Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are small insects that belong to the family of Dermaptera. They are often found in humid environments and are commonly known for their long pincers or forceps at the end of their abdomen. While earwigs are not considered dangerous to humans or pets, they do have the ability to bite. In this article, we will explore the facts about earwig bites and provide prevention tips to keep these insects away from your home.

What is an Earwig Bite?

An earwig bite is a rare occurrence, but it can happen when an earwig feels threatened or is handled roughly. Earwigs have small pincers at the end of their abdomen that they use for defense or to capture prey. These pincers can cause a small pinch or puncture wound on human skin.

Earwig bites are not venomous and do not transmit diseases. However, some people may experience an allergic reaction to the bite, which can result in swelling, redness, and itchiness.

How to Prevent Earwig Bites

The best way to prevent earwig bites is to avoid handling these insects. If you find an earwig in your home, use a vacuum cleaner or a broom to sweep it away. Make sure to seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation to prevent earwigs from entering.

Here are some additional prevention tips:

  • Keep your home clean and dry: Earwigs are attracted to dark, humid environments. Sweep and vacuum regularly to remove debris and moisture from your home.
  • Remove dead leaves and wood piles: Earwigs like to hide in piles of dead leaves and wood. Remove these items from your property to discourage them from nesting.
  • Seal entry points: Use caulk or weather stripping to seal any gaps around doors, windows, and pipes.

What to Do If You Are Bitten by an Earwig

If you are bitten by an earwig, clean the affected area with soap and water. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain. If you experience an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.


Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are not considered dangerous to humans or pets. While they have the ability to bite, their bites are not venomous and do not transmit diseases.

Can earwigs fly?

No, earwigs cannot fly. They have small wings but are not capable of sustained flight.

Why are earwigs called earwigs?

The name “earwig” comes from an old belief that these insects would crawl into people’s ears while they slept. However, this is a myth and has no scientific basis.

Do earwigs only come out at night?

Earwigs are nocturnal insects, but they can be active during the day if disturbed or if they are searching for food.

How long do earwigs live?

Earwigs typically live for one year, but some species can live up to three years.

In conclusion, while earwig bites are rare, it is important to take preventative measures to keep these insects out of your home. By keeping your home clean and dry, sealing entry points, and removing potential nesting areas, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering an earwig. If you do get bitten, clean the affected area with soap and water and seek medical attention if necessary.