Anything involving earwigs = a terrible idea

Benny and I love almost all living things even if we have to squish those things from time to time. The one distinct exception to this rule is the earwig. This is the common name for the insect order Dermaptera, which frequently have an abdomen that ends in forceps-like cerci or, in other words, pinchers!

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Earwig in a typical threatening posture

The earwig was the bane of our existence growing up. Gathering en masse in damp, dark places, they were particularly fond of the area where the fence gate met the first post, which divided our front and back yard. Such was our extreme fear of these creepy, pinchy, clearly evil creatures that they effectively prevented us from leaving the backyard, serving as sinister, miniature Berlin Wall guards.

Our mother went to great effort to reassure us tiny young Bleimans that we had nothing to fear from earwigs. That is until one crawled up my brother's arm and pinched him in the neck. In effect, earwigs are responsible for the moment that we realized our mother was not omniscient. Here's another thing she told us: earwigs don't crawl in peoples ears. Actually, sometimes they do, as happened to a neighborhood friend before our eyes to our horror! Rather than help him, we fled in terror. Now I admit that the frightened little earwig probably just found the first dark place it could find and ducked in, but even that one in one million likelihood was enough to ensure that I put pencil erasers in my ears (probably much more dangerous) when approaching an earwig layer.

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In the animal kingdom, organisms with pincers on their butts are classified in the phylum "evil"

So why bring this up now? Because the government of the Philippines is about to make a grievous error. The Filipino coconut industry has been decimated in recent years by the coconut leaf beetle, Brostispa, a friendly looking, albeit quite destructive little creature. In an effort to reverse the spread of the invasive beetle, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Coconut Authority plans on propagating 1,000,000 earwigs, who eat, among other things, beetle eggs and larvae.

While this might appear to be a clever, natural solution to environmental problem, it is clear to us that the Philippines is playing right into the earwigs' evil hands... err... tarsi. While the US Govt. might be slow to act, Zooillogix is issuing its first international travel advisory, warning US citizens to avoid traveling to the Philippines due to earwig infestation. We are optimistic that the earwigs will not gain control of the military, but if they do, we may refer this to the UN Security Council.

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The much more aesthetically pleasing coconut leaf beetle

We can only imagine the abject horror of the poor Filipino hired as the ground floor level earwig breeder. Zooillogix offers to pay for ongoing psychological counseling if the guy lives through the ordeal. If he can make it to the US, he can join Benny and for group sessions.

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These willy pinchy crawlers can eat the coconut beetle, and multiply in the process. Then, with the coconut beetles gone, they shall turn to the Filipino's earwax. In there ears they shall feast and lay their eggs. The hatched larvaes shall burrow in through the nasal cavities and eat their way out, exiting through the eyes. Eeeee.

...that cage in the basement must have been lonely as a child.

theres a guy in my lab who succesfully used a parasitic wasp on the coconut beetle in vietnam.

i think wasps are a much better solution ;)

we whole-heartedly agree. what type of wasp may we ask? also, were they eventually used in commercial applications?

i saw dis 1 erwig an it was all like hisy an pontin dose pincha dingys at me an i didnt no wat 2 do
soo allz im sayin is erwigz iz nasta cretas
leroy labis

By leroy iz da man (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

does anyone know where i can get some dead earwigs from?

i have been told that ear wigs eat the in side of your ear

calem is gay

By ashley pilley (not verified) on 25 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think your fantastic writer - cadence is in your stars.

Way to go - I just searched for insect with pincers cause my daughter just became their evangelist from an angry mob in the back yard and found a great writer.

please let me know what else your writing.