Do Earwigs Bite People?

Kevin Melger/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Earwigs do not bite or sting; they can, however, use their forceps to pinch people, but this rarely breaks the skin. The act of pinching is a last ditch effort when they are picked up and agitated. Earwigs, contrary to popular belief, pose no danger to humans and do not lay eggs in a human host’s ears.

The forceps are used during mating and to hold prey. Earwigs have no stinger, do not bite humans and do not have any venom. Earwigs live in dirt and soil so if in the rare circumstance that someone is pinched by an earwig and it breaks the skin, use an antibiotic cream or lotion to disinfect the wound.

If earwigs are found in the house it may well be due to potted plants indoors or cracks in the foundation. Earwigs do not enter a home to settle down and start colonies and they nest and lay their eggs in soil. Cities and towns near marshes, or houses near bodies of water are likely to have higher populations of earwigs, but there are a few things that can be done to minimize the number in the yard. Removing rotting material, such as old logs, twigs and mulch to places farther away from the house can reduce the number near the home.