What Do Earwig Eggs Look Like?

Earwigs are insects, meaning that they have six legs and three body segments. Most people consider insects just another type of bug, but “bug” can mean anything that has more than four legs to most people. The fact is that earwigs are part of the class Insecta.

While some insects actually have eggs that hatch inside them and they appear to “give birth” to young insects, the earwig lays eggs which then hatch. Female earwigs are very particular about where they lay their eggs and typically will lay the eggs in protected areas that earwigs frequent such as under wet leaves or mulch or in cracks and crevices. If mulch is pulled back at just the right time, exposing the eggs to warm sunlight, actual hatching can be observed. Earwigs do not crawl into human ears to lay their eggs. This is pure superstition. This superstition was believed to be true centuries ago. For example, in 1601, a physician’s manual detailed that putting saliva into the ear can rid the ear of earwigs. Later that century, in 1652, modern medical journals of the time suggested herb juice could be put in ears to control this bug.

Earwig eggs are white to tan and are nearly round. A female will lay about 50 eggs depending on species. They are relatively small, depending on the species. The eggs are nearly translucent to opaque unlike, say, a chicken egg. If interrupted while laying eggs, the startled earwig of some species can squirt a foul-smelling liquid to deter predators, or even the curious.

Since earwig species are so diverse in terms of size and habits, egg size and placement can vary.