"Forficula auricularia, the common earwig or European earwig (Gemeiner Ohrwurm in german), is an omnivorous insect in the family Forficulidae. The European earwig is a common household insect in North America. Though they frighten many, they are harmless but tend to take up habitation within the home. The name "earwig" comes from the rumor that these insects crawl into human ears and enter the brain, but this is totally false. F. auricularia is a species that nurses their young and has survived in a variety of environments.
European earwigs are most commonly found in temperate climates, since they were originally discovered in the Palearctic region, and are most active when the daily temperature has minimal fluctuation.
European earwigs spend the day time in cool, dark, inaccessible places such as flowers, fruits, and wood crevices. Active primarily at night, they seek out food ranging from plant matter to small insects. Though they are omnivorous, they are considered scavengers rather than predators. Often they consume plant matter, though they have also been known to feed on aphids, spiders, insect eggs, dead plants and insects, among other things. Their favorite plants include the common crucifer Sisymbrium officinale, the white clover Trifolium repens, and the dahlia Dahlia variabilis. They also like to feed on molasses, as well as on nonvascular plants, lichens and algae.
They prefer meat or sugar to natural plant material even though plants are a major natural food source. European earwigs prefer aphids to plant material such as leaves and fruit slices of apple, cherry and pear. Adults eat more insects than do nymphs.
Although F. auricularia have well-developed wings, they are fairly weak and are rarely, if ever, used. Instead, as their main form of transportation, earwigs are carried from one place to another on clothing or commercial products like lumber, ornamental shrubs and even newspaper bundles."
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