Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Earwig

Here's an insect which is common in most areas of the province.  It's also one which people universally can't stand to have around: the Earwig!

With their thin bodies and stealth they seem to easily make their way into our homes.  We don't like to pick them up because of the scary-looking pinchers.  The actual name for those things is cerci.  Earwigs use them for defense against other insects.  However, they will give you a pinch if you place your finger close enough - they are basically harmless. 

How about your ears?  The name earwig comes from the old superstition that they crawl in to people's ears.  Fortunately, this is untrue.  Earwigs like to spend their days around dead vegetation and are usually on the move at night.  They are plant eaters and scavengers.

Earwigs inside the house are common in fall, but also turn up at times in winter - especially when it's mild. The cold weather is coming and your house is a warm safe place.  The good news is that they will not cause any damage inside. Cutting down on the numbers of Earwigs in your house should be accomplished by cleaning up old outside vegetation and making sure there are no gaps under your doors.

Yeah, they are creepy!

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