Known in Japan as 'Penis Cutters' - Better Known Here On Vancouver Island As Earwigs

Last year it was ants. I'm expecting their return as soon as the weather warms. This winter though because of the mild temperatures here on Vancouver Island it has been Earwigs (Dermaptera). Lots of them. They live under the RV, in the ground.

The only thing touching the ground on this fifth-wheel is the wheels. It's the only way ants and Earwigs can come in. The ants found that route first coming in under the slide-out. Earwigs can flatten themselves out so they just crawl in to, between the sliders. I'd turn on the kitchen light at night and two or three ants would scatter to hide but Earwigs are different.  When I turn the lights on they don't try to hide. They look and act fearless but are easy to catch.

The Earwig 

They are ugly and threatening looking insects and found throughout the world except Antarctica. I never saw one before coming to the Island, with big pincers sticking out the rear of their abdomens, which they use for defence and hunting. They are scavengers and also eat other insects. The females are maternal taking care of the eggs and the nymphs until their first molt, unusual for a bug.

There's an old wives tale passed down in 'Ole' folklore myth that says Earwigs would crawl at night into unsuspecting sleeping people's ears and crawl down their ear drums, right into the ear canal and into your brain where it would lay it's eggs. The hatching baby Earwigs would dine on your brain until adulthood then crawl back out.

In truth, Earwigs do not seek out ear canals to climb into but there have been a few reports of Earwigs being found in someone's ear, solidifying the folklore claim. They do prefer damp, dark places and you would think an ear canal would be the perfect place for one, but it's untrue.

In Japan, they are known as 'Penis Cutters' due to finding them abundantly in public washrooms. Be careful when visiting Japan.  It's hard to say what these creatures intentions are, with those pincers and all. Yikes!

No comments: