The insect world seems to have its very own boogeyman—the earwig
. With its long, flat body, two sets of wings, and claw-like pincers protruding from its abdomen, this scary, bizarre-looking bug has burrowed its way into folklore and urban legend. A macabre costar in everything from poetry to horror flicks. The gist of the legend is this: the insidious earwig will crawl into your ear and tunnel into your brain, lay eggs inside you, drive you insane, and eventually kill you. And just to give you an idea of how far back this creepy concept goes, the name earwig derives from the Old English term ear wicga dating back to the 7th century, which means “ear wiggler.” This bug’s terror-inspiring reputation might best be epitomized by a classic episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery entitled “The Caterpillar
,” in which an earwig is used as a murder weapon. It’s considered one of the most frightening TV horror episodes of all time. But the truth is, the earwig has gotten a bit of a bad rap. While there are anecdotal stories of people finding earwigs in their ears, modern medical science shows that an earwig is no more apt to find its way into your ear canal than any other insect.
There are about 1,800 earwig species
worldwide, but only about 25 of those are found in the United States. They are fair-weather insects and cannot survive in cold climates. They are nocturnal omnivores who prefer tight, dark places, debris, woodpiles, dirty laundry, and in particular, damp areas. Earwigs will live outdoors as well as. They are attracted to moisture, and it is common to find them around water sources such as kitchen and bathroom sinks. They don’t sting or bite, but they will pinch you, and while they are not considered dangerous to humans, they can do severe damage to plants in your home and garden, and they do give off a very unpleasant, foul-smelling odor.
If earwigs are driving you crazy, they are probably not in your ear—just your home. And yes, urban legends aside, they really can be scary. They’ve been known to go exploring when the lights are out and will spook you when you flick on the lights, sometimes even dropping from ceilings and walls. They’ll also surprise you in the shower and, even worse, on the toilet. Earwigs are a pest you don’t want as a house guest.
If you’ve found earwigs in your home, getting rid of them may not be a simple task. They don’t live in nests but tend to congregate in small colonies, and because they are a non-social insect, single earwigs may be scattered throughout the house and surrounding outdoor areas. The wisest solution to an earwig problem is to contact a pest control company for assistance.
If you reside in Riverside County of California, you can rely on the top-rated, professional services of Go-Pher The Kill Pest Control. We are experts at dealing with earwig infestations, and we have the know-how and resources to eliminate the problem swiftly. We’ll also put a prevention plan in place to keep them from coming back and restore your peace of mind. So don’t wait, contact us today. Our friendly customer service staff is always on call and ready to help.