostly active during the night but are attracted to lights. Earwig reproduction starts when a mother earwig builds a nest and lays eggs. The eggs generally hatch in the spring. The earwig life cycle begins with the egg. Once hatched, it is called a nymph. The last stage is the adult stage. They usually only live about a year.

What Do Earwigs Look Like?

Most earwigs are black or reddish-brown and have pinchers or forceps that appear in the hind area. You will also notice small antennas on the front of the head. Many adult species have wings, but the baby earwigs do not. They do not use their wings very much but can crawl quickly.

What Do Earwigs Eat?

As previously mentioned, earwigs eat other insects and are prone to going after crumbs of food left behind. They also feed on old vegetation like composting leaves and other decaying plant parts. However, another way they can become a nuisance is when they get in your pantry. They can infiltrate your flour, rice, cereal, pancake mix, and other grains. Keeping your grains in a jar with a tight-fitting lid helps eliminate this problem.

What Attracts Earwigs in Your House

Earwigs like damp, dark places. You will likely see them in the bathroom, kitchen, around the sink, toilet, or tub. They may also hide under doormats and planters. Their goal is to find somewhere to hide from cool, dry air and find food. They will enjoy gardens as they love to eat flowers, plants, and corn silks.

Earwig on wood

Are Earwigs Dangerous?

An old wives tale says that earwigs crawl into your ear while you are sleeping and lay eggs in your brain. Fortunately, that isn’t true. Although they can use their pinchers to bite a human, they rarely do. They are not disease carriers, so they are not a danger if they get in your food. In short, they are just creepy looking, and you don’t want them around.

Signs of Earwig Infestation

So, what should you be looking for if you think you have an earwig infestation? Keep your eyes open for the following symptoms.

One of the nastiest thoughts about earwigs is their ability to release a foul odor to defend themselves. Females that are nesting are especially protective over their eggs and may use this as a defense mechanism against a predator.

In the kitchen, you may see holes in or black spots on fruits or vegetables. This may be an indicator of earwigs. Additionally, if you open your flour, rice, or other grain-based containers, you will see earwigs in them if you have a pantry infestation.

The pests enjoy eating indoor plants and fresh flowers outside. You may notice bites in the leaves or damage to your flower petals, as they tend to prefer eating the more tender part of the leaves, leaving the tougher veins alone. You may see them actively crawling when you pick up an indoor potted plant or at the bottom of your garbage can.

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Where Do Earwigs Lay Eggs?

A female earwig carries her eggs in her body for several months before finding the best place to lay them. She looks for a place to burrow, such as under leaves, in soil, or in a tight crevice area. Once she is ready, the mother earwig lays between 20 and 80 eggs. She can do this twice in a season. That is a lot of babies!

The eggs are small, round, and slightly shiny. You most likely would not find just one egg as the female lays many at once. Extermination is effective in killing the eggs as well as the hatchlings once they are born. Female earwigs are very particular about where they lay their eggs and they typically do so in protected areas like under wet leaves, mulch, or cracks. An earwig’s nest is just a burrow in the ground or underneath something, so there is no need for nest removal.

How to Prevent Earwigs

Several prevention measures can be taken to keep earwigs from finding their way into your home, garden, and yard. Preventing them is much easier than getting rid of them. If you have an infestation, it is better to use an exterminator to keep them from returning.

Inside your home, repair any leaky pipes or faucets to avoid damp areas where these bugs like to live. Fill any cracks and crevices inside and outside the house to avoid any pests. If you bring anything inside from outdoors, make sure you don’t bring bugs inside with you. This could be anything from potted plants to firewood to flowers or vegetables. Also, install weather stripping on all window and door openings.

In the yard and garden, earwigs enjoy mulch, large stones, firewood, landscape timbers, and stacks of boards. Pull mulch away from the house. Make sure you have proper drainage in your yard. Consider changing out your mulch for a drier border around your home, such as gravel or stone. Remove any items that are left sitting around, such as boards, trash cans, and potted plants. Clean regularly under welcome mats and make sure your rain gutters and spouts are directed away from your house’s foundation. Fix any leaky faucets or air conditioner units that cause dampness outside your home for pincer bug control. Trim back shrubs and trees to keep them from growing too close to the house. Raking up dead leaves and debris helps staunch the presence of earwigs. Changing the direction of outdoor lighting to aim it towards the yard and using yellow lighting deters bugs away from your home.

Earwig on a leaf

Silverfish vs Earwig Extermination Cost

Silverfish are creepy-looking insects but, as the name indicates, are a silverish color. They are often difficult to see because of their almost translucent appearance. These tiny bugs have some of the same characteristics as earwigs. They are nocturnal, like to live in dark places, and have similar life cycles. However, a silverfish infestation occurs much more quickly because they love hiding in boxes, paper, wallpaper, clothes, drawers, bookshelves, and more. They eat cellulose, which is in many household items. Damage from an infestation can be extensive, so extermination is vital. The cost of ridding your home of these creatures ranges from $200 to $600 versus an average of $75 to $300 for earwigs.

Earwig vs Termite Extermination Cost

Termites are a destructive bunch. They live in large colonies and eat wood. This equates to a problem if you have an infestation in your home. Their meals weaken the structure of your home and can extend to wood furniture inside the home. Earwigs differ in that they do not eat wood products or cause massive destruction to your home. Determining if you have termites is a little more difficult. They are much smaller and hide within the home’s woodwork. The cost difference is also vast. Termite extermination costs an average of $600 to $2,400. Earwig extermination costs an average of $75 to $300.

Earwig vs Cockroach Exterminator Cost

Cockroaches are probably one of the most disgusting creatures around. Their wide almond-shaped bodies feature wiggling antennas. Long prickly looking legs appear when you turn on a light or open a cabinet. These disease-carrying insects reproduce very quickly. Before you know it, you have a problem. They forage for food and end up contaminating everything in your pantry. Roaches are typically much larger than earwigs, and their body shape is different from the long thin earwig bug. The cost of roach extermination can climb very high, depending on the infestation. The average range is $150 to $450. Earwig extermination is in the $75 to $300 range.

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • A permit is not required to have an exterminator treat for earwigs. However, it is against the law to administer pesticides without a license. Licensed exterminators carry insurance that protects the homeowner from liability. Training expected varies from state to state, but passing an exam is most certainly required.
  • Homeowners can opt to do this project DIY, but it isn’t recommended as chemical safety and proper coverage are a concern.
  • There are a couple of natural methods available to rid your home of earwigs. Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled around the perimeter of your home to prevent home entrance. Additionally, releasing frogs, lizards, or spiders around your home could get the problem under control. However, most people don’t want an additional problem of an overabundance of these creatures.
  • Most pest control companies have a set price they charge. The number of pests doesn’t matter, but if your infestation is extensive--say every room has numerous earwigs--you should expect to pay an additional amount for the extra time needed. This could be around $50 to $100 more.


  • Are earwigs dangerous or poisonous to humans?

Earwigs are not dangerous. They do not carry venom or diseases that can harm people or pets.

  • Do earwigs bite people?

There are some differing opinions on whether or not an earwig bites. They do have the capability of biting but generally don’t. Their bite would not be painful or dangerous.

  • Can an exterminator get rid of earwigs?

An exterminator is the best way to go to get rid of earwigs completely. The average cost is $200 for extermination.

  • How do I get rid of earwigs in my house?

An exterminator is the best bet for ridding your home of earwigs or any other insect. Expect to pay about $200 for extermination.

  • Is it bad to have earwigs in your house?

Earwigs are not a sign of your home being dirty or unsafe. It is wise to make sure there are no leaky faucets, pipes, or drainage problems to avoid these bugs.