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  • Writer's pictureMichael Zawadzki

Do Earwigs Burrow Into Your Brain To Lay Eggs While You Sleep?

Not true. Earwigs do not crawl into people’s ear canals to lay their eggs. The name Earwig is derived from the Anglo-Saxon ear-wicga, which roughly translated means, the “ear wiggler.”


  • Earwigs are nocturnal.

  • Earwigs eat plants, flowers, fruits and insects.

  • Earwigs prefer to hide in cool and moist environments.

  • Some species produce a foul smelling liquid that they use for defense.

  • Adult Earwigs are dark reddish-brown, with six light brown legs and range in size from 5-25 mm.

  • Earwigs have pincers (concave jaws that are arranged like the blades of scissors, used for gripping and pulling things) on the back of their abdomens.


  • Most species have one generation a year.

  • Females typically lay between 20 and 50 eggs during the spring in chambers a few inches underground.

  • The female Earwig continuously cleans the eggs to protect them from fungi.

  • Earwig eggs hatch in about 7 days.

  • After the nymphs hatch, they eat the egg casing.

  • Earwigs live for about a year from hatching.


  • Make sure crawl space vents are screened.

  • Eliminate damp moist conditions around foundations.

  • Avoid shade near the foundation by pruning trees and shrubs.

  • Keep firewood piles, landscape timbers, mulch and fallen leaves away from the foundation.

  • Seal all possible entry points around windows, pipes, doors, including cracks and crevices in the walls.

  • Since many insects are attracted to white light at night, position outdoor lighting to shine on house from yard. If moving light fixtures is burdensome, use yellow light bulbs.

Attempting to eliminate Earwigs effectively requires the use of several insecticide products. To avoid improper application, call PEST ARREST.

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