Can Earwigs Bite?
Earwigs are small insects with long legs and antennae. They have two pairs of wings, but they lack wings on their abdomen. Their bodies are brownish green in color and they measure less than one millimeter (0.04 inches) long. They live mainly underground, but sometimes emerge from the soil during spring rains to feed on moths or other small invertebrates.
The most common type of earwig found in homes is the European earwig, which is commonly called the house spider because it lives under houses. These tiny creatures are very small—only about 0.5 mm (0.024 inch)—and they look like miniature spiders.
They are nocturnal and prefer dark places where they hide during the day, so if you see them crawling around near your home, don’t panic! You probably just saw a fly or some other insect.
However, there are several types of earwigs that may cause problems when they bite humans. Some species are harmless; others can cause severe infections such as meningitis and encephalomyelitis.
And then there’s the dreaded black rat earwig, which causes painful swelling of the head and neck in adults and even death in young children.
Earwigs are nocturnal creatures that attack at night while their prey sleeps. They are attracted to the scent of human ears, which they mistake as the odor of an animal ear.
Two or three earwigs can kill a grown man by burrowing into his skull and dropping their eggs into the subarachnoid space, where they hatch and eat the brain.
Although it’s easy to get rid of earwigs by simply spraying them with RAID, some infestations can’t be so easily solved! An earwig infestation in a kindergarten class led to the death of thirty-eight children and six teachers.
The police officers who handled the massacre were traumatized for life. Some committed suicide; others are now disabled from experiencing uncontrollable fits of anger…
What are the symptoms of injuries caused by earwigs?
Earwigs often attack at night while their prey sleeps. The first symptom of an earwig bite is intense pain, and there may be one or two tiny drops of blood where the earwig’s mandibles pierced the skin. The victim may also experience nausea, vomiting, and a slight fever, as well as headaches and dizziness.
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
Defense mechanisms of arthropods. II. The chemical and mechanical weapons of an earwig by T Eisner – Psyche, 1960 – psyche.entclub.org
European earwigs by WS Cranshaw – … State University. Extension). Insect series; no …, 2007 – mountainscholar.org
Dermaptera (Earwigs) by OW Richards, RG Davies – Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology, 1977 – Springer