Are the Earwig Urban Legends True?

earwigs on a limb outside

If you are in your 40's or above, you probably remember back when Chuck Norris was just another martial arts guy trying to make it in Hollywood. But, somewhere along the way, something happened that turned Chuck Norris from "just another action star" to a legend. This gave birth to sayings like, "Chuck Norris was once bitten by a cobra and, after five days of excruciating pain, the Cobra died." "Under Chuck Norris' chin… is another fist." And, "Before going to bed, the Boogeyman always checks his closet for Chuck Norris." There is only one other legend that comes close to the legend of Chuck Norris, and that is the legend of the earwig.

The Legend of the Earwig

While earwigs don't have pithy quotes about them, they have inspired many to manufacture incredible tales about them. One legend goes like this, "There was a woman who got an earwig in her ear. She couldn't get it out, so she went to her doctor. The doctor was also not able to get the earwig out because it had burrowed into her brain, and the doctor was afraid that attempting to get the earwig out would cause brain damage. Fortunately, the invading bug worked its way all the way through and came out the other ear. This would have been the end of the story, but to the woman's horror, the earwig turned out to be a pregnant female..." This is only one of many stories that can be found on the internet. So, is there any truth behind the legend of the earwig? Actually, there is.

There are many moisture pests that like the warm, moist cavities on the sides of our head--also known as the ear canals. Earwigs are one of them. If you have an earwig infestation, it is possible for one of these insects to crawl on you and accidentally enter your ear. It is also possible for other bugs to do this as well. There are many documented accounts of bugs being found in the ears of patients.

An Australian man visited his doctor complaining of what he called "excruciating pain in his ear." When the doctor checked him out, he found a cockroach in the man's ear canal. This confirmed the man's suspicions. He thought something was in there. In fact, he attempted to suck the bug out with a vacuum cleaner.

There is a documented case of a doctor in Taiwan who removed the hearing aid of a female patient and saw bloody fluid leak out. Upon close examination, fruit fly larva was discovered in the ear canal!

In China, a woman went to the hospital for an itchy ear. The doctor probed her ear and found a spider creating a web in there! It was estimated that the spider had been in her ear for 5 days.

We could go on and on, but you probably get the point. Bugs get into people's ears, and it is uncomfortable and quite disturbing. So, why does the earwig get legendary status? It may be because earwigs look like a creature that would eat your brains. It has inspired episodes of the Twilight Zone, a creature from the Star Trek movie Wrath of Khan, and countless variations of horror movie monsters.

What is the Truth About Earwigs?

This is a tiny critter that can get into your ear, but it has no reason to lay eggs in there and is fully incapable of eating your brains. It could, however, get lodged in your ear canal, as any bug could. This can create physical discomfort that will persist until the bug is removed.

If you would prefer to not have bugs crawling in your ear, on your skin, in your bed, or in your home at all, we understand. Life is much nicer when bugs are outside where they belong. That is one of the many reasons we are proud of the service we have been providing Pittsburgh customers since 1908. We love knowing that we make a difference in the lives of our customers. And, we're not going to lie, it feels pretty good when we show up to a follow-up visit and we're greeted by the smiling face of someone who is grateful that their bug issue was solved. That is a good feeling.

If you need a bug issue solved, call Witt Pest Management today for same-day service and immediate assistance.

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