Earwigs in Port Charlotte, FL
Let’s have a chat about earwigs. A lot of people have the wrong impression or have no idea what they are or worse yet, believe they are some sort of brain eating insect! Not true, which is why I chose this as a topic. So, let’s debunk a few myths, and provide you with a few facts. After all, facts are far more important when talking about bugs, it’s better we leave the fiction to story tellers.
What are earwigs exactly? Well to put it simply, and in layman terms, they are nocturnal scavenger insects that spend their time sleeping during the day (most of the time), and do their hunting and eating at night. The good news is, they are anti-social, and do not belong to any queen or colony which, makes earwig infestations a rare occurrence, trust me this is great news! Earwigs feed on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops is commonly blamed on earwigs. Earwigs can be found in almost any growing zone, although they are more likely to inhabit warm, humid climates, e.g., Florida! They like decaying wood and plant material, and dark, damp spaces as well. Oftentimes, they can be found in basements and woodpiles.
Now, let’s start with debunking one of the biggest myths about earwigs: For starters, the name “earwig” comes from the Old English ear-wicga, which means “ear wiggler”—so named because the insect was once thought to seek out human ears to reside in. In France, they’re called “ear piercers,” and in Germany, “ear worms. ”The name itself comes from an old folk’s tale that suggests these bugs would crawl into the ears of people and lay eggs inside the brain. This, however, is a fictional tale that does not hold any scientific fact. They do not seek out ears! However, I must add, earwigs, roaches, ants and other insects have been known to “accidently” find their way into the human ear. Yes, I know, this is a creepy and scary realization. With that said, myth #1 is debunked! Earwigs do not seek out human ears so they can feast on your brain. Thank goodness, right! Good news is, Bug OFF Pests can help keep your ears safe from all pests.
Okay, myth #2: Earwigs look like and are similar to termites. FALSE! Fact is, earwigs and termites have nothing in common. They don’t look the same or eat the same foods; they also prefer different living conditions and environments. Termites look like ants with big heads, wide abdomens and straight antennae. They live in massive colonies and consume wood as they attack buildings, furniture and more. There you go, myth #2 debunked. These are the 2 most common myths I have heard, and now you know the facts. Feel a bit better? Good.
Here’s a link that offers more information. It also may answer any other questions you may have or offer more facts not addressed here: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/ringlegged_earwig.htm
Earwigs have been around for over 208 million years, with around 2000 different species scattered throughout this big beautiful planet of ours. In other words, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. A neighbor recently said to me, “I am willing to share the planet with these creepy, and interesting little insects, I am sure they serve some sort of purpose, but I’m not willing to share my home”. Personally I could not agree more. Here at Bug OFF Pests we understand completely and are here to help. We are not only committed to educating our clients, customers and friends, but our community as well.
Now that we debunked a few myths, here is another educational fact: Remember my neighbor’s comment, “I’m sure they serve some sort of purpose”. Actually they do! Believe it or not, earwigs actually are beneficial insects, well, sometimes. They’re part of a large group of creatures that are known as sanitary engineers; they help clean up the environment by feeding on decaying plant material, as well as live and dead insects. Along with other scavengers like millipedes, pillbugs, and sowbugs, just to name a few, earwigs help to break down dying plant material. They are not beneficial though, if you own a greenhouse or are trying to grow vegetable seedlings. In large numbers, earwigs can damage living plants and become a nightmare for your greenhouse.
Since earwigs can, and have been known to wreak havoc in gardens and flower beds, it is wise to contact Bug OFF Pest to handle the issue. You do not want these things in your home either, trust me. So, if you are having a problem with earwigs in your home or yard/flower beds/garden, we urge you to contact Bug OFF Pest today or your local pest control company. Here are a few reasons why…
First of all, earwigs are known to feast on flowers, plants, and vegetable gardens, as we previously discussed. But, earwigs will also pinch or bite you; not fun for anyone, especially children. Yes it is true, I was personally bitten in the middle of the night, on my neck about 10 years ago. It not only scared me, but it was also painful. I had an impressive whelp to say the least. When I found the bug, it frightened me even more, because I had never seen such a thing in my life. I went to see my doctor, and while showing off my impressive bite, I also showed off the bug that bit me. Laughing, he said, “Well, look at this!” What is it, I asked. “It is an earwig. This is a large one, and they can pack quite a punch. You are in no danger, I promise, and you are having no allergic reaction, but your bite will need to be kept clean.” I was instantly intrigued and upon returning home I, of course, had to do my research. Then I had my flower beds around my home sprayed, and voilà, no more earwigs in my house, which was comforting. Here’s a link to explain the health risk or lack of risk from an earwig bite of pinch: https://www.healthline.com/health/earwig-bite
Also check out more info about this and other insects at: https://bugoffpest.net/what-type-of-pests-might-be-in-my-home/
The great news is, earwigs aren’t venomous, and they are not dangerous, unless you are allergic to them. They can pinch, usually in self-defense, and in very rare cases, they can bite, as in my case, probably because I turned over on it. Shouldn’t cause long-term complications though, and many heal quickly. Please, always consult your physician if bitten; always better to be safe than sorry. It is possible for adults or children to have an allergic reaction.
If you are finding earwigs in your home or garden, give Bug OFF Pest a call today. We will be more than happy to assist with keeping you and your family, as well as your beautiful garden earwig FREE!