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European earwig (Forficula auricularia) © Olivier Clerc
European earwig (Forficula auricularia) © Olivier Clerc

The largest earwig measured 8cm but they are perfect garden pest control

Fear not the earwig: these insects are perfect garden friends and very unlikely to find a home in your ear.

Published: September 19, 2023

Earwigs, order Dermaptera, are ‘orthopteroid’ insects and are closely related to grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches. They are easily recognised by the pincers known as ‘cerci’ at their rear end and are often feared because of their appearance. They are, however, not dangerous, nor are they poisonous or harmful to humans in any way. The cerci, curved in males and straight in females, are there to protect them from natural predators; toads, birds, beetles and bats to name but a few.

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