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This is a Ring-Legged Earwig and can be found in all of the United States.  Don’t let this picture scare you, because he is quite small in comparison.  He is black or brown with some possible yellow on his body, which can range from approximately 1/3 of an inch to approximately one inch in length.  This particular species is wingless.  They are common inhabitants in and around your gardens and in the fields.  His damage to plants is very slight. 

Should you find one in your house, consider him lost, as that is neither his natural habitat nor his chosen one.  He does not crawl into your ear canal and bite the inside of it.  He is just as afraid of you as you are of him.

There eggs, about 50 at a time, are laid in the fall of the year in the dirt and loose litter lying on the ground.  They don’t hatch until spring time.  Other batches can be laid during the other warm months of the year, and are faster to hatch and mature.  The nymphs grow faster in the hot summer months and will produce more than in the cooler months. 

They feed on other insects, such as caterpillars, slugs, moths, etc., as well as, various plant materials.  Rarely do they feed on live plants.

While I have seen many of these, they have not been an insect that I have been attracted to play with or investigate further.  Their very appearance has made me shy away from them.




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