Earwigs are peculiar-looking bugs that can find their way inside your house and terrorize your family, especially if they have managed to infiltrate your fridge.
They’re harmless overall, and their appearance and name make them seem worse than they really are. Nevertheless, they are still an unwanted guest and pests you want to remove from your home.
In this article, I’ll explain how earwigs ended up in your fridge, how to remove them, and preventative measures you can take to minimize it from happening again.
Why Are There Earwigs in My Fridge?
Earwigs like to hide in dark, moist environments, which makes your fridge an attractive place for them to seek shelter.
They are nocturnal, so they hide in a dark place during the day and come out during the night to look for food. If you have found one or more earwigs in your fridge, it is possible that you have picked up some produce hitchhikers.
Earwigs are also attracted to decaying organic matter, so if something is going bad in your fridge, they may have gotten into your fridge because they were drawn to that.
Earwigs can get inside your fridge through a crack in the gasket/seal or even in the exterior. They are also quick, so they may have hurried into the refrigerator when the door was opened.
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Health Concerns Regarding Earwigs in Refrigerators
While earwigs have a mean-looking pair of forceps, they are not dangerous. They rarely bite, and when they do, they have no venom, and their pinch rarely ever breaks through the skin.
Earwigs don’t nest in large colonies, so if you see one in your fridge, it’s unlikely that there is a large infestation of them inside your fridge or your home.
You can’t be sure where an earwig was before entering your fridge, and since they are attracted to moist places, it could have spent some time in a septic system or drain.
However, if you have found the odd earwig in your fridge, there is a chance that they can contaminate food, leave fecal matter, and also spread bacteria across surfaces. This increases the risks of viruses or harmful microbes being spread to your food, which could make you ill.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your Fridge
There are a few things you can do to eliminate their presence. Since Earwigs aren’t made for cold weather, they cannot survive long in the fridge, but whether you have found one or more, you will want to take the same steps just to be safe:
- Remove all items from the inside of the fridge and inspect them for earwigs
- Disinfect the fridge thoroughly, focusing on cracks and crevices where bugs could hide. Use a warm soapy water mixture to wipe down the fridge
- Clean and sanitize all items thoroughly and make sure everything is properly sealed before restocking the fridge
- Carefully inspect the fridge and seal any possible entry points. If the gasket is cracked, it should be replaced
How to Prevent Earwigs From Entering the Fridge
Since earwigs are food motivated, most prevention steps involve removing open food sources. To safeguard your fridge from future earwig invasions and maintain a bug-free kitchen, you can:
- Store food properly in airtight containers and dispose of old or rotting produce immediately
- Clean your fridge, counters, pantry, and stove regularly so they remain free of crumbs and other food debris
- Earwigs are drawn to moisture, so ensure your kitchen sink has no leaks, and also, empty the water tray under the fridge if you have one. Dry up any water or spills in the kitchen immediately
- Inspect your fridge for cracks, gaps, loose seals, and other possible entry points, and use caulking or replacement parts to close them off
- Earwigs can be hidden in boxes or plant pots that you bring inside. If you do bring items that have the potential to bring pests into your home, leave the items in the bathtub for a few days as a quarantine measure. The bathtub’s slippery surface will help keep bugs from crawling out and getting into other areas of your home, like your refrigerator