My cat eats earwigs

Crouton is our cat, actually he is not ours but he does allow us to live with him but he maintains full run of the house. This feline is basically an indoor dweller but sneaks out occasionally to see what he’s missing on the outside world. ‘Crusty’ as I affectionately call him prowls the house (when his 12 hour nap is over) looking to fulfill the ancient urge to hunt his prey. Now I am a professional pest control technician mind you but even in my home a wayward bug has been known to sneak in. No worries, Crusty is soon on the case and tracks the insect to any corner, crack or crevice that the six or eight legged intruder might be in. Sometimes waiting for hours while staring at a picture on the wall our 12 hour pest patrol won’t move until enticed by food or one of my Aussie’s decides to play tag.

Usually speaking our home only has a few bugs from time to time and most of those are earwigs. It can be after a heavy rain or during times of extreme dryness so there is no set environmental cause that brings them in. If perhaps the sightings get to 5 or 6 in a weeks time I refer to the practices that I wrote about in “3 easy steps to get rid of earwigs” and that almost always solves the problem.

Most of these harmless bugs fall prey to the hunting instincts of my cat and about the only way we can identify them is by the forceps still attached to the mangled body. If Crouton misses one during his siesta the innocent insect is still doomed due to my residual insecticide barrier and it isn’t long before he dies. This brings me to my point and it’s a question I get quite a bit in both my business and from my e-mail.

Will my cat die or get sick from eating an earwig after I’ve sprayed?

The answer in short is no but there are a couple of caveats; If you were to directly soak an earwig with pesticide and your cat ate it right then you may have a problem. This would be extremely rare because most animals would be deterred by the chemical smell and may still paw at the intended victim but that’s about it. I can’t imagine too many people would let this occur but it is a possibility.

When an earwig has absorbed enough dried chemical product from his crack or crevice however, there may not be enough chemical for even a cat or dog to detect and the execution would go as planned. In this case your pet may ingest some pesticide but it would be in such a minute amount that it would have no effect.

Most pesticides are made with the lowest possible mammalian toxicity levels or the compounds are already a non factor so there is no worry. Pesticides products also work on body weight and earwigs weigh pretty close to nothing as compared to Crouton who is a svelte 9 lbs. So ol Crusty would need to eat about a bucket full of earwigs to get any measurable amount of pesticides that would do him any harm. By then I think he’d be dead from pincer poisoning more than anything else. There are of course very sensitive animals out there just like people who react to very small amounts of chemicals although that is very rare.

The bottom line is that if your cat is like mine and you catch him with a pair of pincers in his teeth don’t panic. Whether you have or have not sprayed it’s very unlikely to cause him any harm. Of course take him to your vet for anything unusual but don’t be surprised if you find a pair of pincers in the next furball you have to clean up.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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