This species feeds on other insects, plants, ripe fruit, and garbage.
Plants that they feed on typically include clover, dahlias, zinnias, butterfly bush, hollyhock, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry, sunflowers, celery, peaches, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, seedling beans and beets, and tender grass shoots and roots; they have also been known to eat corn silk, damaging the corn.
Typically they are a nuisance because of their diet, but normally do not present serious hazards to crops. Some tropical species are brightly colored.
Occasionally earwigs are confused with cockroaches because of their cerci and their long antennae.
Earwigs are generally nocturnal and can be seen patrolling household walls and ceilings. Interaction with earwigs at this time results in a defensive free fall to the ground below, and the subsequent scramble to a nearby cleft or crevice.
Earwigs are also drawn to damp conditions. During the summer, they can be found around sinks and in bathrooms. Earwigs tend to gather in shady cracks or openings or anywhere that they can remain concealed in daylight hours. Picnic tables, compost and waste bins, patios, lawn furniture, window frames, or anything with minute spaces (even artichoke blossoms) can potentially harbor these unwanted residents.
Upon gaining entry to the basement and living areas of the home, earwigs can easily find cover in undisturbed magazine and newspaper piles, furniture/wickerwork, base boards, carpeted stairways, pet food dishes, and even inside DVD cases and keyboards. Earwigs can be considered in some ways a beneficial part of the garden, especially when they prey on other insects, but they can become a nuisance because of their habit of positioning themselves within leaves and feeding on soft plant tissues.