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Do Earwigs Bite?

In: Pest Prevention Tips

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Earwigs tend to be a misunderstood insect. It doesn't help that movies paint them as monsters that bite us and burrow into our brains--a theme they no doubt drew from medieval medical and science journals. But the truth is earwigs don't eat our brains. They dine on plants. So, if you've been worried that the earwigs in or around your home might bite you, you can rest easy, but not too easily. They may not be creatures of horror, but the truth is, they can hurt you.

Earwigs don't have mouthparts that bite or a stinger that stings. What they do have is a set of pincers that protrude from their abdomen, and those pincers can hurt if they pinch you. Though it is rare for an earwig pinch to break the skin on a human, it is possible. Fortunately, they do not have poisonous venom, like spiders do.

If you have the rare experience of an earwig's pinch actually breaking your skin, use standard First Aid to treat the area--like you would with any scratch. Earwigs live in the soil, so there is a chance germs might get into the cut from their forceps. Applying an antibiotic lotion or cream and covering the wound with a bandage should be sufficient to take care of the injury.

Some interesting facts about earwigs:

  • Earwigs get their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into the brain.

  • There are 22 types of earwigs in the United States.

  • There are over 1,000 different species of earwigs all over the world.

  • Earwigs feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold, and insects.

  • These insects hide during the day.

  • They live under piles of lawn clippings, compost, or in tree holes.

  • They do not carry human-spread pathogens.

  • Earwigs can get into homes through gaps and cracks.

Some things you can do to keep earwigs, and other pests, out of your home:

If earwigs are getting into your home, it is either because conditions outside are harsh or because conditions inside are suitable. Earwigs like moist, protected areas. So, the key to keeping them out is sealing your home and making your home inhospitable to them.

  • Dry out any wet, moist, or humid areas in your home by repairing leaks and by using fans and dehumidifiers.

  • Make sure there are no wet leaves under or near your home.

  • Check all door sweeps and make sure they are in good working order.

  • If you do not have door sweeps, consider installing them.

  • Make sure all screens are in good repair.

  • Check your foundation for gaps or cracks and seal these using a caulking gun.

  • Call for professional pest control.

Even though earwigs do not bite, it is still not a good idea to have them infesting your home. Get total peace of mind and have a pest free home with McCall. Call McCall. We do it all!

Tags: Earwigs  |  earwig prevention tips  |  Earwing facts