What’s an Earwig?
Not everyone is familiar with earwigs. They may have a vague memory of something from Star Trek dredged up from the long-ago past where one crawled into someone’s ear and laid eggs in their brain. This is one of the most persistent urban legends about these creatures and it is patently false. This particular myth has been around since the Middle Ages and was no truer at that time than it is now. If you want to be grossed out, the insect most often found in the human ear is the cockroach. It’s far more common to have another kind of insect find its way into your ear.
Now that you are thoroughly creeped out, let’s learn some more about this insect. Despite not living up to their name, they are still a common household pest.
The real problem with earwigs is that there are so many of them and they get into everything. You know that flour you thought you’d put into a vacuum-sealed Tupperware container? Earwigs got in there. How? Some kind of miracle. Pouring your cornflakes in the morning, those are not chocolate pieces in your cereal, are they? No! They are insects! Even placing these food items inside your fridge or freezer, somehow the little monsters will get in there. It seems that there is no place one of these insects cannot squeeze into or under as if they were a particularly disgusting variety of cat. They do not come single file but in battalions. So if you have an earwig problem it is to your advantage to take care of it post-haste!
5 Facts about Earwigs
- Earwigs most likely got their name from the shape of their wings
- Earwigs do not survive outdoors in cold climates
- Earwigs are nocturnal
- Earwigs have pincers but they are not dangerous and don’t usually break the skin
- There is no evidence that earwigs transmit disease to humans or other animals
As infestations go, earwigs are one of the better ones to have, since they are relatively harmless and do not carry disease. However, when they arrive in their multitudes, most people do not want an addition of earwigs to their morning breakfast cereal, so it is best to take care of an infestation with an earwig treatment before it becomes a real problem in your home.
What Types of Earwigs are Common to Central Indiana?
There are plenty of these insects in the area. The European is the most common local variety. They are unfortunately a nuisance in most of the Midwest, having found an environment similar to the one they are accustomed to back home in their countries of origin. During the winter, these pests will invade homes in search of warmth, and because they arrive in large groups this may startle even the most seasoned homeowner. Nobody wants to turn around and see an army of bugs wandering through their kitchen pantry of an evening.
What are the Health Risks to your Family and Pets?
Fortunately, these bugs do not carry venom or bite, so they are fairly harmless creatures. However, they do emit a stinky yellow substance that can spray up to one inch from their bodies in order to deter predators. This is not an ideal situation for anyone, especially considering their ability to get into anywhere, preferably the food storage containers. One particularly difficult aspect to an infestation is that any greenery will be destroyed, particularly in greenhouses where the combined warmth and availability of plant life will attract the hungry hordes.
The real difficulty with an infestation is finding them in everything. They are very curious and hungry creatures and will go out of their way to investigate every nook and cranny of the house. They are like the glitter of the insect world, you just keep finding them everywhere you look. Even though these creatures are not particularly dangerous, the experience of an infestation is just gross. Unless you are an entomologist or you really, really like bugs, you are probably not going to be interested in having an earwig infestation in your house.
What Kind of Damage Can Earwigs Do to Your Property and Home?
For the most part, these pests are more annoying than harmful to your home or property. Out of the possible insect problems in the world, these bugs are one of the least dangerous to your family or your home. However, most people prefer not to have several hundred of them as houseguests, so it is best to eliminate them if you can. Ensuring that your yard is free of plant debris, clutter, and standing water will go a long way to keeping your house free of infestation. If, however, you are unfortunate enough to already have an infestation, it’s best to call in a professional for an earwig treatment to help you take care of the problem. Their tiny size and ability to find their way into almost everything mean that it can be easy to miss one or even several of these creatures when you are looking to eliminate them for good.
Consider yourself fortunate if the pest that has chosen your home is the humble earwig. They may look frightening, but their reputation is based on a myth for the most part, and they are not really to be feared. Still, they remain a common household pest that has been with us for centuries and does not seem likely to disappear anytime soon. Eliminating these pests from your home will be a snap, and give you the peace of mind that you are now living in a house that does not contain any of these pests at all.