Home Earwigs Earwig in Ear, Symptoms & how to remove

Earwig in Ear, Symptoms & how to remove

Earwigs are insects that are creepy-looking and they are in most cases associated with a couple of myths. They are popularly thought to crawl through your ear into the brain where they will lay eggs.

Read on to learn the truth plus how to deal with them in case they get into your hearing organs.

Do Earwigs go in your ear? Do they crawl?

There is a lot of misunderstanding as to whether or not earwigs can crawl into your ears.

There is even a consensus that the name earwig is coined by insect naming scientists (etymologists), ear insect.

There is an assumption or rather a myth that the insects can crawl and burrow into your ear.

can earwigs get into your ear

There are some people who think that they burrow into the brain and lay eggs. This is largely untrue. Your ear does not have the conducive environment to maintain the earwigs.

The insects prefer moist and dark environment which the ear lacks. If they stumble their way into your ear, they will be unable to lay eggs and burrow into the brain.

Presence of moisture in your ear can be an attractant of the earwigs into your ear.  They will be attracted to the moisture rather than the ear itself. These cases are however very few.

You should never take chances but take care to remove any moisture that may cause earwigs to crawl into your ears.[1]

what earwigs look like
A photo of an Earwig

How are they likely to get in your Ear?

The earwigs will move into your home because they are looking for food or even because of the change of weather.

The bugs will live indoors and even wander throughout the house. They would prefer living in the damp and cool environment during the long dry periods.[2]

These insects are somehow insidious. They therefore will attach to your hair, clothing and or skin during the dark time.

After that, they will craw their way into your ear canal and then get to the middle of the ear. As mentioned such incidences are very rare.

Will they lay eggs and make you deaf?

It is a superstition that the earwigs crawl into your ears when you are sleeping, to burrow into your brain and lay eggs.

These insects just wander in your house just like the beetles, cockroaches and ants. The only way they get into your ear is by accident.

The female earwigs always take care of their eggs. They lay the eggs in the nest that are short tunnels in the soil and keep watch over them to prevent mold from killing them.

Therefore, the earwigs live outside and find the damp areas to lay their eggs. They thus have no ability to make you deaf by laying eggs in your ears.

If it is feeding, they look or decaying matter like the dead leaves to feed on, which are not in the brain[3].

Symptoms of earwigs in ear

Symptoms of the earwigs in your ear, that is if they manage to get into your ear by any chance, vary from one person to another.

They depend on the size of the bug or your reaction to the sting and the healing process of your body.

There are some other symptoms that are common all across and when you see them, you should suspect the earwig.

  • The sight of red marks from where the wigs bite your skin.
  • You will also have some bleeding and the area turns red after some time.
  • The bitten area also begins to itch.
  • The bitten areas if not treated will form chancres.
  • When you start having the following symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible:
  • Bleeding that originates from the ear
  • Fever of over 103 F for more than a week
  • Palpitations of the heart and some headaches that are similar to migraines and then the impairment of speech.[4]
  • Similarly, you will have some itchiness in your ear. When this happens, there are chances that you are developing an infection or pus building up in your ear. The infection comes about if you do not take care of the situation well.
  • Redness and the inflammation of the inner side of the ear is also common in most habitations of the ears with the earwigs.

How to get them out in case they crawl in

The presence of foreign objects in the ear of your children is not easily recognized because they rarely say.

The best bet that you can give this situation is to always see a specialist. They will always be at the best position to help. However, there are times when they are not available. In this case, you can remedy the situation on your own.

According to Mayo Clinic, you should not probe your ear using a tool like cotton wool or a matchstick. This objects are rough to the ear and can cause some injuries and damage to your ear. Instead, the following steps are useful in dealing with the ear wig in your ear.

  1. Ensure that you are calm and collected. The situation is better handled when you are calm. If it is your child, ensure it is calm. After that, attempt to remove the object if you can see it. Use the tweezers to gently remove the earwig.
  2. Use gravity. Twist and tilt your head towards the effected side and try to dislodge the earwig from your ear.
  3. Use oil. Turn your ear that has the earwig to be upward. Pour some mineral oil; mineral oil, olive oil or baby oil into the ear. This will float the earwig. The oil you use should be warm but not hot. Never attempt to use the oil in the ear of your child if the eardrum is perforated.
  4. The other option would be using a rubber bulb ear syringe, wash the earwig out of your ear. Add warm water to irrigate the object out of the canal. Similarly do not attempt the remedy if you suspect perforation of the eardrums.
  5. Further, you can use some antibacterial cream and gel to the ear. This is a precaution to prevent any chances of infections coming into play. You can follow this up with an ice pack so as to reduce the redness and swelling in the ear.

Seek medical attention if you continue having pain and discharge from the ear. You should also rise to the occasion when you begin having a reduced sensation and hearing. This is in most cases a precipitation of a complication from the infestation[5]

Further Reading

[1] https://www.moyerpest.com/blog/post/the-full-truth-about-earwigs-crawling-in-ears

[2] https://www.orkin.com/other/earwigs/

[3] https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2009/jul/061001.htm

[4] https://www.buzzle.com/articles/earwig-bite.html

[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid/basics/art-20056709


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