What Are Earwigs?
Earwigs are the stuff of legends. It has long been rumored that these creepy crawly insects will crawl into the ear of a sleeping human, burrow into the brain, and lay its eggs there. Fortunately, this is completely untrue, but it is still not a good idea to have these alien-looking creatures lurking behind your bathtub.
Though only around 6-25 mm in length (depending on the species) earwigs can be startling to encounter. An earwig also has 2 antennae, 6 legs, 3 body parts, and a set of formidable pincers at the end of its abdomen. Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera. Along with their forceps-like pincers, they also have a pair of membranous wings that fold underneath a pair of forewings.
Mostly nocturnal creatures, earwigs often hide inside small, moist crevices during the daytime hours and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of plants and insects. Before becoming adults, immature earwigs go through 5 molts. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs may care for their eggs and even watch over nymphs after they hatch until their second molt.
Earwigs are creatures that eat mostly leaves, fruits, seedlings, vegetable plants, flowers, insects, and mold. It is their love of mold that often brings them into areas where wood has rotted. Some species of earwig feed on insects, some only feed on plants. But most feed on everything.