Don't Get Too Wigged Out About Earwigs

Posted on: 29 March 2019

Earwigs are some rather scary-looking bugs. With the two pincers that emerge from their back and the long antennae that seem to swirl around their face, it's no wonder that myths about these creatures abound. There are some unfortunate aspects of finding earwigs around your home, but not everything you've heard about these bugs is true. Here are a few myths, along with a few facts.

Earwigs will burrow into your ears: MYTH

The myth that earwigs will enter your ears and burrow into your brain is nothing more than a scary legend. You don't have to go to sleep in a hat or pull the covers over your face if you find an earwig or two in your home. In fact, earwigs are rather harmless to humans in general. They can and occasionally do pinch people, but they only do this when agitated. They will not just sneak up and pinch you in the middle of the night.

Earwigs spread the plague: MYTH

Again, earwigs do not often bite. When they do, they are not known to spread any diseases, including the plague. The plague is spread by a specific species of fleas that live on rats and mice. The only real danger of having earwigs in your home is that some people are allergic to certain proteins on the bugs' exoskeletons. If earwigs are present in your home in large numbers, you might start itching and sneezing in response to these proteins.

Earwigs are attracted to moisture: FACT

If there are earwigs in your home, chances are it's because your home is too moist. Getting rid of the moisture — whether that means installing a dehumidifier, repairing a pipe, or plugging some cracks in your foundation — will cause the earwigs' numbers to dwindle. In many cases, you won't need to use pesticides if you can get your space dry.

Earwigs are nocturnal: FACT

If you wonder why you only ever see earwigs at night, it's because the bugs are nocturnal. They feed and nest at night, and during the daytime, they tend to hide in corners, behind walls, and in other secluded areas. If you go to bed early, you may actually have an earwig infestation for months without realizing it since the bugs are so inactive during the day.

If you have noticed earwigs in your home, don't get too wigged out. The best thing to do is dry out your home, and if that does not work, call a pest control company.

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