From a purely practical perspective, the earwig does have the ability to crawl into someone’s ear. At first glance, the ear canal seems to fit the type of location an earwig would find hospitable. Just to clarify, earwigs enjoy small places to hide that are moist for them. They are most active at night when they forage for food, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Often damage to foliage, flowers, gardens, and various crops is commonly blamed on earwigs. For some reason the human brain is not mentioned as one of their food sources in books or any reputable online reference site.
Plants that they feed on do typically include clover, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry, blackberry, sunflowers, celery, peaches, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, and beets. They have also been known to eat corn silk, harming the corn in the process. Earwigs are also most active from Summer – Fall.
That leads to another question. Has an earwig ever been documented as being found inside of someone’s ear canal?
The answer is no. Old urban legends and even the Oxford English Dictionary dates the notion that an earwig penetrates into the head through the ear to as early as the year 1000. In 1972 the myth became widespread in the United States by an episode of “The Night Gallery” by Rod Serling called “The Caterpillar”. You can click for the basics of the episode, it’s a little disgusting.
Bugs have definitely been found in people’s ears over the years but the ear drum typically stops them and doctors or lukewarm water are able to easily flush them out quite often. Of course, you can imagine the concern you would have if you felt something moving around your ear and making sounds. It would be incredibly alarming to me or anyone I know!
Earwigs do cause actual problems. First, these are unsightly freaky looking home invaders that can scare family members and visitors. Can you imagine having a visitor over and seeing one of these crawling across the floor? Second, earwigs can also be locally found hiding underneath potted plants and then at night they will feel on the plants and flowers. They also have a habit of using your vegetable garden as a buffet to satisfy their never ending appetite. If you are worried about earwigs damaging your gardens or flowers call us today to give you a free quote at 850-682-5354 or request a free pest control estimate online here. We proudly service the Crestview, Defuniak Springs, Ft. Walton Beach, Destin, Freeport, Milton, and Niceville, FL area for your pest control and exterminator needs.