Contrary to urban myths, earwigs do not burrow into people’s ear canals! Old legends claimed that these little silverfish-looking bugs make their way into ear canals and lay eggs, but that’s simply not true. That said, many people still fear these pesky little insects and worry about their ability to bite. Despite their intimidating looking pincers, earwigs very rarely bite humans. At worst, they will use their forceps (cerci) to pinch when threatened. Thankfully, their pinches are very minor and cause little discomfort!
All About Earwigs
These little insects have flat bodies, are typically a brown or black color, and possess visible pincers or cerci that are occasionally used for defensive purposes. Although they have wings, they very rarely use them to fly. Other facts to know about earwigs include:
- They prefer to stay hidden, and are nocturnal insects. During the day, they hide under rocks and tend to seek out damp or moist areas.
- When they make their way inside your home, they are often found old boxes, stacks of books, in the basement, or even invading your kitchen.
- They aren’t picky and will eat a variety of organic matter: plants, fruits and vegetables, trash, other insects, and even plants.
Do Earwigs Bite?
Just by looking at them, you would think that earwigs are known for biting or pinching people. However, that just isn’t the case. Although earwigs have strong cerci, they almost never use them to pinch or bite humans unless directly threatened or picked up. In the rare case someone is pinched by an earwig, the symptoms will be very mild—occasionally, some irritation will result from the incident but nothing more. The good news is that these bugs actively avoid contact with people and typically scuttle away when exposed.
Preventing Earwigs in Las Vegas
Although earwigs don’t pose a threat to humans, that doesn’t mean you want to come across a nest of them in or near your home! There are a number of things you can do to make your home and yard less desirable for earwigs:
- Keep your landscape in tip-top shape: Get rid of piles of waste, avoid using decorative stepping stones, use mulch sparingly, and keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house.
- Inspect the perimeter of your home: Look for any obvious entry points and seal them to keep earwigs from slipping into your home.
- Promptly fix any moisture problems: Repair leaky faucets, sprinklers, and other factors that contribute to a moist environment.
If you’ve implemented all of these prevention tactics and still have a large population of earwigs on or near your property, it’s time to call for professional help. The team at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas knows how to remove earwigs and keep them from returning. Call us today to learn more!
Can Earwigs Bite or Pinch Humans? in Las Vegas NV
Serving Las Vegas - Henderson Metro Area