As you can see from the image, the common earwig is a well built insect with distinctive pincers on the abdomen. The earwig is part of a large family, consisting over 1800 species, found globally, and some species of earwig can also fly. Earwigs are a common pest and can bite! Admittedly not too hard but they can. As it sound from the name earwigs usually donot go in an human ear but it is not an impossibility as earwigs like dark places it is not entirely unreasonable to expect the human ear canal (being warm, moist and dark) to be an inviting place for an earwig to shelter. We have never had any reports of earwigs in peoples ears.
Earwigs come in many shapes and sizes. Earwigs do have wings and are common visitors to outdoor lights, especially in the warm summer months. This often surprises people who don’t realize that these common crawling insects are also competent flying insects!
Earwigs lay their eggs in groups of a few dozen or more that can take a few weeks to a few months or more to hatch.
Earwigs also go through incomplete metamorphosis, meaning they develop from eggs, to nymphs (miniatures of the adult), to mature adults capable of reproduction.
One very nice and even endearing quality of the female earwig is her maternal instincts. She will commonly remain with her eggs and young until such time as she feels they are safe.
We often find Earwigs in properties that are prefabricated, especially static caravans that seem to suffer the worst, but every property we visit is different. Earwigs are found predominantly outdoors, so we rarely find them in non-prefabricated buildings.
The sinister looking pincer at the rear of the earwig is entirely harmless and incidents like the one above are rare. So with 1800 or so species globally, are extremely common.
They are nocturnal in habit, choosing to avoid the light of day, preferring instead to survive in dark places where light is scarce.
Earwigs are omnivorous (eating both plants and animals) so an earwig will save your prized plants form other insect pests, only to consume them itself – How nice! We at NorthWest Pest Patrol have a number of effective control options for these unwanted guests inside buildings to prevent enduring infestations.