Image Credit: Caroline Harding, MAF, at www.padil.gov.au
Image Credit: the California state government website
The small dark spots on the legs of the Ring-Legged Earwig are helpful in identifying this species.
The Ring-Legged Earwig is a commonly seen insect throughout North America and gets it creepy name from the false idea that these insects actually crawl into your ear and bite you from the inside the ear canal. The fact is that these insects are generally afraid of people and are more likely to scurry away than run toward you if they are disturbed or feel threatened. At most, the Ring-Legged Earwig lightly damages any plants that it may feast on but beyond that, a passerby is safe from those intimidating pincers.
These Earwigs generally appear as a brown or a black with some possible yellow on the body. The body itself can range between 10mm and 26mm in length and, though some species of Earwigs have wings, they seldom fly.
Ring-Legged Earwigs are very common in the outdoors, usually found around gardens and fields. Stray Earwigs might make their way into your home, but that would be about the extent of indoor habitation. Most likely, ones found indoors are "lost". Earwigs enjoy the nighttime hours when they are more at liberty to roam safely in order to hunt other insects.
Eggs are laid in the fall in the dirt or loose ground litter and eventually hatch in the spring time. Nymphs will tend to grow faster in the hot summer months in the South, producing more generations per year than in the cooler regions of the northern of the United States and Canada.
Scientific Name: Euborellia annulipes
Other Name(s): Earwig
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 26mm (0.39in to 1.01in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.