Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Pest identification

Color:  Dark Brown
Legs:  6
Shape:  Long, narrow
Size:  5-25 millimeters
Antennae:  Yes
Region:  Found throughout U.S.

What Are Earwigs?

Scientific Name: Order Dermaptera

Earwigs are slender insects that get their name from the old European myth that they crawl into people’s ears and tunnel into their brains while they are sleeping. While this superstition has no scientific backing, the pincers located on the back of an earwig’s abdomen are quite frightening to many people. There are more than 20 different earwig species occurring in the United States. 

Nuisance or Threat:

Earwigs are a nuisance pest rather than threat. They also do not spread diseases. However, some species produce a foul-smelling liquid as a self-defense mechanism, and their menacing appearance can be alarming to homeowners. Earwigs are a greater threat to garden plants, rather than people.

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