Earwig While mosquitoes are already out in full force across much of Iowa with the recent rain and heat, a creepy-crawler insect is also appearing that may be new to many people.

Entomologist Phil Pelleteri says earwigs look rather vicious, with what appears to be big pinchers, but they’re fairly docile.

Earwigs are having a good year in the lush weather, tiny creatures he says often spend their evenings chomping on marigolds. Other than munching on plants, he says earwigs really don’t do much harm. Pelleteri says there is a way to avoid the bugs.

“I always tease people, if you make your back yard a sand box, you will not have earwigs,” he says. “But if you like to grow plants and whether you water them or let Mother Nature do it, those lush conditions with mulch and whatnot are exactly what earwigs like to have.”

Many Star Trek fans are downright disgusted by what the fictional space-cousins of earwigs can do in the movies, but Pelleteri says one bright spot is, the earthly versions aren’t really good indoor bugs. “If they get in the house, the good news is they won’t breed indoors, they won’t hurt anything, they just kind of freak people out,” he says.

Caulk water faucets and everything else, door frames and windows so they don’t squeeze inside. The name “earwig” comes from an old tale that the little bugs can burrow into the brains of people through the ear and lay their eggs. Not true, according to Pelleteri.