Recent Wet Weather Makes an Ideal Climate for Earwigs and Springtails

Jul 6, 2018


The recent wet weather has been too much for some gardens, and it has made some Iowa insects happy and healthy. Entomologist Donald Lewis and horticulturist Richard Jauron talked with Charity Nebbe about earwigs, springtails and other insects that are thriving in the damp conditions.

Lewis says that earwigs enjoy the place between the mulch and soil, where conditions are warm and humid.


“The goal of earwigs and other insects is to crawl into cracks and hide and to keep crawling,” Lewis said. “They’re not looking for anything, and it’s to their disadvantage to be inside.”

Springtails are another insect that are working their way in through small cracks in homes this time of year.


“Springtails describe how they get around,” Lewis said. “They release their tail to hit the ground and spring into the air.”


As with earwigs, the springtails that find themselves in a living room instead of their preferred humid, outdoor climate cannot reproduce, so a simple sweep or vacuum to transport them outside will get rid of them. Lewis advises not to spray to prevent their entrance, because both insects are not attracted to anything inside a home.


Later in the hour, Jauron and Lewis answered listener questions.