The one with the earwigs

I don’t know about where you live, but in my end of town it has been a crazy summer for earwigs. I have never seen so many of them! And while I am pretty much okay with the usual infestations of ants and even spiders — earwigs? *shudder* I’ve taken to banging my morning paper rather fiercely against the porch wall before allowing it into the house, after more than once leaping up off the couch in a panic as one crawled across me.

We seem to be getting a lot of them in the house, which I’ve never seen before, and we’re getting them in the office at work, too. The jury is still out on whether they bite or not — I’ve heard it passionately argued both ways — but those pincher thingees on their arse ends are more than enough to put them on my “squish at any cost” list.

Do earwigs freak you out? You may want to stop reading now. This is my guaranteed-to-make-you-shudder earwig story. Don’t worry, I’ll understand. Come back tomorrow and we’ll be back to the rainbows and unicorns, no hard feelings.

The other day, I was putting water in the kiddie pool for the boys. They’d been in the pool the day before, and I’d hung their bathing suits on the deck rail to dry. Simon’s had fallen during the night, and was sitting in a heap under the porch swing.

I was wrestling with the hose, so in my defense, I was preoccupied. If I’d been paying attention, I could have easily seen it coming and averted the whole nasty affair. But I wasn’t.

I’ve told the boys I’d help them with their bathing suits in a minute, but Simon is excited about playing in the pool, and sees his bathing suit on the deck. He grabs it and brings it into the house.

(Can you see it coming? It gets worse.)

Beloved is sitting in one of those little Ikea plastic chairs, fiddling with the printer under the desktop shelf when Simon comes in, leaking a trail of earwigs from his infested bathing suit. He hasn’t yet noticed that his bathing suit is practically moving of its volition, and wants Beloved to help him put it on. In the ingratiating matter of children everywhere, does not simply ask for assistance (oh, the many points at which disaster could have been averted) but instead, to get his father’s attention, tosses his earwig-infested bathing suit onto Beloved’s head, where the earwigs rain down like a biblical plague and scurry every which way into my dining room.

(I told you it was gross. Imagine it from Beloved’s perspective, with them slipping into his shirt collar and down his back!)

I was, blissfully, outside, but I heard Beloved’s bellow of dismay and came running. I managed to scoop up a dozen or more, and Beloved caught as many, but he said that at least twice that many got away.

And now? We keep finding them *everywhere*. In the kitchen, crisped in the lint trap, and one memorable night floating in Beloved’s soda. We’ve moved every piece of heavy furniture on the main floor in our quest to eradicate them.

Just about anything else would be tolerable, but earwigs? Ick!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

23 thoughts on “The one with the earwigs”

  1. Arrrgh! I can relate. They, for the most part, have been all over the *outside* of my house. I’m moving a number of interlock stones and they are everywhere. Until this weekend. I moved a wet towel that I had thrown in my laundry basket and on scurried out. How the hell did it get up to the second floor and find that particular spot.

    I wonder, because its been such a hot and dry summer so far, they are looking indoors for damp locations.

  2. Oh, my yes, ICK!
    My bravest moment so far as a mom (with the exception of anything medical)
    was last weekend, my almost 3 and 4 year old and I slept in a tent in our yard.
    It wasn’t the spider running across my face just after the kids finally went to sleep that icked me out, no, it was the earwig just after that. I successfully, and silently squished the spider. The earwig took serious effort. So did the not screaming.
    (captcha= “Okayed exotica”!)

  3. Eeks! You should have titled this post “don’t read if you’re at work in an open concept office and you’ll have to find a good way to explain why you’re suddenly laughing uncontrollably.”

    I feel so awful for your husband, your house and you. The earwigs *have* been at their worst this summer in Ottawa. Ours started way back in May/June and managed to eat their way through all of our lettuce, bok choy, pumpkins, watermelon, cucumber, planted pots and even some of our tomatoes. I hate earwigs. A lot!

    Every morning when I open the door to let the dog out, I am armed with a flip flop in one hand and stand back as they fall down from the frame. I run around whacking them while squealing. My kids think it’s quite comical. I, personally, don’t think it’s that funny.

  4. Thankfully, we are blissfully earwig-free.

    However, I must share my earwig story. Which actually doesn’t involve real earwigs, so it’s got that going for it.

    In my pre-kid days I was a Brownie leader. The first time that I took some girls to camp, one of the kids piped up with ‘information’ about earwigs on the first day. The whole ‘they burrow into your ears and lay eggs’ thing. Which is totally false, and I let the girls know. But apparently this kid’s mother had told her the story, so it HAD to be true.

    All weekend long, whenever we saw a bug of ANY kind, none of which were earwigs, all the girls ran screaming. I think some even bolted because they saw a small slug. Fun times!

  5. *shudder* *gag* and *giggle*

    At least now I feel better about just finding them in my basement (bedroom and bathroom) thankfully with none in my clothes. Now, I will shake them just to make sure. Especially since I live in my friends basement.

    I think they might be out in full force because of the warm weather *what do I know* just like the dragon flies and fireflies are this year.

    I agree with Tania, thanks for not having any pics.

  6. Oh that story is just nasty. I simply can’t stand them either, ever since tenting as a young child in the back yard…and being told they crawled into your ear! Eek!

    We live in Ottawa too and I’ve heard many people complain about themt his year, but for us there are just a few extras hanging around the flower pots. None in the house thankfully.


  7. Made me wriggle in my seat reading this! Your poor husband. Has he been able to shake the feeling yet? The dreaded earwigs “hatched” one night in early June at our house. Around dusk I turned on the front porch light and had a peek outside to make sure the light had come on when I was greeted with thousands of the creepy crawlers. They came in various sizes, from the tiniest I have ever seen to the “regular” size and they are now invading the inside of the house too, especially the bathroom. Makes that middle of the night trip to the loo a new adventure. 🙂
    I have heard they come in 7 year cycles. Let’s hope this is true! Happy squishin’!!!

  8. Can you believe I’d never seen an earwig before moving out here two years ago? Then I didn’t know what they were called for the whole first summer.

    They are awful. Just awful.

    Please someone assure me there aren’t any in Bogota. Please.


  9. They are the creepiest of the creepy-crawlies. We’ve had a lot of them here in southern Ontario this summer too. They are th hardest to kill as well, requiring quite a bit of force with your foot. bleck.

  10. We recently bought one of those blow up coungers and on occasion it has been left out overnight, not usually a big deal, but last week when it was very hot I had sprayed the kids with water while they were in the bouncer. The bouncer had not fully dried and was left out overnight. The next day we blew up the bouncer and Oh, My, God…. Earwig Central. I had to go in the bouncer (not sure that my weight limit is appropriate for that thing) and broom them out and squish them with paper towels, there must have been close to 50 of them in there. It was a living nightmare.

  11. When I was 13 we went away for three weeks and came home to find our Kanata home full of earwigs. It took us ages to get rid of them. This year is a bad one too, I know.

    But worse than earwigs? House centipedes. Ugh. Bleah. Shudder.

  12. Poor Beloved! We live in Barrhaven and have been seeing them all over our property (and in our house) as well. So disgusting. At first I thought it was just happening to us, but soon started comparing notes with neighbours, other moms at the park, etc. and it would appear that 2010 is the Summer of the Earwig in our community.

    My husband has been leaving small containers of dish soap in prime entry areas and this home-made trap is catching dozens of the things before they can make it into our home.

  13. delurking (finally!!)…
    we live out between Carp and Almonte, and yes, this year has been really bad for earwigs – I have never seen soooo many, but thankfully only one in the house so far!
    and, ohhh, your poor husband – hopefully he doesn’t have nightmares (I know I would!!)
    btw – I love your blog!!! (my daughter is studing Photography at Algonquin, so I am always forwarding links to your posts to her)

  14. Oh My!!! Those are the most disgusting bugs I ever ever seen. I keep finding them in my bathroom. Your blog made me look around me as I feel like I have some crawling on me. Hope you get them all soon

  15. OMG. I can’t even imagine that kind of horror. For a while there we were finding a bunch of them in my house- in places where they really shouldn’t have been. I picked up the carafe from my coffee maker and one scurried out. That was the worst, but clearly nothing close to what your poor husband experienced. EW EW EW. 🙁

  16. LOVELY. That’s so brutal – I can imagine, although I don’t want to. We’ve been finding random earwigs in strange places all over our house too, but only one at a time. Although I did have one in a pair of yoga pants that I put on a few weeks ago that ended up on my leg then the floor. But nothing that brutal. Not fun! But had that been captured on home video…you would be a YouTube star right about now…

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