Do Earwigs Bite Humans? Symptoms And Treatment For Swelling

Earwigs are tiny insects found in many parts of the world such as North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. They are easily recognized because of their elongated body and forceps like pointed pincers at the hind side of their body. These ½ inch long pests usually feed on plants and decayed leaves.

Earwigs as believed are not dangerous to human beings, but when they are disturbed they may insert the sharp pincers on the surface of skin in their self defense. Besides, the prongs are also useful for capturing their prey and for matting.

Earwigs prefer to live in dark and moist areas. Usually they are outdoor pests, but occasionally they may enter in the house and reside in crevices or under the dirt of plant pots inside the house. A bite from earwig pincers can produce pain and sometimes small amount of bleeding. Fortunately earwigs bite lacks venom or poison and therefore they are not dangerous as other insect or bites of reptile.

Symptoms Of Earwig Bite Or Sting

The symptoms of earwig bite may not be similar in every person and its severity may depend on a person’s body reaction to the bite.

However, there are few common symptoms which may be experienced once the bug has bitten the person.

  • There may be two distinct red marks on the skin surface. These marks are caused by sharp prongs at the rear of earwig.
  • Small amount of blood may ooze out if the bug has bitten too hard.
  • Redness and inflammation around the bite are common findings after the bite.
  • Itching around the area is common feature after the bite.
  • In worst case the bite may lead to blister and may further progress to develop infection if not treated.
  • Infection may spread to the surrounding tissue. It may turn red, hot and swollen which in medical term is considered as cellulitis.

Treatment For Earwig Bite Swelling And Pain

Earwig bites are not dangerous or life threatening to humans. However, some people may develop mild discomfort due to pain and itching besides swelling and redness. Treating earwig bites is important to relieve pain and swelling besides preventing it from becoming infected. Once you know it is an earwig bite, following steps will help to resolve the issue.

  • Wash the bitten area with soap water. In this way you can disinfect the site at home.
  • In case it is associated with pain and swelling, ice fomentation will help to relieve inflammation and pain. Put few ice cubes in an ice bag and place it over the area for few minutes. Repeat it after one or two hours if pain persists or swelling does not subside.
  • You can apply anti bacterial ointment or anti pruritic lotion over the area to alleviate itching and swelling.
  • If the symptoms still persist with development of blisters, you have to contact you physician.
  • Sometimes the sharp forceps like prongs may get stuck in the skin. Avoid removing it on your own as it may cause more damage. Take the help of your physician to remove it.

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