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Earwigs, sometimes called pincerbugs, are recognizable by the pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen. These nocturnal insects often hide in small, moist crevices, picnic tables, compost and waste bins, patios, lawn furniture, window frames, or anything with minute spaces can potentially harbor them.

Earwigs are primarily scavengers, but some are omnivorous or predatory. During their nighttime activity they feed on a wide variety of insects and plants. Plants that they feed on include clover, dahlias, zinnias, butterfly bush, hollyhock, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry, sunflowers, celery, peaches, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, seedling beans and beets, and tender grass shoots and roots; they have also been known to eat corn silk, damaging the corn.

Earwigs are harmless to people. There is no evidence that they transmit diseases to humans or other animals. Their pincers are commonly believed to be dangerous, but cause little harm to humans. It is a common urban legend that earwigs crawl into the human ear and lay eggs in the brain. Finding earwigs in the human ear is rare, as most species do not fly and prefer dark and damp areas rather than typical bedrooms.