Dispelling myths: Do earwigs bite and are they truly dangerous?


When it comes to sharing our homes and gardens with insects, the fear of the unknown often overshadows reason. One such misunderstood critter is the earwig. Despite its eerie name and menacing pincers, is this creature as threatening as it appears? This article seeks to illuminate several prevalent concerns: do earwigs bite, are they dangerous, and perhaps a quite peculiar yet common query - do they crawl into human ears? At Dr. Killigan's, we believe in empowering homeowners with knowledge, enabling a harmonious existence with nature, even with its less appealing creatures.

Do earwigs bite? 


Earwigs, scientific name Dermaptera, are instantly recognized by a formidable pair of pincers, or cerci, extending from their abdomen, often infusing a shudder in the uninitiated onlooker. These pincers, while seemingly menacing, raise a common question among many homeowners and insect enthusiasts alike: do earwigs bite?

These appendages, although appearing poised to attack, are rarely utilized in interactions with humans. Primarily, earwigs deploy their cerci in defense against predators, such as birds and amphibians, and to secure prey. 

Interestingly, the cerci's structure and function can vary between male and female earwigs. Males often sport curved pincers, utilized in courtship displays and duels with rival earwigs. Conversely, females typically possess straighter pincers, optimized for burrowing into soil and defending their nests.

When it comes to interactions with humans, earwigs are generally non-aggressive. Their pincers can be used to give a light pinch if they are provoked or feel threatened, particularly if they are handled or disturbed. While this pinch might be surprising, it is typically not harmful and is far from a true bite. It's crucial to understand that earwigs are not out to get humans. Instead, any pinch from an earwig is usually a defensive action rather than an offensive one.

Are earwigs dangerous?

Although the sight of earwigs may evoke discomfort, they are not venomous, nor do they transmit diseases. Their diet primarily consists of decaying organic matter and other insects, making them part of the natural ecosystem's cleanup crew.


However, their presence in large numbers could indicate moisture problems in your home, which could lead to other infestations or issues down the line. If you find yourself facing an earwig problem, rest easy knowing that our pest control solutions are designed to manage such infestations in a safe and environmentally-conscious manner.

Do earwigs pinch?

Though biting is off the table, the thought of an earwig pinch may still cause some concern. Under rare circumstances, earwigs might use their pincers on humans, but the sensation is more startling than painful. It's a mere defensive mechanism rather than an aggressive act. In most scenarios, earwigs would much rather flee than engage in any form of confrontation with a being so much larger than themselves.

Creating an unfavorable environment for earwigs is the first step in avoiding such interactions. Our DIY pest control solutions can assist in maintaining a home environment that is less inviting to earwigs, ensuring your peace of mind. 

Do earwigs crawl into human ears?

The haunting myth suggesting that earwigs deliberately crawl into human ears has been a point of concern and curiosity for many. Derived from "ear creature," the name earwig itself seems to promote this unsettling belief, kindling images of these insects stealthily making their way into our ears during a vulnerable slumber to lay eggs. However, it's pivotal to dispel these notions with accurate, scientifically-backed information.


Contrary to the myth, earwigs exhibit no intentional inclination towards human ears, nor do they utilize them as breeding grounds. Expert entomologists, who spend their careers closely studying insects, have steadfastly debunked this narrative. They emphasize that incidents where earwigs are found in the human ear are extremely rare, accidental and typically occur when people sleep outdoors or in areas dense with these insects. Moreover, in the infrequent events that they do find their way into an ear, earwigs pose no inherent threat, and they certainly do not lay eggs there.

The truth is, earwigs, despite their somewhat intimidating pincers and the myths surrounding them, are largely harmless to humans. They play an essential role in our ecosystem. Knowledge about the real nature and habits of earwigs can assist in alleviating the unwarranted fears often attributed to them and can facilitate a more reasoned and balanced attitude towards these critters.

Still, if you’re encountering an unwelcome presence of earwigs in your home, we at Dr. Killigan’s offers a suite of potent, safe and reliable pest control products

What attracts earwigs inside homes?

Let's delve into the cozy, hidden corners of our homes through the eyes of an earwig, shall we? At Dr. Killigan's, we reckon understanding the 'whys' and 'hows' of our unexpected guests can guide us toward kindly nudging them back to their natural habitats. You see, our homes, without our realization, can roll out a welcoming mat for earwigs, offering shelter and sustenance especially during certain seasons. Here, we'll unpack the subtle invitations we extend to these critters, explore their motivations for accepting the invite, and together, craft strategies, imbued with respect for nature and a dash of Dr. Killigan's wisdom, to maintain a harmonic, earwig-free abode. It's all about living in tune with our environment, sharing the space thoughtfully and choosing solutions that honor every living being’s place in the ecosystem.

In search of moisture: A critical factor that attracts earwigs is the availability of moisture. Dark and damp spaces like basements, bathrooms and laundry areas serve as inadvertent sanctuaries, providing a refuge from external dry conditions, and especially so during arid periods.


The necessity of moisture for earwigs cannot be overstated, and our homes often provide this in abundance through various means - whether intentional or not.

Seasonal shelter: Moreover, as seasonal creatures, earwigs are particularly drawn indoors during late summer and fall. This attraction is spurred by their instinctual search for hibernation spots that offer protection from the impending harshness of winter. Human residences, with their controlled environments, present an idyllic haven, ensuring survival through the colder months.

Addressing attractions: To proactively deter earwigs, a non-toxic approach that considers these attractions is vital. Tailoring prevention strategies that focus on managing these lures – such as utilizing dehumidifiers to manage indoor moisture levels and sealing potential entry points effectively – is key. Dr. Killigan’s array of pest control solutions is crafted with these exact scenarios in mind, providing eco-conscious, efficient products designed to manage what attracts earwigs without compromising the safety of your internal environment.

Embracing Dr. Killigan’s principles: Our mechanical pest control products stand as a testament to the philosophy that effective pest management can be achieved without resorting to harmful chemicals. By understanding and addressing what attracts earwigs, and by employing products such as our Six Feet Under, a non-toxic kill-on-contact earwig spray, homeowners are empowered to handle pest situations with confidence and efficacy.


Remarkably, Six Feet Under doesn’t just protect your home environment but does so with an acute awareness of maintaining the balance in our broader ecosystems, ensuring that your indoor and outdoor spaces remain uncompromised and safe. Dr. Killigan’s solutions enable you to maintain an earwig-free space while simultaneously respecting and preserving the broader ecosystem beyond your doorstep.


Knowledge is the truest form of power - and, in this case, the power to navigate our interactions with the creatures of the natural world, earwigs included, with understanding and ease. At Dr. Killigan’s, we are devoted to equipping you with not just the insight, but also the tools to manage any unexpected six-legged guests in a way that honors our collective home: the environment. Together, let’s embrace solutions that safeguard our domestic peace without compromising our ecological one. Discover the Dr. Killigan’s way to protect your spaces, dispel fears and live harmoniously alongside all of nature’s inhabitants. 

Reading next

Unseen invaders: The global threat of invasive mosquitoes

Get into the nitty-gritty on insects & arachnids

View all

Tiny terrors or helpful hunters? Identifying baby wolf spiders

Ever spotted a small, hairy spider and wondered if it's dangerous? Learn about baby wolf spiders, the misunderstood hunters that are more helpful than harmful!


How to get rid of cicada killer wasps

Are cicada killer wasps turning your yard into their hunting ground? Learn how to manage or eliminate these intimidating wasps with Dr. Killigan's eco-friendly and effective strategies.


How to get rid of baby stink bugs

Struggling with baby stink bugs? Learn effective, eco-friendly ways to identify, prevent, and eliminate these pests from your home and garden.

Read all about our unique ingredients

View all

Putting customers first: The power of full disclosure from Dr. Killigan's

Discover the power of full disclosure at Dr. Killigan's and how our transparency puts you in control of your pest solutions.


What makes an ant killer pet-safe?

Navigating the challenge of ant infestations while ensuring the safety of our pets is crucial. Learn the key features of pet-safe ant sprays and powders.  


Home preparation for travel & maintaining a pest-free haven

Travel with ease using Dr. Killigan's home preparation guide. Discover deep cleaning strategies and download our free house cleaning checklist for a pest-free return.