Earwigs: a Pest That Eats Plant Material Not Brains

March 4th, 2009 by BugGuy

earwig Earwigs are one species of insect that can easily be identified by just their appearance. It’s their pinchers or forcep-like appendages at the end of their abdomens that give them away. This is also why these insects are known as a “pincher bug.” Even though these pinchers look like they can cause some painful damage, they are primarily used for holding prey and not as a offense weapon. Earwigs are usually scavengers, feeding on dead animal and plant material but some species will feed off of living plants. The insects will generally be more active during the evening hours and can be found under rocks, debris and boards during the day.

It is believed that the word earwig originated from the Anglo-Saxon word earwicga, which means “ear creature.” This term originated from the widespread belief that earwigs would crawl into the ears and bore into the brains of sleeping people. With that said, doctors remove the insects from human ears from time to time but it doesn’t happen on a regular basis to substantiate the myth.

Earwigs are often found near building foundations, similar to other insects such as crickets, centipedes and millipedes. To keep these pesky pests out of your house, keep your structure’s exterior free of earwig hiding places and regularly rake up dead leaves from the yard. Exterior pest control maintenance every two months and interior service twice a year will keep the earwigs at bay.

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