Earwigs are a member of the phylum Arthropoda and are a type of insect. The earwig is native to Eurasia but were found in America and Europe in the 1900’s and have been considered an invasive pest ever since, both because of earwig bites and for their ruining domestic plants.
Earwigs are active at night. During the day they hide in cracks in damp areas. They live under rocks and logs and in mulch in flower beds. Earwigs eat plants and insects. Outdoors, earwigs spend the winter in small burrows in the ground. In spring the female lays eggs in the burrow.
Earwigs are attracted to light. They can become a nuisance on while you are out on your porch or patio on a summer night. In the morning hours, they will be hide under things like cushions and things that were left outside overnight.
Earwigs move into homes to find food or because of a change in weather.
Both male and female earwigs have forceps. Male earwigs have curved forceps while females have straight forceps.
When disturbed earwigs may let off a foul smelling liquid as a self defense mechanism. However, if further threatened, earwigs bite, or more accurately “pinch” with the forceps on their tail ends.
How to take care of an earwig bite
An earwig bite is actually a pinch from the forceps which both males and females possess.
When an earwig bites, there is not poison exuded so there is no danger from an earwig bite. However the forceps of the earwig can be quite strong and an earwig bite may be quite painful and may even cause some bleeding.
The primary risk resulting from an earwig bite is a risk of infection. Carefully wash and disinfect the site of your earwig bite. If your earwig bite was administered by a male earwig one of the curved forceps may have broken off underneath your skin (especially if you stepped on it) so be sure to examine the site of the wound for any foreign material.
Preventing Earwig bites
The best way to avoid earwig bites is to keep earwigs out of your living areas. Earwigs rarely colonize indoors and usually only come inside at night when they are active and it is cold outside. The best way to keep them outside and avoid getting earwig bites is to make sure that all your doors and windows are shut at night and properly sealed as earwigs can crawl through very small spaces.
Earwigs – Summer Pests