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Earwig in the Ear

Can Earwigs Crawl in Your Ears? How Can You Get Rid of Them?

The fear behind earwig in the ear is that this insect is believed to crawl in our ears and damage the brain. This article will clarify the doubts regarding this topic.
Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
To hear people say that they found an earwig in the ear is a very common phrase. According to some Anglo-Saxon legends, earwigs crawl into people's ears while they sleep, and then, they make a bore into the brains of the person sleeping. However, it is now believed to be a big misconception. This misconception is supposed to have risen due to the name 'earwig' that has altogether different origin and is not related to its boring into the brain.
According to some sources, these insects derive their name from the word "ear wing" that was used to indicate the ear-like shape of the hind set of their wings. Almost six European languages have the word "ear" included with the name of these insects. They are nocturnal insects of the order dermaptra, and they insects are attracted to light and frequently creep into the homes. The stories and legends associated with them are mythical. In practical life, although they may infest a home, their entrance in the ears is uncommon, though not negligible.
Do They Harm Humans?
Due to infestation and unhygienic conditions at home, it may happen that these bugs crawl into your ears (it may rarely happen) or they may bite you. Despite some people claiming that their bites are poisonous, it has been proven that they don't contain any poison. Since their jaws are strong, their bite can be somewhat painful, but not poisonous. So, technically, they are not harmful to humans, at least not as much as they are said to be. However, their pinch can hurt.
Methods to Get Rid of Them
Firstly, these bugs enter our homes, and it is only later that they reach to our ears. Controlling this infestation is necessary to prevent their population from growing and causing more harm to your home. Some steps have been mentioned below. Before infiltrating into our homes, they infest our outdoor garden, lawns, and walls. So, stopping them at the entrance is the most intelligent step one can take.
  • Like most of insects, they thrive in moist areas around the foundations of buildings. So, regular cleaning of the foundations is essential. Laying gravel and stones around the foundations helps in the prevention of infestation.
  • If you have ground-level windows, then ensure that window screens are fixed and there is no way for the insects to enter into the house.
  • Sealing the doors and door frames (leaky places in doors are a welcome entry point) is a must for reducing the risk of indoor infestation.
  • Boric acid is a chemical that can be used to control them. If they pass through the boric acid powder, they get killed.
  • Vacuum cleaners can be used to eliminate large numbers if they have broken into your homes.
Killing them is an option if their infestation reaches alarming levels. Consult some pest control experts, and ask for some effective insecticides and pesticides. This insect has never known to cause some serious problems, however, if you encounter such situations and are unable to be comfortable, instead of panicking, visit a medical practitioner.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.