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earwig on a rock outside an aiken home

Quick Facts

  • The myth that these bugs will crawl into your ears and lay eggs is completely false
  • Hide during the day in mulch, under rocks and logs, and other damp areas
  • Eat both plants and insects
  • Are very protective of their eggs and will stay with their young until the first molt

It sounds like something out of a horror story; bugs crawling into your ears at night while you’re sleeping, tunneling to your brain. That is how earwigs got their name, an old superstition that claimed this small insect did just that. Thankfully, there is no scientific evidence of this. These common household insects, also referred to as ‘pincer bugs’ are generally just looking for food and water sources in your home.

What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are pretty easy to identify thanks to the pincers, also known as cerci, on their backside. They are a long, narrow bug, usually dark brown in color. Sometimes, earwigs produce a foul smelling odor as a defense and this could be another way to identify these pests.

Earwig habits and behaviors

Earwigs are a nocturnal insect, which means they often hide during the day. They come out at night to feed on leaves, fruit, flowers, mold and even other insects. Earwigs feed on green plants, and other vegetation, and do little damage indoors. They hide in damp, dark areas such as under piles of lawn debris, in the crevices of lawn furniture, in tree holes and under rocks. Earwigs get into homes and other structures through exterior cracks.

Are earwigs dangerous?

While legend believed earwigs crawled into people’s ears to tunnel into their brain, this is just a myth. Earwigs may look capable of being dangerous to humans but they are not. They are not known to spread diseases but they can pinch your skin as a defense if they are handled or feel threatened. These insects are more of a nuisance than anything else.

Does Aiken treat earwigs?

Yes we do. Earwigs are one of the many pests prevented and eliminated with our quarterly home pest control program.  With this program, we stop by on a regular basis to check for and to treat any pest problems. Call us today to get rid of earwigs in your home!

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