Earwigs are nocturnal or active at night and hide during the day in moist, shady places such as under stones or logs, or in mulch. The eggs and nymphs cannot go long periods of dryness.
The red-legged earwig has been recorded as a pest of Irish and sweet potatoes in storage damaging the roots of greenhouse vegetables, and nurseries. The striped earwig has not been recorded as damaging plants.
Earwigs are attracted to light. Usually it is the European and red-legged earwigs which occasionally invade homes, sometimes by the hundreds or thousands. Earwigs have been known to squirt their foul smelling liquid and use its pincers in defense if it feels threatened. The bite of an earwig can be painful, but they are not venomous. Red-legged earwigs may cause skin abrasions in humans.