Earwig2 There are 22 species of earwigs, often called “pincher bugs”, in the United States of which 12 are introduced species. Only 4 or 5 species are common pests. The adult earwig is about 5/8 inches in length, and reddish brown in color and they can be found in homes, plants, piles of debris, and under rocks. They will invade homes and are often carried into the home in newspapers thrown on to lawns. Earwigs are nocturnal and get their name from an old belief that they would enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. They live in moist, shady areas such as under stones, logs or in mulch. Adults can float in water for 24 hours. Earwigs are omnivorous feeders but are very fond of plant material. They feed on a variety of plants however they are considered minor pests. They also attack and devour other insect pests. Females can have 2 broods but in North America commonly only have 1 with 30 to 55 eggs in a brood. Eggs hatch in about 70 days. Most earwigs species over winter in the adult form.