Interesting Facts About Earwigs: Harmless For The Humans

Have you ever been scared than an earwig will climb through your ear and lay eggs in your brain? If so, you’ve bought into an old wives’ tale. Earwigs aren’t dangerous to humans unless you consider damage to crops or infrastructure.
Earwigs are group of insects. There are over 1.700 species of earwigs that can be found all over the world. Earwigs exist on the planet at least 208 million years. They inhabit dark, wet areas that provide shelter and food.
Earwigs can be found in the forests, fields, gardens, backyards and homes. They easily enter the buildings through the holes in the walls and occupy kitchens, bathrooms, garages and basements. Earwigs can be also found on the agricultural fields and orchards where they produce minor damage on the commercially important crops and fruit. Most species of earwigs are numerous in the wild.
Here are some interesting facts about earwigs:
1. Earwig siblings help each other out, producing more frass when in the company of their brothers and sisters. Frass – or insect poop – might seem distasteful to humans, but for many immature insects, it is a good source of nutrition.
The frass is donated and then eaten, meaning the nymphs help nourish each other. If nymphs crawl into an unrelated brood of earwigs, they are equally likely to be cannibalized as they are to be ‟adopted.”
2. Earwig has long, narrow, flattened body with 3 pairs of legs. Most species have short, leathery forewings and thin hindwings, but they rarely fly. Earwigs are terrestrial animals that crawl on the ground.
3. Earwigs live in large groups. They secrete pheromones that help them locate each other. Earwigs also produce and release foul smelling substance to repel the predators.
4. Earwigs are fairly unique in the insect world in that mothers will sometimes help rear and protect their young. This is despite the fact that earwig nymphs are fully capable of surviving on their own.
It means the mothers ‟choose” to stay with their young, keeping fungus from growing on the eggs and protecting them from predators. Even after hatching, most mothers spend a few weeks bringing food back to her nymphs, many of which choose to stay together and grow strong with their siblings.
5. Earwigs are harmless to the humans. They don’t transmit diseases and don’t have painful sting.
6. Mating season of earwigs takes place during the autumn. Female stores the sperm in the body until the spring, when it is used for the fertilization of eggs.
7. A defense mechanism that certain species of earwigs possess comes from dorsal glands located on either side of their abdomens. These glands emit a horrid odor that comes in the form of a fluid. They can squirt this defensive fluid between 7 and 100 millimeters. Unfortunately, they also release this foul stench when you step on them.
8. To expand on the origin of the name, people used to think that earwigs could crawl in your ear and either dig into or eat your brain. It was thought that earwigs would lay eggs in your head, which might in turn, cause you to go crazy. None of this is true, though cases have been documented where earwigs crawl into a camper’s ear canal, seeking the dark and moisture they favor when hiding.
9. Female lays 3 to 50 eggs that hatch after 7 days. Larva (nymph) emerges from the egg and undergoes 4 to 6 molting sessions before it finally reaches the size of an adult insect. Whole process usually lasts 30 days. Unlike other species of insects, females take care of their offspring until the second molting (earwigs show maternal care).
10. Earwig has pair of antennas on the head. They are composed of 10 or more segments. Earwig also has pair of pinchers on the rear end of the body that facilitate capturing the prey and serve as a weapon against predators. Pinchers are straight in females, curved in males.

Leave a Reply, No Login Necessary.