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Answering Denver’s Most Common Earwig Questions

June 15, 2021 - Earwigs

The earwig, also known as a pincher bug, stirs the curiosity of many. What is it about this tiny insect that has thousands of people doing Google searches annually? Its name perhaps?

What Do Earwigs Do In Your Ear?

Will an earwig actually crawl into my ear? This scary-looking bug had to get its name from somewhere, right? Hundreds of years ago people thought that earwigs would climb into your ear while you slept and start munching on your brain, then would lay eggs in your ear canal. Gross! Luckily, that isn’t the case and is simply an old wives’ tale. They are no more likely to enter your ear than any other bug, now that’s not to say that a bug has never been found in a person’s ear. There are several documented cases of a variety of insects doing just that, but it’s far from normal.

Are Earwigs Dangerous?

The short answer is no, they are not dangerous. They do not sting or bite, nor do they have venom. Their pincers look as if they could hurt you should they decide to do so, but they can’t. They are capable of pinching you, but cannot break the skin or cause pain. Now if you were a fellow earwig or a smaller insect, then you could be concerned. The only danger they pose is to the bugs they feast on, one of which are aphids. Most gardeners would agree that the fewer aphids the better. Go earwigs! So never fear, you are safe from those creepy-looking critters.

How Did An Earwig Get Into My Bed?

Earwigs usually prefer to be outside under rocks or burrowing in the dirt, but they do find their way indoors. Here are some of the most common reasons they will visit you.

  • Moisture - They love a damp humid environment. If your basement or crawl space is damp, you will have earwigs.
  • Light - It’s surprising to hear that an insect that lives under a rock would be attracted to light, but it’s true.
  • Warmth - This is the reason you will find earwigs in your bed. On cold nights they will be drawn to your body heat. You can’t blame a bug for trying to stay cozy!
  • Food Source - Like any other living thing, they will go where they can be nourished. If you have smaller insects in your home that they can feed on, then they will come.

How Do You Kill An Earwig?

There are several DIY and natural methods that seem to work quite well, keeping in mind that these are not absolute, and that nature seems to always find a way to thrive.

  • Equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. This works by breaking down the waxy coat on the earwigs’ bodies and killing them on contact. This works quite well.
  • Birds and toads are natural predators of the earwig, potentially consuming 100 a day. Creating a bird-friendly garden will help to control earwigs, and other insects as well.
  • Diatomaceous earth sprinkled in your flower beds will work by drawing the moisture out of the earwigs’ bodies as they crawl over it. 

You can expect more earwigs during overly rainy years, and prepare accordingly. Consider moving any type of gardening product that retains moisture away from the house, such as mulch, pine needles, or bark.

However, the best way to kill earwigs and keep them away is with professional assistance. Advantage Pest Management has years of experience ridding Denver of all sorts of pests, including the creepy-crawly earwig, thanks to our expert pest control services. Learn more about our Denver, CO pest control options.

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