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June 27, 2009

Entomophobia: Earwigs

We just have come to realize that our DD has an entomophobia. Her fear: Earwigs.

She is calling them "ear wax". She seen one today and flipped out so bad that she was crying uncontrollably. She kept saying:
"They are called ear wax, because they'll swarm up your arm and into your ears."

I have no idea where she got this idea from! It's just something that she came up with, on her own.

Although I just learn today, right before posting this and after my dd's breakdown, that there is actually an old wives' tale regarding earwigs.
Earwig, is derived from the Old English Δ“are, which means "ear", and wicga, which means "insect." The name comes from the old wives' tale that earwigs burrowed into the brains of humans through the ear and therein lay their eggs.

I know that my DD has never heard of this wives' tale. I just find it interesting that she took the name and reasoned for herself that is why they are called earwaxs I mean earwigs!

What also is interesting is that after her breakdown she seen a spider by our front door and said "Oh look a spider, that's no big deal" and just went about her business. I just don't know what it is about earwigs that freak her out.

Edit Add: I wanted to add this link to a page about Earwigs. Mainly for pictures of what earwigs look like. :)


  1. I sympathize completely with DD. Spiders don't freak me out either, but something called and earwig most likely would. I don't think I've ever seen one and I'm not sure I want to. Hope she's not too traumatized :)

  2. I'm with her, earwigs are disgusting! One of those creatures that make me wonder why God made them!

  3. actually in early colonial times they did get into the wigs that eveyone wore and would sometimes get into ears- hence the name this is actually true.

    We have lots of them here actually we have all kinds of bugs here its a buggy place:-)

  4. Karinann- earwigs are really common, I'm surprise that you haven't seen one. I'm going to edit the post to include a link to a page about them that will have pictures. :)

    Toni-That's the first I've heard of them getting into people's wigs.

  5. Yep...Toni's right.
    But my dh is with your dd.
    When we first moved out of the suburbs of Pittsburgh and headed to the country land of WV when we were young...the locals told my poor husband that earwigs would crawl around his ears while he slept! Needless to say, he was constantly stomping them because we had so many and he was so afraid from the tale he'd been told!
    However...we learned that to get rid of them, just roll up a damp newspaper and leave it in the vicinity of the earwigs...at night, they will crawl inside in groups...and in the morning, you can discard them!

  6. Judy do they die when they go into the wet newspaper, or does the wet paper just attract them?

  7. No, they don't die...just sort of "congregate" in there :)

    Two ways of actually killing them are: spreading a perimeter of diatomaceous earth around the outside of your house near the foundation...I'm told that when the earwigs come in contact with or eat it...it "breaks them up" or punctures their exoskeletons and eventually kills them....the other way is to use boric acid which is an organic insecticide...I'm told that the earwigs have to walk directly through the white powder for this to work.
    We personally found that the best way to prevent them from entering the house was to seal the foundation well...and not have cracked, moist places...like old homes sometimes do...in the window seals...corners of basement doors, etc...
    probably way more than you wanted to know...sorry!

  8. I don't blame your dd for being freaked out about those earwigs. I'd be freaking out if I saw one of them.
    I tagged you in a photo meme.

  9. Hey Judy I just wanted to say sorry for the delay in approving your last comment. I had read it and thought I had approved it. I just realized that it was still setting in the comment moderation box. Sorry about that!


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