The Most Frequently Asked Questions on Earwigs
Earwigs are common and unpleasant pests, surrounded in mystery and myth. There are so many urban legends about this disgusting creatures, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. If you've spotted earwigs in your home, or are afraid of an infestation, you want straight answers. Luckily for you, we've got them.
Will Earwigs Crawl into Your Ear?
No. This is the most common misconception about earwigs, and spans back several hundred years. Accordingly to legend, earwigs will burrow into your ears as you sleep, usually to do something unpleasant like lay eggs or eat your brain.
It almost seems plausible. Nature is full of all sorts of strange and scary creatures. A quick look at an earwig's slender body makes it seem uniquely adapted to crawling into your ear canals. And after all, it has to be called an earwig for some reason, right?
It's theoretically possible for an earwig (and many other bugs) to crawl into your ears as you sleep. Luckily, they actually tend to avoid people rather than seek us out. Earwigs will not target your ear for any reason, and certainly aren't looking to cause you direct harm in any way.
Where Do Earwigs Live?
Earwigs can live anywhere that it's cool, dark, and damp. This can mean at the bottom of a pile of wood or in a moist corner of your basement. They need lots of water to survive, so look for them near puddles, mud, dripping faucets, and anywhere else water is abundant.
Geographically, earwigs of different species can be found almost anywhere in the world, though they avoid very cold and very dry places.
How Can I Get Rid of Earwigs?
Earwigs are gross, and destructive to boot. They breed and spread quickly, but are also fairly easy to control.
If you see a stray earwig here and there, you can eliminate it with judicious use of a shoe, napkin, or store-bought pesticide spray. An infestation requires more serious efforts. Start by removing all clutter the insects could be using for food and shelter, especially piles of paper, clothing, and anything else that can get musty. Then remove any sources of water, such as dripping faucets and leaking pipes. If your pesticides aren't effective then, consider calling in a professional to get rid of the bugs for you.