The Earwigs are just about 7 to 24mm in length but have an intimidating look for that size of an insect. This is bolstered by the formidable looking pincers emanating from the tip of its abdomen. They use the pincers for hunting prey and for self defense. The stories of Earwigs crawling into people’s ears laying their eggs inside and eating their brains are fortunately not true so you can rest easy.
Earwigs are brownish-black with orange markings. They mainly live outside but will make their way inside homes when the weather becomes detrimental to their survival. In fall, when the weather really starts getting cold, large numbers of earwigs will invade homes. Outside earwigs live in damp dark areas such as under pile of grass and wood. Inside the home they come together in large numbers. They make themselves comfortable in inaccessible places like behind walls, basements and under floors making them a nuisance.
Earwigs can actually bite but they hardly do so. They will more often pinch you skin and clamp on tightly and in some instances hard enough to make you bleed. If an earwig pinch does not draw blood it will most likely leave you with a red and swollen mark at the pinched area.
Signs of injuries caused earwigs
Spaced a tiny distance from each other will be two red pincer marks. There is a little bleeding if the pincers broke through the skin. The pinched area could become very red and swollen. The discomfort from a pinch does not last long and is quite mild. Earwig pinches should not have complications because there’s no venom involved.
To confirm whether it was an earwig that pinched you or a bite from something else check the bite site. If it’s an earwig pinch there should be no puncture marks at the area.
Earwigs reasons for pinching and bite
An earwig will pinch to defend its self when it feels threatened. You have to be close enough to touch an earwig to get pinched by one. To treat an earwig pinch, check the affected site to confirm the skin is unbroken. Clean the site with soap and water thoroughly.
Smear antibacterial gel on the area if the pincer went through the skin as a preventive measure against any possible occurrence of infection. Usually the wound will heal without having to call on a doctor.
However if the pincers happen to break off in your skin, it is of paramount importance to have the pieces removed in a sterile environment by a doctor. You risk having a skin infection if you remove them yourself.
Because earwigs live in places that bacteria thrives in like drains their bites if not properly treated could result in infections like cellulitis. In this case you’ll experience symptoms like chills, shaking, fatigue, dizziness, sweating, and lightheadedness to name a few. If the infection progresses further the wound becomes septic and the situation becomes life threatening with symptoms like blistering, lethargy and red streaks.
Earwigs can get anywhere including your bed becoming a nuisance. Get a pest control professional to effectively deal with them.