Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are insects that have been the subject of many myths and misconceptions. They are often associated with being harmful to people, and their pincers can be quite frightening. However, the truth about earwigs may surprise you.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They are small, flat-bodied insects with distinctive pincers on their abdomen. These pincers are used for defense and for capturing prey. Earwigs range in size from 5 to 25 mm in length, depending on the species.

Myth: Earwigs crawl into people’s ears.

This is perhaps one of the most common myths about earwigs. While it is true that earwigs can climb into small spaces and crevices, they do not have any interest in crawling into people’s ears. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that earwigs have ever crawled into a human ear.

Myth: Earwigs are harmful to people.

Earwigs are not harmful to people. They do not bite or sting, and their pincers are not strong enough to cause any damage to human skin. In fact, earwigs can be beneficial in some cases as they feed on other insects, such as aphids and mites.

Myth: Earwigs are pests.

While earwigs can be found in gardens and homes, they are not considered pests. They do not cause damage to structures or plants, and they do not carry any diseases that can harm humans or animals.

Fact: Earwigs have wings but rarely fly.

Although earwigs have wings, they rarely use them for flight. Instead, they use them as a means of escape when threatened or disturbed. Earwigs prefer to move around on foot and are excellent runners.

Fact: Earwigs are nocturnal.

Earwigs are primarily active at night and hide during the day. They prefer dark, moist environments, such as under rocks, logs, and plant debris.

Fact: Earwigs are good mothers.

Female earwigs are excellent mothers and will take care of their young until they are old enough to fend for themselves. They will even defend their eggs and young against predators.


Do earwigs bite?

Earwigs do not bite humans. Their pincers are not strong enough to cause any harm to human skin.

Are earwigs harmful to plants?

Earwigs feed on other insects, such as aphids and mites, which can be harmful to plants. Therefore, earwigs can be beneficial to plants in some cases.

How can I get rid of earwigs in my garden?

There are several ways to control earwig populations in your garden, including removing debris and hiding places, using sticky traps, and applying insecticides.

Can I keep earwigs as pets?

While earwigs may be interesting insects to observe, they are not recommended as pets. They require specific environmental conditions and diets that can be difficult to provide in a home setting.

In conclusion, earwigs are not the harmful pests that many people believe them to be. While they may look intimidating with their pincers, they pose no threat to humans and can even be beneficial in some cases. By understanding the truth about these insects, we can appreciate their unique characteristics and the important role they play in our ecosystems.