This Blog is for my oldest daughter who just doesn’t like these critters.
Spoiler Allert: Your ears are probably safe
Canadians aren’t the only ones enjoying the outdoors in our beautiful summer. So are earwigs. Here are a few things you should know about these creatures.
The Name Translates to Ear Wiggler
There are differing opinions about where the word earwig comes from. Some say the shape of their wings resembles an ear. (My daughter is now more freaked out as she didn’t know they had wings and could fly.) Other say they were thought to crawl into your ear and eat your brain - gross.
However, different languages have similar translations. In French they are called perce-oreille or ear piercer; in German, ohrwurm - ear worm and in Russian, ukhovertka - ear turner.
They Prefer Rotting Plants
Bugs can crawl into a human ear, but the earwig would rather eat your decomposing plants than your temporal lobe.
However, this insect isn’t strictly vegetarian. It will also eat smaller bugs to satisfy their appetite. So I think your much larger brain is safe.
They Will Pinch
Earwigs are not venomous and bites are rare; however, their pincers can be used if necessary. According to researchers, a pinch is a defence mechanism. The earwig won’t chase after you, but if you are itching to pick one up - they will pinch- so maybe wear gloves when doing so.
Warmer Weather Means More of Them
Similar to other Canadians who go south in the winter, earwigs can survive the cold but they love the warmth and so do their young. Most emerge as adults in early July, If June is warm, then the survival rate for eggs and the young is higher.
They Have Wings
Earwigs rarely fly - but the way their wings work is a phenomenon that intrigues scientists around the world. Without any muscle activation, the wings can grow up to 10 times their size and fold back perfectly.
They Love Fish Oil
If you find yourself with a lot of these bugs a way to trap them is with fish oil. Grab a sardine can (or any other oily tinned fish), keep in the oil and fill the rest with dirt. The earwigs will crawl right in.
They Help The Environment
Since earwigs feed on decaying plant material, they help dispose of it. What’s more, they will also keep your garden clear of slug eggs, aphids and other smaller pests.