Do Earwigs Go In Your Ear?

Well the answer to this is age old question is a complete and resounding YES. Earwigs have been documented to go in peoples ear cavities and cause big problems. Now, let me ask you this; Do people win the lottery? The answer is of course also YES and in fact it happens everyday. That said, I personally don’t know of any and in my life I’ve played the government sanctioned gambling game many times and it’s never amounted to anything except my wallet being lighter. How about this. Do birds accidentally fly into buildings? The answer to this is also YES but is it a regular everyday thing? How many times have you actually seen this happen? Would you be surprised to know that this occurs millions of times per year? That’s a lot of dead birds and I doubt you thought the numbers would even come close to that. With that many birds dying one would think this was an epidemic yet it doesn’t get near the traction that the earwig story gets. It’s a big world and this daily carnage of birds hardly puts a dent in the population and since it really doesn’t affect you it’s probably only a sad thought and then forgotten if you see one on the sidewalk. Earwigs on the other hand, only need one unfortunate person to plague and the world hears about three times over before you know it.

I do know personally of a customer who had a bug (it was a roach) in her ear and like the lotto, she had less money at the end of the

Dr. scoping Franks ear-earwig inside

painful ordeal. Does this mean this is a regular occurrence? You’d think so when you surf around the forums and read the many comments people post. Frank is one such gentleman who commented on my article The Legend of The Earwig and he even sent me pictures and an article that backs up his claim. Is Frank hallucinating, I think not. In truth I know for a for a fact that insects of all kinds have crept into peoples ears, mouth, nostrils-eh’ ehmm- I’ll leave it there but you get the picture. This has happened throughout history but for some reason when it comes to folk lore and exaggerated stories, the earwig has been chosen as the vehement devil that creeps along in the night looking for some poor souls brain to infest.

The truth of the matter is Frank and perhaps 1000’s of others are truthful when they tell their unfortunate story. Earwigs are nocturnal wanderer’s always looking for food. This scavenging bug has no real ‘super sensor’ that sniffs anything out so it can really only be attributed to dumb luck that it finds your ear and crawls in. (kind of like the lotto) It can’t really tell the difference between your ear cavity and a crack in the baseboard. To the earwig it’s what they do, they hunt and peck and live most of their lives in secluded spots so your ear or mouth is really no different. The horrible experience for a few is real, the doctors are there and usually have to poke and prod as the bug is only protecting itself trying to get deeper in and in the end a mangled up insect is removed. I hate to use the word anecdotal because for someone to whom this has happened to it is a very vivid problem that all should be aware of. But in the grand scheme of things and the

Article from Frank (clip up top is too)

amount of people and earwigs there are on this planet it is no more than just an isolated incident. If however earwigs ever do get a taste for brains, they will at that time have a feast and we’ll have a bona-fide legend.

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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  • You know one of the scariest shows either Twilight Show or Outer Limits was on this exact story. The Earwig got into to someone’s ear and laid eggs. That scared the absolute hell out of me when I was a kid, maybe that is why I became a Pest Management Professional. Just last weekend on ER someone had a coackroach in his ear, he actually went into shock and could do nothing more than scream every few minutes. NO bugs in my ears, at least I hope not.

  • I saw one like that (Alfred Hitchcock) with a giant millipede– The most it showed was a silhouette but I was terrified. My customer that had this terrible experience still sleeps with cotton in her ears to this day some 12 years later.

    Like I said, it is in the grand scheme of things rare– but that’s impossible to convince someone of this who spent the night in the ER with a wiggly insect so close to their brains.

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  • Wolfblaze99

    This guy is a IDOT earwigs do not live in a human ear even if one went into a human ear it could not get to your brain there is a thick bone in a human ear so the final awnser no they do not live in your ear!

  • I think ‘live’ is the key word. The legend has it that they nest inside your head and raise their young etc.– This I guess sprung from the undeniable fact that bugs can and do get in peoples ear. How far can they go? I’m siding with you. They can & do also get in your mouth and nose as well but the lure of a bug entering the brain and raising a family just has a ring to it that the others don’t.

  • Bhoodye

    I remember seeing an old A. Hitchcock movie with an episode where a man had an earwig placed in his ear by someone trying to get back at him. And just like you; I was scared out of my mind. 

  • Well, I don’t want to know how this might have ended, but the other night I was turning back the cover to get into bed and there, on my pillow, was an earwig.  I screamed, scared my dog, and swatted the earwig off my pillow.  Later I found one on the carpet – dead.  Hoping this was the only one in the room, I changed the pillow case and went to bed.

  • Hard to get to sleep with that episode! Some of my customers actually sleep with cotton in their ears. I don’t know if that’s exactly healthy but it’s the only way they can get any sleep.

  • Hard to get to sleep with that episode! Some of my customers actually sleep with cotton in their ears. I don’t know if that’s exactly healthy but it’s the only way they can get any sleep.

  • omg i just killed a earwig next to my bed towards my pillow end my room is in the basement and now for the last hour ive been reading about them in a panic dont know how im gonna sleep :/

  • Just put some cotton in your ears for tonight & you should be just fine.

  • Marcus Molineaux

    How does it feel to sell fear porn to feed your children?

  • Marcus,
    I’m sure you’re a nice guy but damn bud–read the article and not just look at the pictures before you go off and accuse somebody of something so heinous.I’ve got plenty of articles that could invoke a strong opinion from a reader but this isn’t one of them. You really look like a fool here.

  • Ihavesomethinginmyear

    mother f****r please don’t spread traumatic lies… this won’t convince anyone to hire you bug man… 0_0

  • Drugs………. more drugs…………

  • for real

    I am a victim of this and it is true PLEASE BEWARE its no joke or lie.

  • sorry to hear you had this problem–hope all is well now.

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  • Mike

    After battling my way through various beetles, earwigs, and spiders on my porch—despite a yellow light bulb. I find myself reading this and decideding to spray pure wholesale–liquid–murder from the hardware store all around the porch tomorrow.

  • Mike

    The worst part is I can never tell a beetle from a cockroach so EVERY beetle that finds its way into the kitchen is a cockroach to me. I finally discovered the black ground beetles that run fast and hate light aren’t but now there are these skinny 3/4″ black on the sides and tan down the middle and fly around my porch. I found one in the cupboard and I yelled at him before putting him in a bag in the freezer to figure out what he/she is.

  • There are so many different kinds and varieties thats for sure.

  • Be careful