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Whether earwigs are dangerous to humans and are pests, discover here!

There are all sorts of scary pests, but earwigs are perhaps the scariest of them all. The frightening appearance, ominous name, and general mysteriousness of these insects only add to their fearsome reputation. You’ve probably heard all sorts of creepy things about earwigs, even if you don’t know much about them. We’ll explain whether earwigs are dangerous to humans and pets, and whether they’re pests or more likely beneficial pests in the garden!

What are earwigs?

Whether earwigs are dangerous, we explain here

Earwigs are small insects that can sometimes invade homes. They are long and thin, about 1 cm long, and have a segmented body. These insects have two long antennae that protrude from the head, and at the rear end they have pincers. Earwigs are reddish-brown and have yellowish legs. The pincers of males are curved, while those of females are more straight with less space between them.

Are earwigs dangerous and can they bite you?

Are earwigs dangerous to humans and pets?

Earwigs do not bite people, but they can nip. The pincers on their abdomen are a weapon they use to defend themselves. While they are unlikely to pinch you, and the pincers cannot break the skin, an earwig bite can hurt. On the whole, you have nothing to fear from these insects.

Earwigs are not poisonous, do not transmit disease, and cannot cause major structural damage. They are annoying, but not dangerous.

Earwigs don’t crawl in your ears

This is a common myth about earwigs. Despite their name, earwigs do not crawl into or infest people’s ears. They don’t crawl through the ear at all, and they don’t lay eggs in the brain, as some of the particularly ridiculous stories claim. These insects like dark, warm, and moist places, so it is technically possible that they could be attracted to the ear of a sleeping person. However, this is extremely unlikely and the bug would not stay there for long, lay eggs or burrow in. You should not worry about earwigs burrowing into your ears.

Where do earwigs live?

Earwigs and their eggs - they are not dangerous to humans

Keep in mind that earwigs live in the soil and can come in contact with harmful bacteria. If you have an open wound that is infested with these insects, be sure to apply an antibacterial lotion to the wound.

Are earwigs dangerous and hitchhikers?

Earwigs do not crawl into your ears


Earwigs are attracted to darkness, dampness, wetness and shelter. When they find an ideal spot, they like to burrow. These factors make them highly mobile, random hitchhikers. Like bed bugs, they often wander into various bags or boxes. Then, when you bring those bags or boxes into the house, you inadvertently introduce earwigs as well. Earwigs are especially likely to infest bags of soil, fertilizer or seeds.

Earwigs dangerous for pets?

Earwigs are not dangerous for pets. They do not bite and do not infest pets as fleas do. The insects are most active at night and stay away from threats like cats and dogs. If your dog or cat eats an earwig, it probably won’t do any damage. Pests like cockroaches can be harmful to pets if they eat them. While cockroaches are not poisonous, they can carry disease. Earwigs are not disease-carrying, so it is unlikely that your pet will get sick if they eat an earwig.

Are earwigs good or bad for your garden?

Are earwigs good or bad for your garden - pests or beneficial?

The most common place to find earwigs is under thin layers of soil in your garden. They love to hide in the soil to stay moist and cool. They dig little nests for their eggs. When digging in your garden, you may often come across earwigs.

Earwigs are both pests and beneficial insects in your garden! They can be good because they eat some problem bugs like aphids, grubs and flies. However, these insects can also be harmful because they eat vegetables and flowers in your garden. Sometimes they make holes in funkia leaves and in the flower buds of dahlias, marigolds and butterfly flowers. Larger plants won’t be harmed by a few holes, but if large groups of earwigs invade a garden, they can cause the plants to die.

Home remedies for earwigs

Certain household remedies such as soap, soda and alcohol can help with a mild infestation. You can try the following methods at home.

  • Dishwashing liquid and water: mix a little dishwashing liquid and water and use it to spray the areas where you found earwigs.
  • Rubbing alcohol and water: mix rubbing alcohol and water and spray it on flowers and plants. This method dries out earwigs and kills them instantly.
  • Boric Acid Powder: Boric acid can be applied as a dust or mixed in water to inaccessible areas to kill earwigs if they venture into the area. Keep this mixture away from pets and children.
  • Vacuum: The safest and easiest method to remove earwigs is to vacuum them up. Be careful when disposing of the vacuum bag. You can empty it into a bucket of water and soap solution, which will drown and kill all the insects.
  • Light: Finally, leave some outdoor lights on at night. Earwigs hate light.