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What Are the Differences Between Earwigs and Spiders?

If you're like most people and see an insect rush across the floor or the wall, you might automatically assume that it's a spider or a roach. However, many different pest insects invade homes that may or may not pose a threat to the people inside. Despite its ancient reputation, an earwig doesn't burrow into a person's ear at night. Furthermore, it's nothing like a spider.

Earwig or Spider: Which is Which?

A spider on a leaf

A spider on a leaf.

Earwigs and spiders differ in both appearance and class. A spider is an arachnid with eight legs, eight or more eyes and two fangs. An earwig is an insect with six legs, two antennae and pinchers behind the abdomen. Spiders also appear round in shape whereas earwigs are longer and more slender like cockroaches.

Most spiders feed on live insects, but larger species such as tarantulas will also feed on small mammals. Earwigs feed on decaying matter or live insects in some cases. Both spiders and earwigs invade homes on a daily basis to find food and protective shelter.

Are Earwigs Dangerous?

An earwig on a wall

An earwig has come indoors to look for food and water.

Spiders and earwigs couldn't be any more different in the threat department. Many spider species contain venom and use it for defense or predatory means. An earwig isn't dangerous to people or animals. Although it has forceps hanging from its abdomen, they're only used for defense. Earwigs may pinch you if you provoke them or pick them up, but the pain is minimal if you feel anything at all.

How to Prevent Earwigs

Prevention is the key to keeping earwigs out of your living areas. Blocking cracks and crevices, placing seals beneath doors and weatherproofing windows will create a barrier against pest insects, including the occasional spider. Using insecticides, glue traps and insect monitors will help you eliminate and prevent an infestation in your home.

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