While much of Nebraska’s cooled off and dried off in recent days, mosquitos came out in full force across much of the state with the recent rain and the intense heat. Entomologist Phil Pelleteri says the flying pests had some company in parts of Nebraska.
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, and being creepy, 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.