Forficula auricularia

earwigs

Biology

Earwigs are nocturnal and can be found both in- and outdoors. When outdoors, they seek out moist shady places, under yard debris, wood piles, stones, compost heaps and flower beds. Indoors they migrate to cracks and the area around baseboards and other locations such as potted plants.

These omnivorous creatures feed on a variety of food, including dead insects and decaying vegetation. They frequently cause damage to cultivated plants and some species emit a foul odor. They’re not all bad, however, as they are predators of certain other pests.

Earwigs range in size from 1/5 to 1 inch long and in color from brown to black. There are both winged and non-winged varieties, though only a few species are actually skilled flyers. The Earwig’s body end with a pair of forceps that are use for capturing prey and mating.

Factoid

The Earwig is the insect reputed in superstition to purposefully crawl into the ears of sleeping persons for the purpose of burrowing into the brain to lay eggs. Of course, there is no truth to these tales, though earwigs, like moths, beetles, cockroaches, ants and flies may wander into our ear canals by accident. (Factoid Source: Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Department of Entomology)

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