Earwig Facts

Earwigs get their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people’s ears and tunnel into the brain. They do not really do that! There are 22 types of Earwigs in the United States and there are over 1,000 different species all over the world.

Common Name: Earwig

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Dermaptera

Family: Forficulidae

Species: Forficula auricularia

Size: 1″

Shape: Long, narrow

Color: Dark brown

Legs: 6

Wings: No

Antenna: Yes

Diet: Earwigs feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects.

Habitat: Earwigs hide during the day and live outdoors in large numbers. They can be found under piles of lawn clippings, compost or in tree holes. They enter buildings through cracks in the walls.

Impact: They do not spread disease, but they can be scary to look at.


  • Remove leaf piles, compost piles or other vegetation from around your home.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in the walls of your house.

Parents and kids can both find more facts and information on earwig control at the official NPMA website.