The striped earwig adults are dark brown with light tan markings. The males are large and robust with stout pincers. The females are somewhat smaller and lighter in color than the males. These earwigs are in areas having sandy or clay soils, and it lives in subterranean burrows or under debris. They are usually found outdoors unless populations are large or other conditions are adverse.
Earwigs are beetle-like, short-winged, fast moving insects about one-half to one inch in length. They have chewing-type mouthparts, a pair of pincer-like appendages at the tip of their abdomen and are dark brown in color.
Earwigs mate end to end, often grasping each other's pincers. Female earwigs are able to store sperm for several months before fertilization. A female will lay hers eggs in a burrow she has excavated or in natural crevices in the soil, where she will stand guard protectively until the young hatch. The female guards the eggs from predators and constantly turns and cleans them, preventing fungus diseases. Upon hatching the young earwigs resemble small adults and remain under the protection of their mother for a short period of time. They must then disperse to new areas or risk being eaten by her.
Earwigs are commonly found in dark, sheltered environments and are common under rocks, logs and the bark of trees. They are common over most of New York and many species frequent suburban backyards and homes. Earwigs are nocturnal and may often be attracted to lights at night. Most species of earwigs are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of plant and animal material. Many species live primarily on a diet of plant matter, both living and decaying. They also consume dead insects and other organisms, while some species prey on live insects. The cerci are often used to hold food and carry prey after it has been killed. Earwigs can infest many different areas in a home. Because of that, it may be necessary to use several insecticide products to control them effectively.