There are many misconceptions about the humble insect known as the earwig. No one knows for sure who gave them their name or when it happened, but one thing is clear: Someone saw this insect come out of someone's ear. And, back in ancient times, they didn't know a whole lot about insects or what they can do when they get into an ear. So it isn't surprising that stories were told—the kind of stories that keep you from going to sleep at night. Fortunately, those scary stories are almost entirely untrue. What do we mean by "almost" entirely? Here's what you should know about earwigs.
The Myth Of Earwigs
There are several myths about earwigs. The prominent myth is that they climb into the ear of sleeping people, tunnel their way to the brain, and lay their eggs. Two of these facts are not true. You should find great relief in knowing that they are the two most horrifying of the three.
An earwig is incapable of tunneling to your brain. It does not possess mouth parts (or the inclination) to make such a tunnel.
An earwig isn't going to lay eggs inside your brain, your ear, or anywhere else inside your body. Your body is not a suitable breeding site for these insects.
DO EARWIGS GET INTO EARS?
Yes. They can. In fact, there are reasons an earwig might want to get into your ear while you're sleeping. Here are the three most important reasons:
Earwigs prefer to be in tight spaces.
Earwigs are drawn to moist areas.
Earwigs like dark holes.
The good news is that you aren't likely to sleep in a location that will make it easy or likely, that an earwig will get into your ear. They dwell in locations that are damp or high in humidity, like a cellar or a crawl space under a home.
DO EARWIGS BITE?
This is another question you may have about earwigs. After all, their black pincers look quite foreboding. We can give you some relief here as well. Earwigs are probably not going to pinch you with their pincers. If they do, there is little chance that they will break your skin. Those pincers are for fending off creatures that are much smaller than you. Earwigs also use them during mating.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT EARWIGS?
Some earwig species can be frustrating to deal with because they can damage plants in your landscaping and get into garden vegetables. The holes they make have a ragged appearance. But they are far less of a threat to the plants in your yard than some of the insects they eat, like aphids. The problem with earwigs is that they sometimes get into homes and become gross houseguests.
HOW DO I KEEP EARWIGS OUT OF MY HOME?
There are a few things you can do to keep earwigs, and several other pests, out of your Westchester home.
Do a detailed inspection of your exterior and seal any entry point you find. Earwigs will get in through cracks, gaps, and holes that are near the ground.
Address any conditions that cause moisture near your home, such as clogged gutters or broken splash backs.
Remove objects that are near your home. These can provide harborage underneath.
Remove unnecessary vegetation. Dense vegetation holds moisture after it rains.
Consider watering your plants in the morning so that the sun has time to dry the moisture before the sun sets. Earwigs are nocturnal insects. They seek out moist areas at night.
While earwigs are active at night, they are attracted to lights. Ground lighting is a particular attractant.
Keep lights off at night where it is not a security concern if you want to make your yard less interesting to earwigs.
Inside your home, install dehumidifiers and fans in locations that get humid.
If you have a crawl space under your home, consider having it encapsulated. Moisture underneath your home can lead to many pest problems.
How Parkway Pest Services Can Help
When you deal with pests around or inside your Westchester home, remember that the licensed pest professionals at Parkway Pest Services are always available to help you resolve your pest problems. Reach out to us anytime for immediate assistance.