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Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've got an earwig, crawling towards my brain.........

I’ve got an earwig, crawling towards my brain……….
Not really, but how many of us have seen earwigs and cringed in horror. I have always been disgusted and even a little scared of earwigs. I think I have a few good reasons.

My disgust with earwigs started as a young boy. I remember sleeping in a tent in my grandma’s yard with my cousins Steffan and Cory. In the morning, some earwigs had crawled into our tent to escape the coming sun, and my older cousins proceeded to tell me that we were lucky that we woke up before the earwigs crawled into our brains. Needless, to say, I was not pleased by this idea.

Following this experience, my family rented a VCR from the local video store for the weekend. I cajoled my parents into letting me rent Star Trek the Wrath of Khan (my geekiness started early in life). There is a terrifying scene in that movie where Khan let’s a huge bug crawl in Chekov’s ear and burrow into his brain for the purpose of mind control. I immediately surmised that this must be the alien version of the earwig that was in my tent.

Fast forward to junior high (still a geek) and I recall listening to The Dead Milkmen’s song “Earwig.” The poetic chorus went a little like this “You got an earwig/It’s crawling towards your brain/and you got an earwig/the glorious pain.”

As you can see earwigs and I go way back and I am still horrified when I come across a gang of them. Luckily we don’t meet up very often since earwigs are nocturnal and I prefer to sleep at night. I also don’t find myself hanging out in earwigs favorite damp wet areas like mulch, cracks, organic debris, and crevices. Earwigs do however eat some of the same things I do like exposed fruits and vegetables, not to mention that they will eat the leaves and shoots of my garden plants.

How do we get rid of them naturally, just in case my cousins Steffan and Cory were right and they do have a habit of burrowing into our ears? Try the following methods.

1 Limit moist dark areas when you can. This is not always easy in a garden but it is easier to do around your house if you have a pest control problem.

2 Take a small cardboard box and poke holes in the side near the ground. Get the box wet and sprinkle with oatmeal. Set it out in the evening and empty the trapped earwigs the next morning.

3 Place some beer in a small jar and set the jar on its side in your garden. Earwigs will be attracted to the beer, crawl into the jar, and drown.

4 Roll up a magazine or newspaper and get it damp. Leave it in your garden in the evening. Earwigs will escape in to damp dark newspaper and you can then dispose of the newspaper in a sealed container the next morning.

If you follow these methods, you will reduce the amount of earwigs in your garden and around your home, thereby reducing the chance of one actually crawling into your brain.

5 comments:

Rachel said...

Oh! You didn't see the Twilight Zone episode about the earwig? Eeek! I too have this irrational fear of earwigs. You should see me when I pick artichokes (which they LOVE to hide in). Fortunately my male cat always comes to the rescue. LOL

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

I think I'd be traumatized for life if I'd had all three of those things happen together! Add to that the fact that bugs HAVE been known to crawl in someone's ear... ughhhh! What a nightmare!

Good tips for extricating the nasty things. Thanks.

katiegirl said...

I despise earwigs!!! I picture them tunneling through my ear canal with those nasty points on their rear end. Ugh. I was moving stuff in the yard the other day when I uncovered an earwig convention. Luckily the chickens were on them in 2 seconds flat!

Lee Ryan said...

I've long suspected that my thoughts and actions are secretly being controled by an earwig implanted deep in my brain.

At least that's my favorite excuse.

Michael Atkinson said...

oh my GOSH you said it!!!!! Wrath of Khan is only one step down from ruining my childhood from Poltergeist because of the earwig! We had tons of them growing up in Washington. To this day I remain convinced the things are evil and could hurt me if they got in my ear, honest.