Earwig Bite

Earwig Bite

Earwigs don’t actually bite, contrary to popular legend. Earwigs get their name from an old superstition saying that the insects crawled into people’s ears at night while they were sleeping, a belief that is now largely discredited. Finding an earwig in the ear would be a freak occurrence.

Modern-day science has also confirmed that the earwigs’ pincers can’t actually pinch and are used exclusively for protecting their offspring from predators and for helping to fold away their wings after they are used. Earwigs don’t bite or attack people, and the amount of damage that they cause to live plants is usually overstated.

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While earwig bites are a bit of a misnomer, earwigs are a nuisance in the home and could leave fecal matter when living in large colonies. Earwigs originate outside, although they’re mostly noticed inside houses at nighttime. Popular breeding sites for them include flower beds and vegetable gardens near the base of the home. Its common to find earwigs in gardens, feeding on decaying vegetables and, at times, other insects. They usually won’t harm plants that are growing there.

A residual spray like chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, or diazinon can be used to control the insect inside the house. Insecticides should be labeled specifically for indoor use. Formulations with dust should be used in parts of the home that are dry. Outdoor products should be applied around crawl spaces, foundations, vents, flower beds, and turf within a few yards of the home. For good results, granular insecticide applications should be used in mulched areas and turf grasses. As always, directions should be read and followed before using pesticides.

3 Responses to “Earwig Bite”

  1. kathi awoola says:

    I beg to differ with you on your “comfirmed modern-day science” coment Earwigs dont bite or pinch, I was bit 3 separate times. the first time on my thigh,then on my butt one week later,then one month later, on the right side of my neck by “You got it”, An EARWIG!it is the worst sting ever the 1st two times i actually killed the vicious little pricks, but the 3rd bite I smacked it across the room, it bite me next to my juglar vein I had to go to emergancy. im on an antibiotic, and benadyrl cream. “So No Earwigs Don’t Bite They STING THE HELL OUT OF YOU” Thanks For Listening

  2. tyler says:

    yes they do bite or pinch or whatever…Just this morning I felt a sting on my foot, looked down and sure enough there was an earwig. so, yes they can bite or pinch.

    • Jan says:

      I was just bitten by one a few minutes ago. I have found 3 on me since this afternoon. House has been closed up with no one here for almost a week so guess they decided to take up residence. Went years without ever seeing one and now in the last month, have seen a bunch of them.