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The end of summer and the annual effort to expel European earwigs

The earwigs were looking for a place to stay, which is why some Newfoundland homeowners were breaking out the spray.

The bug population had grown in 1987, which meant more wanted to move indoors for the winter

Pauline Thornhill looks at the annual battle against earwigs in St. John's in 1987. 1:58

The earwigs were looking for a place to stay, which is why some Newfoundland homeowners were breaking out the spray.

In 1987, there were more earwigs crawling around the lawns of St. John's than usual when the summer was coming to an end.

"European earwigs spend their summers outdoors," the CBC's Pauline Thornhill told viewers in a report that aired on Midday in September of 1987.

"They're tucked away in the grass or under siding, any place that's moist and dark."

But with colder weather coming their way, those same earwigs needed a new place to live for the winter months.

Launching a 'chemical assault'

A man is seen applying a pest control treatment to the outside of a St. John's home, near the end of the summer, in 1987. (Midday/CBC Archives)

That's why some homeowners were having the exteriors of their homes sprayed to prevent those critters from moving in.

"It happens at the end of every summer. Pest controllers launch their chemical assault," said Thornhill, as viewers saw images of two men with gloves using a hose to spray down the lower walls of a siding-covered home.

Thornhill noted that the earwigs that did make it past the pest controllers wouldn't really cause problems for homeowners in any case.

"They won't eat away your house, or breed indoors," said Thornhill. "But earwigs do turn up in strange places, so they can be a little unnerving."

Some homeowners opted to use a spray to prevent earwigs from entering their homes for the winter months. (Midday/CBC Archives)