Bug of the Month February: Earwigs

We are bringing back a customer favorite from the past, Bug of the Month. February’s bug is the Earwig! It is common to see these guys around this time of year, so we often get questions about the dangers they present.

Do Earwigs Burrow in Ears?

There are a lot of misconceptions about earwigs, namely whether they can or cannot bite people. The name certainly doesn’t help, which originated from an old European superstition that the insects could enter peoples ears and work their way to the brain. This is, of course, completely false. So what harm can they do? While they are not aggressive by nature, they can get protective if agitated. Their “pincers” are not large enough to puncture human skin, but they can cause a minor scratch which may become irritated. Even a minor scratch is unlikely to occur as earwigs are not usually aggressive towards humans in their natural environments. That being said, they can still be a nuisance.

If you have seen earwigs in your home, they are likely escaping the cold weather. This may mean you have entry points in your home that you are not aware of, such as a torn window screen or gaps beneath a door to the outside. Once earwigs make their way into the home, they like to inhabit moist, warm spaces. You may have seen earwigs in your home after bringing in some holiday decorations from the garage. Garages are often easy to access for bugs like earwigs and boxes make perfect habitats for them. If you have houseplants, earwigs can infest and harm these plants, the warm and moist environment is ideal.

For minor earwig infestations we recommend checking the base of plant pots, outside storage brought in the home, or any other places you think they might have infested. Vacuum up any earwigs you find, and then vacuum the entire house thoroughly including the corners and baseboards of each room. If the problem persists, you may need a pest control professional to come treat the home so the infestation is eliminated. Questions? We’re here to help meet all of your pest control needs, just give us a call and “Discover the Difference!”