Updated: June 10, 2023

Earwigs are a common insect found in gardens and homes around the world. These insects have a unique appearance with long, slender bodies and pincers at the end of their abdomen. However, there is a common myth that earwigs can crawl into people’s ears while they sleep. In this article, we will discuss whether this is true or not.

The Truth About Earwigs and Ears

While it is possible for earwigs to crawl into a human ear, it is extremely rare. Earwigs are not attracted to the human ear or the wax inside it. They are more likely to be found in dark and damp areas such as basements and gardens.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), only a few cases of earwig infestations have been reported over the years. In most cases, these incidents occurred when the person was sleeping outdoors or camping without proper protection.

It is important to note that even if an earwig does enter your ear, it will not cause any harm or damage. The ear canal is too small for an earwig to crawl very far and they cannot penetrate the eardrum.

How to Prevent Earwig Infestations

Although it is unlikely for an earwig to crawl into your ear, it is still important to take preventative measures to avoid infestations in your home.

Here are some tips:

  • Keep your home clean and dry
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation
  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas
  • Remove any piles of debris or wood near your home
  • Use insecticides if necessary

Common Myths About Earwigs

There are several myths about earwigs that have been circulating for years. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Myth: Earwigs are poisonous

This is not true. Earwigs do not have any venom or poison that can harm humans.

Myth: Earwigs only come out at night

While earwigs are more active at night, they can also be seen during the day.

Myth: Earwigs can fly

Earwigs do not have wings and cannot fly. They move around by crawling on the ground.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can earwigs cause any harm to humans?

Earwigs do not pose any significant harm to humans. They do not carry any diseases or venom that can harm humans.

How do I know if I have an earwig infestation in my home?

If you notice a large number of earwigs in or around your home, it is possible that you have an infestation. Look for them in dark and damp areas such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

What should I do if I find an earwig in my ear?

If you feel an earwig crawling in your ear, do not panic. Remain calm and try to tilt your head to allow gravity to help the earwig crawl out. You can also try flushing your ear with warm water.

Are there any natural remedies to get rid of earwigs?

There are several natural remedies that can help get rid of earwigs such as diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and essential oils. However, it is important to use caution when using these remedies as they can be harmful if ingested or applied improperly.


In conclusion, while it is possible for earwigs to crawl into a human ear, it is extremely rare. It is important to take preventative measures to avoid infestations in your home but there is no need to worry about earwigs causing harm if they do happen to enter your ear. Remember to remain calm and seek medical attention if necessary.