Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm Baaack....and I'm not alone

I am back.

And guess who else is?

The earwig. I first wrote about earwigs here.

And when I say "earwig", I'm not talking about this:

I'm talking about these sons-a-bitches:

It's funny. I don't remember earwigs being around when I was little. Yet according to Wikipedia, earwigs were first introduced to North America from Europe in 1907. They make up the insect order Dermaptera, of which there are over 2,000 different species, and 12 different families! Earwigs are one of the smaller insect orders and are found throughout North and South America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and and New Zealand.  North American has 25 different species, England has 45, and Australia takes the lead with a total of 60. Although I wouldn't be proud if my country came in first place for that!



The difference between the male and female earwigs is easily seen in their cerci , or forceps-like pincers protruding from their abdomens. The male has curved pincers, the female has straight pincers. (I probably have two different species here; my point was to show their pincers.)

The common term, earwig, is derived from the Old English eare, which means "ear", and wicga, which means "insect". The name could come from the old wives' tale that earwigs burrowed into the brains of humans through the ear and laid their eggs there.

But earwigs are not known to purposefully climb into a person's ear canals, even though there have been occasional reports of earwigs being found in the ear. So no need to go to bed wearing one of these:

"To earwig" is a slang verb meaning either "to attempt to influence by persistent confidential argument or talk” or "to eavesdrop”.

Earwigs are nocturnal and usually hide in small, dark, moist crevices during the day. Then they come out at night, similar to VAMPIRES, and attack. Well, they really don't attack, but they ARE scavengers and are constantly hunting for food. They are omnivorous - eating plants, fruit, and anthropods.

The abdomen of the earwig is very flexible and muscular. Maybe during the day those little suckers are working on their abs watching this DVD on their mini TV's

because their abdomen is capable of maneuvering as well as opening and closing their forceps. The forceps can be used in holding prey and in COPULATION.

Earwig trying to copulate with me (okay this really is not ME,
 but in my mind he tried to do this!) 

Okay. Here's the thing.

The other night I was in bed. Minding my own business. I was finally comfortable, drifting off to sleep when all of a sudden I felt a STING! on my leg. I quickly rubbed my leg and dismissed it. A few seconds later, ANOTHER STING! Only a little farther down my leg! This time when I brushed my leg, I felt a BUG!! I jumped up, fumbled for the light and scrambled to get the covers off. I was still hooked up to my CPAP machine, so it was hard for me to scream without my breath being sucked away. Jim knew something was wrong by all my moving around so he rolled over and said, "What's wrong?" I could only get out "Bug!" He could barely see without his glasses, but he reached over with one hand and grabbed up the piece-of-sh*t-mother-tucker-son-of-a-biscuit-bug, squished it, and threw it in the toilet. Then he crawled back in bed, rolled over and went to sleep.

SERIOUSLY? That's it?

Now how is a person supposed to sleep after that nonsense?

I searched my side of the bed to be sure everything was clear. (It was.)

I had to talk myself off the edge and convince myself that there were NO MORE FREAKIN' BUGS around so that I could fall asleep.

The next morning I yanked all my sheets off of the bed to wash, and I found ANOTHER earwig in the sheets!


I washed my sheets in hot water and thought that would be the end of it.

Uh, apparently not.

The other night, AGAIN, I felt something crawling on my leg. Same scenario. Scrambling, lights, covers, freakin' earwig, Jim saves the day, he sleeps, I'm awake.

Last night before I went to bed I checked every where. I pulled all the covers back and shook each sheet, blanket and pillow. I looked all over the floor and I found one earwig ready to pounce.

A female of the common earwig in a threat pose

I called Jim over and he killed it.

I only have two questions.

1) What was God thinking when he invented earwigs? Was he having a bad day?

2) When Noah was bringing the earwigs on the Ark, why the hell didn't he just step on them?

NOTE: Information from Wikipedia


Lynda said...

Aren't those the bugs that were used in one of the early Star Trek movies? It was the myth as you said about them eating your brains and making you insane.
It must be the time of year because I had a spider or something under our sheets one night. The bite is STILL disappearing. I have long allergic reactions to insect bites.

Brian Miller said...

i maybe be living in a bubble going forward the thought of them trying to coppulate me...and investing in ear condoms...

Adam said...

nasty critters

Valerie said...

Lol Pat, I haven't seen an earwig for years, I reckon they're all over at your place. My worst experience was an earwig in my toothbrush. I don't know why I happened to look down before shoving the thing in my mouth. The darn thing wasn't in sight when I put the toothpaste on the brush. Yuk!

JoJo said...

Growing up I learned quickly to give the handi wipe a quick shake before using it and to grab the hose off the hose hook and throw it on the ground quickly, while i watched earwigs scatter. I see one occasionally in my house now but I never saw them on the west coast at all.

Rae said...

I hate those bugs. Disgusting little critters. They are all over our patio.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

We have those, too. Never knew what they were called, but they are definitely CREEPY.

Al Penwasser said...

And Australia has all those damn poisonous snakes, too! So, I may want to give them a pass.
Still, they drink a lot so.....

Al Penwasser said...

Yes, God invented earwigs.
He also invented platypi.
And Michael Moore.
I'll take the bugs.

Donna B. said...

Hate those little varmints myself....the longer we live in our new subdivision, built in the foothills, where Bob Cats & Coyotes roam, jack rabbits hop, Quail scurry and snakes slither....we get more and more critters. We have lots of crickets and cockroaches. GROSS!

Did you know if you place a jar with coffee grounds cockroaches will climb the jar to get to the coffee grounds but they can't get out? Works really well, just very GROSS to see when you screw on the lid and cram it in a plastic bag to toss in the trash....

Maybe it would work with earwigs????

Being a CPAP wearer myself....I laughed out loud with the visual of you leaping out of bed, tethered to your CPAP...I have done it myself.....isn't it fun?

Every time I visit you, you make me laugh. Thank you Pat...I need some good laughin' these days...

Liz said...

Ew. Ew, ew, ew, ew.

When I feel something pinching me, it's an ant. But I'm usually not in bed when it happens.

Mama Zen said...

Just reading this gave me the shivers!

SquirrelQueen said...

Nasty little #%@#$, I see them all the time on the patio. I can spray and spray out there but they always come back. I had never seen an earwig until we moved here.

kisatrtle said...

I hate those little bastards...

labbie1 said...

Oh ewwwwwwwww!!!! Why did I read this just before I started to eat breakfast? Why????!!!!!! Can you spray for them? Are they there forever like cockroaches or are they seasonal? Ewwwwwwwww....

Lynn said...

Oh my, I hate those things. They serve a wonderful purpose--getting rid of decaying organic matter--but they are so gross. And so small they can get in anywhere.

My mom grew up in California and said they came in with the migrant workers in the 30's--depression/dust bowl era. Could be; who knows.

Worst earwig story ever--climbing into a jacuzzi at a B&B, turning on the taps, and millions of them coming pouring out with the water. No CPAP but I was stark naked and probably screaming. Didn't help the migraine I had coming on, either. I should have gotten a refund that day, but that poor old lady (owner) was just trying to make ends meet.

As for the brain theory: if a bug gets in your ear, it does make noise. Once I had a Sweet William plant with a large lump in the stem, probably an inch in diameter. Curious, I cut it open, and it was full of tiny earwigs. Yes, I found out just how far the human body can jump backwards and drop a knife at the same time! Maybe something like that gave rise to the idea they can get in your brain.

I think your sinuses are more likely receptacles. There, now you can really sleep at night.

Ha! We CPAP people have the advantage there, right? Our masks will keep them out. Sorry for the rest of you.

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

EW, I hate those things so much!

in the coop said...

I can't stand those little buggers, either. Have never found them in my bed before, though.

Your description (and photo) about a bug crawling in a person's ear had me laughing hysterically. A friend of mine is horribly afraid of this happening to her. I MUST get those ear guards for her!