Can Earwigs Bite?
The Facts About Earwigs
Earwigs are small insects with long antennae and legs. They have three pairs of wings, but they cannot fly. Their bodies are covered with hair, which makes them look like little spiders. All species of earwig belong to the family Araneidae (spider-like bugs). There are two kinds of earwigs:
1) The common type, or “true” earwig.
These are usually found in moist places such as under furniture cushions, around plants and other debris. They feed mainly on bacteria and fungi, but sometimes they eat molds too. They don’t cause any problems unless you touch their body parts or get bitten by one of these bugs.
2) The less common “insect” variety, which is not really a bug at all.
They are actually arachnids, meaning they have eight legs instead of five. These types of earwigs are often found crawling on walls and ceilings. Some species may even crawl into your eyes! If you accidentally step on one of these bugs while walking around in the house, it will probably sting you.
Are earwigs dangerous to humans?
1) Common earwigs are not really dangerous at all.
They have a painful bite, but no human deaths have ever been reported from their bites. If you are extremely allergic to these bugs, you may need medical attention.
2) The insect variety is slightly more dangerous.
If you accidentally step on one of these bugs, it will probably bite your ankle.
Sources & references used in this article:
European earwig as a potential biological control agent of apple leafcurling midge by XZ He, Q Wang, J Xu – New Zealand Plant Protection, 2008 – nzpps.org
Dermaptera:(earwigs) by SM Rankin, JO Palmer – Encyclopedia of insects, 2009 – Elsevier
Controlling earwigs by PJ Pellitteri – 1995 – enviroproppm.com
Earwigs: No Big Deal by G Alpert, M Frye – 2015 – ecommons.cornell.edu