Termites vs Earwigs

Colony of red termites found in a corner of a room

Termites and earwigs are household pests that enjoy living in warm climatic conditions. These two creatures possess differences and similarities that every homeowner should understand before embarking on pest elimination activity. These insects may appear harmless and innocent until they wreak havoc in your house, causing huge damage to your property.

Termites vs. Earwigs Overview

Pests are known to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your house. Termites and earwigs are not exceptions as they fall under pests. When these two types of creatures invade your home, they can cause much damage, leading to huge losses. That is why you need to identify them early to know the best elimination method you can apply to get rid of them.

Colony of termites eating pieces of grass leaves on a ground soil

Understanding how a product can help you eliminate these pests by yourself is also important so that you don’t go on guessing the one to use. At Self Control Pest, we will provide you with a commercial grade product that effectively gets rid of these pests.


Termites are social insects living in large colonies consisting of soldiers, workers, and reproductive forms. They live in nests mostly found underground near trees, stumps, wood piles, or other food sources. Each colony has a king and queen who are responsible for reproduction. The workers are responsible for protecting the king and queen and providing food.

Termite workers teams are good at building complex homes out of dead trees, eating your furniture as a delicious snack, and killing themselves when there are too many in a colony to reduce the competition. They also build giant bridges using these dead bodies for fun. The following are some of the damages termites can cause:

  • Termites can damage your walls when building their nests
  • They can damage your carpet by chewing through them
  • Termites can cause long-lasting damage to the foundation of your home or office


Earwigs are also known as pincher bugs because they use their pincers to hold things while they feed on them. These creatures are mostly found outside the house during the summer months. However, they will enter the house when the temperature drops to 55 Fahrenheit.

Earwigs feed on plants and small insects such as flies and mosquitoes and do not cause damage to people, property, or food. They also do not reproduce inside the house and are only a nuisance when they visit your home.

Unlike termites that are known to feed on wooden materials, earwigs mostly feed on various vegetables and flowers and are active from late June to October. Some of the plants that earwigs chew include marigolds, butterfly bushes, and hostas. The following are some of the damages earwigs can cause in your garden:Brown earwig found on a granite floor

  • They can damage corn silk and seedlings
  • A larger number of earwigs can kill seedlings and flowering plants

Comparison Between Termites and Earwigs

Termites and earwigs have similarities and differences worth noting. This will help you identify these creatures whenever you encounter them or want to implement an appropriate elimination method.


  • They both have six legs and two antennae with pincers located at the end of them
  • Both have wings, although they aren't used for flying
  • Both earwigs and termites have a thin layer of tough skin that covers their body and is used to defend these creatures from predators
  • Both can move fast when searching for food or when attacked by predators
  • Both like moist environments where they can build their nests and reproduce
  • Both termites and earwigs have powerful jaws they use to chew wood and other food materials


  • Termites are usually white because the chitin in their shell is not hardened, earwigs are dark in color because of the hardened chitin
  • Termites mainly feed on wood materials containing cellulose, while earwigs feed on plants, decaying wood, and other insects
  • Termites have narrow heads, long antennae, and chewing mouthparts at the front of their heads, while earwigs have broader heads with short antennae near their eyes on the sides of their heads
  • Termites are social insects that live in colonies with one queen and thousands of workers. Earwigs are solitary insects that live alone or in mated pairs until the mating season begins

The Major Distinguishing Factor

The major distinguishing factor between the two is body size. Termites are smaller in size, measuring between a quarter and a half of an inch long. On the other hand, earwigs with larger body sizes measure about half to one inch long.Colony of red termites found in a corner of a room

When to Apply Termite Treatment

The best time to apply termite treatment is during the winter because this is the time you can notice their activities. However, you must always stay vigilant since these creatures are known to destroy wooden structures silently. Know how to apply a pesticide whenever you experience termite infestation.

When to Apply Earwig Treatment

The best time to apply earwig treatment is during summer and spring. Earwigs are active during these seasons, making it ideal for applying a pesticide to eliminate most of them. However, this does not mean you wait for these seasons to eliminate these creatures. You can apply the treatment whenever you feel they are becoming a threat to your home.

Which Is Better: Earwig or Termites

Both are pests worthy of concern. However, an earwig infestation is better than termites. This is because termites can cause long-lasting damage to our wooden structures, unlike earwigs that only destroy flowering plants (when in large numbers).

Related Questions

What Are Termites Known For?

Termites are known for destroying wooden structures silently. If you are not keen on these creatures, they can silently chew through furniture, flooring materials, and papers. It is essential to inspect your house regularly to ensure you keep them in check.

Can Earwigs Hurt You?

No, earwigs cannot hurt you, and they are also not venomous. However, they can turn violent when threatened. Earwigs mostly use their pincers to defend against their enemies and predators. These pinchers can still leave a painful mark on your body.

What Attracts Termites?

Termites like moist places and could be attracted to leaky pipes, poor drainage, and food sources. Ensure you have good drainage and that your piping system is not leaky to tame these creatures.


Earwigs and termites are both pests and can destroy properties or plants. Termites are known to destroy wooden structures, while earwigs can destroy plants(when in groups). Therefore, it’s essential to note the difference between the two so that you can apply an appropriate method when eliminating them.

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