Some Salmon Arm residents have seen an influx this summer of these odd insects with pincers protruding from their abdomens. (Pixabay photo)

‘Tis the summer of the earwig, say some Salmon Arm residents

Your ears are safe, but the six-legged critters do like dark, moist places with food nearby

As my family was sitting down to dinner in our backyard recently, one family member let out a yelp.

As they pulled up one of the lawn chairs, they noticed a couple of earwigs crawling out of the seam between the back and bottom cushion. “Yuck, there’s an earwig nest in here!”

Someone else then found a couple of the pesky pincer bugs in the same place on another chair. No nests, but the chairs were quickly replaced with cushion-less seating.

I also received a recent earwig surprise. When I picked up a dish of catfood that had been left on the back porch overnight, a well-fed gang of the creepy critters erupted from the middle of the kibbles.

‘Creepy’ mainly because of their six slender legs, two antenna and two sturdy pincers, I guess. Although they apparently don’t bite people or badly damage plants. Or inhabit ears, despite the name.

When a friend who had been staying on Shuswap Lake came into town to visit the other day, she also had an earwig tale.

Every year she puts up her tent under a tree near her relatives’ cabin. Not this year. Someone else had stayed there a couple of nights earlier, and awoke to find a group of six-legged roommates inside their tent.

And these weren’t the only instances this year of an abundance of earwigs.

At Nico’s Nurseryland, manager Maaike Johnson says it’s been an earwig year.

“They’ve definitely increased. A lot of people are asking how to get rid of them.”

She recommends Diatomaceous earth, which she says is a good natural product.

“It seems like every year there’s something. Last year it would have been ants, this year it’s been earwigs,” she says.

Read more: Dancing birds caught on camera

Read more: Giant beetle a curious find on the shores of Shuswap Lake

Read more: 50 million-year-old fossil found in B.C. town makes history

Looking for more observations, I called city hall. Although public works hasn’t noticed an increase, a quick chat with Stephanie Gibb at reception revealed she’s definitely seen an influx. Her outside plants in pots with holes in the bottom will sometimes have 50 earwigs under them, she says.

“I’m just blown away.”

No bug specialists were available to explain why so many. But the all-knowing Internet shed a little light.

Earwigs like dark, moist environments with access to a food source. They need to stay someplace moist so they don’t dry out. It’s likely then that all of the rain earlier this summer provided them with just what they need.

If the Internet sources are right, and it’s the additional rain that has attracted so many, I think I’ll gladly share the earth with them. When it comes to forest fires versus earwigs, the little creepies are the clear winner.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jocelyn’s Jottings: When everyone is a friend of a friend

Chances are I know someone in Revelstoke who knows you, such is… Continue reading

Revelstoke city staff bring forward community centre reopening plans

Plans for the arena and pool will come later this summer

Slow melt at high elevations near Revelstoke this spring

At one location on Mt. Fidelity there is double the usual snowpack for early July

Security cameras catch break and enter suspects on July 1 in Revelstoke

RCMP are asking for help to identify the men and a vehicle

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Most Read