Image Credit: Caroline Harding, MAF, at www.padil.gov.au
Image Credit: the California state government website
Short, faint brown bands on the yellow legs of the Ring-legged Earwig are helpful in identifying this omnivorous species.
The Ring-legged Earwig is a commonly seen insect throughout North America and it gets its creepy name from the false idea that these insects actually crawl into your ear and bite you 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 plant that it may feed from, but beyond that most animals are safe from those intimidating rear pincers.
These Earwigs generally look brown or black with a hint of brown on its yellow legs. The long, armored body can be anywhere from 10mm to 26mm in length and, though some species of earwigs have wings, it seldom flies. Ring-legged Earwigs are found outdoors, usually around gardens and fields. A handful of stray earwigs might make their way into your home, especially when outdoor plants are brought inside in cold weather, but earwigs do not reproduce and infest homes. Most likely, ones found indoors are lost and looking for a way back to nature. Earwigs enjoy the nighttime hours when they are able to roam safely while hunting other insects.
Eggs are laid in the fall in the dirt or loose ground litter and eventually hatch in the spring time. Nymphs 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.