If you hold a full-grown earwig in your hands, you may be a little freaked out. On the tip of an earwig's abdomen is an impressive set of pincers. But far more intimidating than those pincers is the reputation these insects have for climbing into ears and eating the brains of sleeping people. Today, we're going to talk about just how dangerous earwigs are and what you can expect if they get into your Aiken home.

earwigs outside
earwig on veggies

Do earwigs bite?

No. Earwigs don't have mouth parts that are able to bite people. Since they don't bite, they also don't present the threat that biting insects present, such as envenomation, or the spread of harmful viruses and diseases.

Can an earwig break the skin with its pincers?

No. While the formidable pincers of an earwig can grip the skin, they're not strong enough to give you a good pinch, and you certainly don't have to worry about them breaking the skin and causing a wound.

Do earwigs spread diseases?

No. While there are many pests that can make you sick without biting you, the earwig is not one of them. These insects aren't exposed to feces, rotting organic matter, decaying animal carcasses, or the open wounds of living animals as they feed. (The insects that are exposed to these things are prone to picking up harmful bacteria and parasitic worms, and contracting diseases.) Earwigs crawl around in the soil and feed on leaves, flowers, fungus, mold, and insects. Therefore, earwigs won't make you sick from harmful microorganisms on their bodies.

Can earwigs damage my home?

You might think so. Earwigs are attracted to damp conditions and organisms that attach to rotting wood. When they get into a home, it is often through an entry point that has been created by wood-destroying pests, but earwigs don't make those holes. They don't eat wood or create tunnels in wood.

Will earwigs crawl in my ear?

They may. Your ear canal is a tight space, and earwigs love tight spaces. They are thigmotactic by nature. That is a fancy word that means they like it when they're touching something—preferably on all sides. This movement toward contact with solid bodies causes them to squeeze into gaps, cracks, holes, and sometimes ears. But, in fairness to earwigs, there are many bugs that will crawl into an ear, given the opportunity.

Do earwigs lay eggs in the ears of humans?

No. Your ear canal is not an appropriate environment for earwig offspring. A female earwig will have no reason to lay eggs in your ear.

Will earwigs tunnel into and eat my brains?

No, and no. First of all, earwigs don't eat brains. Second, they don't have the ability to tunnel through your flesh to get to your brain, even if they start by using your ear canal as a tunnel to get to your brain. You don't need to fear earwigs eating your brain.

Do earwigs present any danger at all?

They may. But the danger they present is not to you. Some earwig species can damage your plants. If you're seeing earwigs in your garden or landscaping, you should take steps to have them properly managed by a pest professional. Doing this will help to prevent your leafy vegetation from looking jagged and full of holes.

A Few More Questions About Earwigs

How do I keep earwigs out of my home? You need to keep your foundation perimeter free of leaves, sticks, wood, and other organic debris. Then, seal any gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior walls.
How do I get rid of earwigs that are in my home? It is possible to drive earwigs out by reducing humidity and dampness inside your home. You can do this by installing dehumidifiers or fans in key areas. Fix faucets and pipes that leak. When you take a shower or a bath, be sure to use the fan in your bathroom.
Can I just ignore earwigs? You can. But seeing earwigs in your home could be a warning sign of a more serious pest infestation, such as termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles, carpenter bees, etc.

Pest Control In Aiken

Get pests out and keep them out with assistance from the licensed professionals here at Aiken Pest Control. We know what is required to get control of earwigs and other home-infesting pests. Connect with us today and schedule a service visit. We can help.


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