Earwigs are one of the most commonly found insects in the world. These small insects are known for their unique appearance and often feared by people due to their creepy look. One of the things that make them more interesting is their name. Have you ever wondered why they are called earwigs?
There are many myths and legends associated with earwigs, but in this article, we will explore the true history and meaning behind their name.
The Origin of the Name
The word earwig is believed to have originated from an Old English word ‘ēare wicga,’ which means ‘ear creature.’ This was because people believed that earwigs would crawl into human ears and lay eggs, causing severe harm.
This myth gained so much traction that even William Shakespeare mentioned it in his plays. In one of his plays, he wrote, “The foul earwig hath a crawling shape.”
However, there is no scientific evidence to support this myth. Earwigs do not lay eggs in humans’ ears or cause any harm to them.
What Are Earwigs?
Earwigs belong to the insect order Dermaptera, which includes over 2,000 species worldwide. They are found in almost every part of the world, except for the polar regions. Earwigs are nocturnal insects and prefer dark and damp places to hide during the day.
They are about 1-2cm long and have a slender body with two curved pincers at the end. These pincers are used for defense and courtship purposes. Earwigs feed on a wide range of plants and insects, making them beneficial to gardens as they help control pest populations.
The Truth About Earwigs
Despite their creepy appearance, earwigs are harmless to humans. They do not crawl into our ears or cause any harm. In fact, they are more beneficial than harmful as they help control pest populations.
Earwigs can be a nuisance when they invade homes and gardens, but they can easily be controlled using natural remedies or insecticides. It is important to note that earwigs do not pose any significant threat to humans or plants.
Q: Are earwigs dangerous to humans?
A: No, earwigs are harmless to humans. They do not bite or sting and cannot crawl into our ears.
Q: Do earwigs lay eggs in human ears?
A: No, this is a myth. Earwigs do not lay eggs in human ears or cause any harm to them.
Q: What do earwigs feed on?
A: Earwigs feed on a wide range of plants and insects, making them beneficial to gardens as they help control pest populations.
Q: How can I control earwig populations in my home or garden?
A: Earwigs can be controlled using natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth, or insecticides. It is important to keep the area clean and dry to prevent them from invading.
In conclusion, earwigs are fascinating insects with a rich history and many myths associated with them. While their name may suggest that they pose a threat to humans, this is not true. Earwigs are harmless and even beneficial to gardens. So the next time you come across an earwig, do not fear it, but appreciate its unique appearance and beneficial role in the ecosystem.
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