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Earwigs Facts


Earwigs (Order Dermaptera) are small bugs that got their name from the myth that they climb into people's ears and therein lay their eggs or tunnel into the brain. Our site visitors reported that earwigs do climb into ears, but we believe that it mostly to hide from cold, since earwigs usually tunnel 6 feet under the ground to hide from cold weather.

Earwigs also have two penises! Both are larger than it's body and if it needs the second one just in case one of them snaps off! "It's an interesting phenomenon," says Mike Siva-Jothy of the University of Sheffield, UK. He thinks there must be some evolutionary advantage to the earwig's "unusually long" and fragile organs.





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shae gregory
what are earwigs?
shae gregory at 05:37AM, Dec 1st 2013.
Jcoc888
@Bryce It's a female if the pincers are straight and a male if they are curved. :)
Jcoc888 at 03:53AM, Jul 12th 2013.
Bryce
how do you know if a pincher bug is a boy or a girl?
Bryce at 03:45AM, May 24th 2013.
Kathy
This is in reply to M - I'm pretty confident that you would not have a bunch of bumps from earwigs. If you saw part of an earwig that is because some other type of bug or spider ate the part of it they wanted & left the rest - I have seen this before. I suggest you keep investigating what may be causing the bumps. There are several pictures online to see if it resembles bedbugs.
Kathy at 07:16PM, Oct 16th 2012.
m
Recently I've been noticing bumps on my inner but cleft and in my vaginal area. While most seem to be sore only for a little bit the most recent one which is like the second or third on my cleft has been irritating the hell out of me. For the past 2 or more days I've been dealing with this burning itching pain there. The thing is I'm a kind of low tone person and can take a lot of crap. But what really gets me is constant irritation, and that's how it was. And the worst might have been that it might have gotten more irritated by urinating and deficating. It finally calmed down and as far as I can tell there haven't been new bites. Not too long ago my mom mentioned to me all the ants we were having then I remembered how many antz I'd had killed in my room throughout the time the guy was spraying though I hadn't seen any recently in my room. Only in my mom's room and I think that's more or less because she has a door that leads to the outside. Today or more or less yesterday I saw a scrunched up ant on a pair of paints I hadn't recently warn with a shirt and I think there was webbing. This seemed to click that this had been one o of the things that accidently fell on a web with ants I was gonna clean but I forgot which ones those were. Any way later when I was cleaning up I picked up a pair of socks I recently wore and saw part of a bug with pinchers. Thing was I didn't remember it being there before so I went online and looked online and what do you know it looks just like the back part of an earwig. I was so relived to know what it was and it made sense. This has happened to me before and I think it was the same culprit. It bite me near those areas because they were warm and moist. Then the fact is that the exterminator just sprayed and things are gonna run for cover in high places. Yet the thing that perplexes me is that I have not seen any but I'm glad I am informed for a bit I'd been scared that I'd had bed bugs or got fleas from my dog
m at 07:31AM, Oct 14th 2012.
Jason
I like to sit in the shower and I hadn't noticed that a earwig had come out of the drain and was in the tub. A few minutes into the shower I got a very painful pinch on my butt. I smacked it and kicked it into the drain.
Jason at 04:05PM, Aug 14th 2012.
josh
hello just got a story for you earwig haters out there. one time i went swimming and left my swim shorts outside to dry and next time i put them on an earwig pinched me somewhere that you dont want to get pinched. im still scared sh*tless of them and im 28 6 feet tall and 300 pounds lol. i fear no man but an earwig scares the hell outta me.
josh at 06:39AM, Jun 18th 2012.
Entomology Student
By the way...earwigs are not bugs or beetles. They are their own order, Dermaptera. Bugs are Hemiptera and beetles are Coleoptera.
MerCC wrote:
To say the is a forum for 'facts' I was a bit disappointed. For starters earwigs are not bugs - they are beetles. As such they have wings, which are shaped like a human ear. The name derives from 'earwing' - the clue is in the latin name for the common earwig. The pincers are for folding the wings back into their wing cases after use. I don't doubt that they may occasionally crawl into the ear canal : but there is no way they can go any further that the ear-drum at the end. They do not have biting or piercing mouthparts (bugs do!). A far more interesting fact about earwigs is that the female stays close to her eggs when laid and look after the hatchlings.
They may look fearsome (to an 4 year old) but their pincers are not strong enough to be used for defence - I am more than surprised that they drew blood. Frankly they are totally harmless insects with a rather fearsome appearance and reputation.


Entomology Student at 06:23AM, Dec 1st 2011.
MerCC
david wrote:
i am very scaried to go to the woods




You should be very scared to go to the woods - but not because earwigs are gonna get ya. There's much much worse.....
MerCC at 03:45AM, Jun 29th 2011.
MerCC
Kathy wrote:
I posted 3 earwig stories last August and I just wanted to say that in two of them the earwig did pinch. Maybe in general you could say they don't do that, but I have no reason to make it up. I had 3 other people with me at the restaurant plus the bartender that saw the pinch of blood that the earwig drew on my tongue. Maybe I didn't have witnesses when one pinched my finger grabbing the flower hanging, but it happened. Maybe if you just held one in your hands it wouldn't necessarily pinch you, but EARWIGS CAN & DO PINCH!!!




Sorry if I gave the impression I doubted your story - I have no way of knowing that the earwig that pinched you was of the common European species. It could have been a larger, more aggressive type - or maybe an ordinary one in a bad mood. In any case the tongue is a delicate organ and it's very easy to draw blood - even for a poor defenceless earwig you happen to be chewing at the time. As small child I remember earwigs pinching but not enough to put me off them for life. I still say earwigs are much maligned - a caring insect with a bad press. I much prefer them to ****roaches....
MerCC at 03:40AM, Jun 29th 2011.
Kathy
I posted 3 earwig stories last August and I just wanted to say that in two of them the earwig did pinch. Maybe in general you could say they don't do that, but I have no reason to make it up. I had 3 other people with me at the restaurant plus the bartender that saw the pinch of blood that the earwig drew on my tongue. Maybe I didn't have witnesses when one pinched my finger grabbing the flower hanging, but it happened. Maybe if you just held one in your hands it wouldn't necessarily pinch you, but EARWIGS CAN & DO PINCH!!!
Kathy at 01:33AM, Jun 29th 2011.
MerCC
To say the is a forum for 'facts' I was a bit disappointed. For starters earwigs are not bugs - they are beetles. As such they have wings, which are shaped like a human ear. The name derives from 'earwing' - the clue is in the latin name for the common earwig. The pincers are for folding the wings back into their wing cases after use. I don't doubt that they may occasionally crawl into the ear canal : but there is no way they can go any further that the ear-drum at the end. They do not have biting or piercing mouthparts (bugs do!). A far more interesting fact about earwigs is that the female stays close to her eggs when laid and look after the hatchlings.
They may look fearsome (to an 4 year old) but their pincers are not strong enough to be used for defence - I am more than surprised that they drew blood. Frankly they are totally harmless insects with a rather fearsome appearance and reputation.
MerCC at 08:09PM, Jun 28th 2011.
Admin comment
Admin
That is interesting story. Who knows we might have to revise this article. I hope someone will answer your egg related questions. Can I ask you how cold was it? Since maybe earwig was looking to find a warm and safe spot.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/421.shtml

Earwigs are not parasitic and would rather lay their eggs under a stone. The human ear, though about the right size for an earwig, is not an ideal resting place. So if one were to crawl into someone's ear it would not be typical behaviour but the actions of one very confused and lost earwig.



Admin at 02:29PM, Mar 27th 2011.
Carolyn
This is not a myth....I have had the worst headache for the past week, nothing has helped....this morning my ear just plugged....( I shower and use Q-tips every morning). I told my hubby that my ear was plugged and I cannot seem to get it unplugged....He put oil in my ear, left it for about 10 minues then used a lavage with warm water...after the third time low and behold here comes the little bastard a earwig!!!! I am so freaked, that is what brought me to this site.....could the bastard have laid eggs in my ear...I had hubby flushing my ear at least 20 times, I feel water logged. NO MORE HEADACHE!!!!! I am going to the Dr. on Monday and taking that SOB with me to show him, I want to know if I have eggs in there....However, the bastard was dead...so I must have been pushing it back with the daily use of the Q-Tip...worst than RAPE!!!!!!
Carolyn at 12:41AM, Mar 27th 2011.
Shirl
I was terrified of them when I was a kid since my brothers told me they’d eat my brains out if I went to sleep (not nice I was only 8) now they’re all gonna pay for that sleepless week – I’m sure it didn’t last any longer just felt like it - any I see get a dose of bug killer
Shirl at 03:18AM, Feb 3rd 2011.
JW
These things are super loud when they're buzzing in your ear too. I had one get in my ear when I was little, and playing vedio games at my friends house. It was soo freekin loud and freaked me out soo bad!!!
JW at 08:55PM, Jan 24th 2011.
Brad
Earwigs have always freaked me out since I was a kid, I watched some movie where they put these huge earwig type things into people space helmets, and they crawled into people ears and done soemthing to there brain. I was about 5 so I really can't remember much of it!

Now I've read these stories I shall not be sleeping again, ever.
Brad at 07:55PM, Jan 12th 2011.
david
still scaried
david at 04:59PM, Dec 29th 2010.
david
i am very scaried to go to the woods
david at 04:58PM, Dec 29th 2010.
Amy
ok i have a true fear of electric toothbrushes now!! the last 2 times i used one i got an earwig in my mouth!! it was inside the head of the brush!!! after the second time, i didnt brush my teeth for 3 weeks! im only 11 and im soooo freaked out to brush my teeth. that cant be good!
Amy at 01:58AM, Nov 27th 2010.
Biggy Litty
I was watching animal planet and it said earwigs dont crawl into people ears. i think this is all a myth.but it does pinch. it kinda looks a little scary. first time i saw it i thought it was a baby scropion.
Biggy Litty at 10:49PM, Nov 8th 2010.
Boo
Wasp spray is the fastest way of killing them that I have ever seen. They just...die. It's awesome. :)
Boo at 07:37AM, Sep 27th 2010.
Admin comment
Interesting Facts
brett wrote: #
i once woke up feelin something rustling bout in my hair when i was eight years old..lo an behold it was an earwig.durin the panic of findin such a wretched horrible creature in me hair, i fell outa the bed which was a bunk bed and hurt me sen somewhat...cant stand the horrible lil bastards...



It is interesting how many earwig confessions we have here. Keep them coming boys...and girls :)

Interesting Facts at 07:32PM, Sep 11th 2010.
brett
i once woke up feelin something rustlin bout in my hair when i was eight years old..lo an behold it was an earwig.durin the panic of findin such a wretched horrible creature in me hair, i fell outa the bed which was a bunk bed and hurt me sen somewhat...cant stand the horrible lil bastards...
brett at 03:32PM, Sep 11th 2010.
kathy
More testimony here. I have 3 ear wig stories. The first one I just got my finger pinched by one quite hard drawing blood when I was lifting a hanging flower pot - the earwig was hiding in the tube wrapped around the hanger. Some friends don't believe me because they say that earwigs don't bite - bite, pinch, whatever - it did.

The second story was at a really nice restaurant. I took my first sip of a gin & tonic. I felt something in my mouth, but at first thought is was a piece of lime that was stale/hard. Just as I was going to get it off my tongue I was pinched on my tongue - and there it was - a frigin' earwig - drew blood too. UGGGGHHHH!!!

The third story happened to my husband last night - that's why I'm on this site - looking for info. He wakes me up at 5am in a panic saying something is crawling in his ear. I look in his ear in the bathroom lighting - I couldn't see a thing. He is going crazy -I'm wondering if he really is. I can't imagine how freaky that must feel. He gets on his knees on the bathroom floor holding his head - he turned it sideways and an earwig crawled out and fell to the floor. He is wigged out to say the least. It was a female earwig, so now I'm concerned about what a few of you are saying about eggs. This is so creapy - it's going to be so hard getting to sleep at night knowing a friggin' bug can crawl in your ear. It's pissing me off that some of the sights say it's a myth - definately not a myth!!!
kathy at 09:34PM, Aug 22nd 2010.

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