The Truth About Earwig Bugs
While it’s possible that earwig bugs could wander into someone’s ear canal, stories about these creatures seeking out the human ear and burrowing inside are simply urban legends.
Earwigs are distinctive looking, with long black bodies and large pincers protruding from their abdomen. They are relatively harmless, but may try to pinch if picked up. This is purely a natural defense mechanism used to ward off opponents and predators, and has nothing to do with any inherent malice toward man. It’s unlikely that they’d be able to successfully grab any skin, anyway, given the size difference between earwig bugs and humans.
Earwigs don’t cause any household destruction, like moths or termites. They do, however, tend to give many people the creeps and it is generally a nuisance to share your belongings with any kind of bugs, no matter how docile they may be. Earwig bugs don’t scare too easily, but if they are startled they will sometimes emit a foul odor.
Preventing Earwig Infestation
These bugs love to congregate in dark, damp places like under woodpiles, rocks, and compost piles. You can make your property less attractive to earwigs by keeping things neat and tidy.
- Don’t let old branches or garden clippings lie around for long periods.
- Regularly turn over and wash stones, logs, and other landscape features that might harbor colonies of earwig bugs.
- Prevent them from coming inside your house by sealing off all openings with caulk or silicone and make sure to use screens on windows and sliding doors.
Getting Rid of Earwig Bugs
- Boric acid works to kill bugs and is safe enough to use around children. Boric acid is the active ingredient in most pest killing products available to consumers. It only works if it is eaten, so placing it in those hidden little places where earwig bugs like to gather will achieve the best results. It’s important to note that boric acid is dangerous to pets and children. Do not place boric acid anywhere where kids or animals might ingest it. Remember to follow the instructions on the package and follow any precautions indicated by the manufacturer.
- Using pesticides is not necessary, given that earwigs cause no health risks and do not inflict damage to property. A completely natural way to rid yourself of earwig bugs is to simply remove them. Throw away infested logs, boxes, or other expendable objects. You can also rinse the earwigs off of these items and into a container filled with soapy water.
- Another natural method to get rid of earwigs is to place rolled up newspapers or pieces of an old garden hose strategically around your property. Once these things have become inhabited by groups of the bugs, you can throw them out or use the soapy water method described above.
- You can also set out a dish of vegetable oil. Earwigs will be drawn to the oil, and drown while trying to get a taste of it. Empty the container as often as you like. You can even strain the bugs out and reuse the oil.
Living With Earwigs
An important thing to consider is that while you may want to remove earwig bugs from your house and yard, earwigs can actually be helpful out in the garden. They have been known to eat small pests such as aphids as well as the larvae of many invasive insects.
Whether you choose to coexist with them or to eradicate them, rest assured that you don’t have to worry about earwig bugs invading your ears while you sleep.