Are Earwigs Dangerous? 5 Myths About Earwigs

There’s a lot of myths about earwigs, making it easy to get lost in scary folktales. When it comes to something seemingly terrifying like earwigs, it’s best to know more about them. Getting your earwig facts straight will help you keep them out of your house, and maybe make them not seem as dangerous as they seem. This article will uncover common misconceptions about earwigs, such as whether or not they lay eggs in your ear.

You can recognize earwigs by the pinchers on the back of their abdomen and small folded wings. They’re normally black or brown, but can also be orange. Earwigs commonly nest in soil or other dark and moist places. 

Finding an earwig in your home is incredibly common. Earwigs can easily survive in colder areas, which is why they can be found all throughout North America. Most species can flatten themselves, making it easy for an earwig to slip into small openings whenever they can.  

Myth #1: Do Earwigs Lay Eggs In Your Ears? 

No! Earwigs do not lay eggs in your ear. They also don’t crawl into your ears to slowly eat away at your brain. 

Earwigs love dark, moist environments. So although your ear canal and brain might seem like the perfect location for an earwig, it’s actually far from it. Just like spiders, earwigs will generally stay away from predators such as humans at all costs. 

Also Read: 7 Myths About Spiders That Might Surprise You

Myth #2: Are Earwigs Nocturnal?

Yes! Earwigs are most active at night, that’s when you’ll notice them crawling around. Earwigs hide during the day in small cracks, seams, or anywhere else that’s damp and dark. During the day, you’ll likely find them underneath flowerbeds, in garden soil, and rocks. 

Similar to flies and mosquitos, bright lights attract earwigs. You might notice earwigs gathering around patio lights during summer BBQs. 

Earwigs are not dangerous. Here's five myths about earwigs.

Myth #3: Can Earwigs Harm Your Garden?

No! Earwigs are practically harmless to your garden. You don’t have to worry if you see earwigs hiding in your garden soil. Like any insect, they will nibble on leaves, flowers, and other vegetation. Earwigs won’t eat away at your garden or cause substantial damage. The most damage earwigs will do to your garden is leave some tiny bites on leaves. 

Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Tiny Black Bugs On Plants

Myth #4: Are Earwig Dangerous or Venomous?

No! Earwigs are not venomous and are rarely dangerous. Earwigs bite and pinch like most insects, but they won’t attack unless they’re threatened. They do not release venom, but they can break human skin with their pincers. If they do break the skin, wash the area with warm water and disinfecting soap. 

Watch the affected area for any abnormal reactions or infections. Watch out for the following symptoms in case the bite does worsen:

  • Red and inflamed skin that can become tight and “glossy-looking.”
  • Tenderness, warmth, and pain around the bite.
  • Rapidly growing rash or welt.
  • Abscess or pus from the wound.
  • Fever.

Myth #5: Are Earwigs Edible?

Yes! Although we highly recommend not eating earwigs, they are edible. They are not venomous but do be careful of that pincher if you choose to eat one.

What To Do If You Have An Earwig Problem

Earwigs don’t pose an immediate threat to your home or garden. That being said, you also probably don’t want them around you, regardless. Earwigs come into the home normally due to weather changes. To keep earwigs out of your home, your outdoor space must be clean and have no water build-up. This means ensuring:

  • Water and soil have good drainage.
  • Yard debris and vegetation are cleared.
  • Branches are trimmed to eliminate shady spaces.
  • Cracks are sealed with silicone caulk. 

If you have a major infestation in your home, call one of our partners at Pest Brigade to speak to an expert today.