The name earwig, which literally means “ear creature,” originated from the widespread superstition that these insects crawl into the ears of sleeping people. Moreover, many individuals believed that once the earwig gained access into the human ear, it could bore into the brain. Actually these insects do not crawl into the human ear.
The most distinguishing physical feature of the earwig is the claw-like forceps (or cerci) located on the end of the abdomen. These forceps are straight-sided on most females, but are more pincer-like on males. Earwigs use their forceps mainly as protective weapons, but they also use them to capture prey.
Earwigs are active at night and hide during the day in cracks and crevices. They are mainly scavengers and occasionally feed on plants. The eggs are laid in burrows in the ground and most species overwinter as adults.