Are Earwigs Dangerous to Dogs & Cats?

Are Earwigs Dangerous to Dogs & Cats? Earwigs are common pests in many homes. They have long, slender bodies and big pincers. They may look intimidating, but they are harmless. Pet owners should understand earwigs and how to keep them away.

Their scientific name is Order Dermaptera. It means “skin” and “wing“. Earwigs measure 0.25 – 1 inch long. They have a long back end and two curved pincers on the sides of their head. Usually, they feed on plants and are not dangerous to pets or humans unless disturbed or eaten.


What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects of the Dermaptera order. People also call them “pincer bugs” or “earbugs“, because of their pincers and wings. They can fly short distances.

Earwigs are long, with two spots near the head (antennae). Colors range from dark brown to black. They have two small antenna-like structures, called cerci, at the end of their abdomen.

Earwigs feed on decaying foliage, tiny insects, and soft materials. They prefer moist environments, where they can hide away during the day. Rainy seasons bring more earwigs because they seek shelter from dry conditions and hot weather.

Are Earwigs Dangerous to Dogs & Cats?

Earwigs are helpful for gardens; they won’t hurt your pets. However, it would be best to consider your pet’s safety and earwigs. To know if earwigs are dangerous to dogs and cats, let’s look at what earwigs are, their behavior, and the damage they may cause your pet. Let’s investigate!

Physical Dangers

Earwigs can be pesky around the home. But, their bite is not dangerous to humans and pets. The danger of earwigs is from their cerci, pincer-like forceps at the end of their abdomen. These are larger in males than females. Cerci are used to defend themselves when disturbed or threatened. They cannot hurt humans but can irritate pets’ tender skin. If a pet is bitten multiple times, an infection may result.

It’s best to keep your pet away from earwig infestations. Also, take precautions when near possible infestation areas, like woodpiles and logs. Discourage your pet from approaching or sniffing insects since many of them have stings or bites that can lead to infection:

  • Keep your pet away from earwig infestations.
  • Take precautions when near possible infestation areas, like woodpiles and logs.
  • Discourage your pet from approaching or sniffing insects.


Earwigs may not be pleasant, but they’re not a risk to pets. They can’t bite or sting and they’re not poisonous. However, they may still be a problem.

Earwigs create allergens. Dogs and cats with allergies to things like dust mites may react. Signs of this might be coughing, wheezing, sneezing and itchy eyes. If your pet has these, get them checked by a vet.


Many people think earwigs can spread diseases to pets, but this isn’t true. Earwigs feed on general things and don’t carry diseases that can hurt people, cats, or dogs. They may bite cats, but it’s not serious.

Earwigs can become garden pests, which can be a pain in living spaces around your house. Pet owners worry that earwigs may enter their ears while sleeping in areas with them. If an earwig does get in an ear, the pet will feel pain and can’t escape because of changes in ear pressure. If you think your pet has an earwig, remove the area with warm water before seeing a vet.


Earwigs can be annoying to cats and dogs. However, they are not considered dangerous. It is best to take proactive steps to stop them from entering your home or yard. This part will explain how to keep Earwigs away from your pets and home. Take action now to avoid any potential issues!

Keep Pets Away from Earwigs

Keep your pets away from earwigs. They can bite and pinch cats and dogs if they feel threatened. Although earwig bites usually don’t cause serious health problems, they can be uncomfortable. If you upset an earwig, it may release a foul smell as a defense.

To spot an infestation, look for dark spots or streaks on leaves. Also, keep an eye out for discarded wings, which are light yellow. Regularly inspect your pet for signs of infestations. Flea topicals may help protect cats and dogs against earwig bites.

Prevention is the best option:

  • Seal all cracks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk.
  • Keep external food sources sealed in containers with tight lids.
  • Stack firewood far away from where your animals spend time outdoors.

Keep the Home Environment Clean

It is essential to keep the home clean and pest-free. Spilled food and liquids must be cleaned up quickly. Also, regularly remove piles of leaves, wood chips, and other debris that may offer earwigs and other pests hideouts. Storing food waste in tight-fitting containers with lids is beneficial.

Pet owners must check the yard regularly for signs of nest sites or pests and discard them when found. Household air conditioning units should be inspected regularly for any signs of earwig activity, as these areas can be suitable for pest activity during warm seasons.

Use Natural Repellents

Stop earwigs from entering your home with natural repellents! Citronella, lemongrass, and garlic are all proven to deter them. These don’t kill the pests, but they’ll keep them away from you.

You can:

  • Buy ready-made repellents
  • Make your own by crushing plants and applying the extracts near entry points
  • Try essential oils like peppermint to drive away earwigs


Treating cats and dogs for earwigs can be easy. They may be annoying and irritate, but they won’t cause serious harm. If your pet has earwigs, the best thing to do is remove them, clean the area and observe the situation.

Let’s look at the different treatment options in more detail:

Natural Remedies

There are natural remedies for those who want to avoid medical or chemical treatments. They can help with insomnia, depression, and anxiety. These natural remedies include herbs, acupuncture, and essential oils. But they should not replace traditional medical treatments if prescribed. Before investing in any natural remedy, it is essential to consult a doctor.

  • Herbal Remedies: Plants or plant extracts can be used internally or externally to restore balance and help ailments. Common herbs are chamomile, lavender, valerian root, St. John’s wort and passionflower.
  • Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese medicine involves inserting thin needles into points on the body. It relieves chronic headaches, migraines and can help with anxiety and depression.
  • Essential Oils: These are concentrated plant extracts. They have been used for skin care, aromatherapy, relaxation, mood enhancement and immune support. Common oils include lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, lemon, chamomile, frankincense, ylang-ylang, clary sage and sandalwood.

Veterinary Treatment

If an earwig has bitten your pet, call your vet for help. They may advise antiseptic for the wound but don’t do anything until you speak to a professional. Minor bites can be treated at home if you clean and disinfect the area.

Most of the time, the wound will heal on its own. But watch out for signs of infection like redness, swelling and discharge. If you spot them, call your vet right away. Your pet may need antibiotics to avoid complications. The vet may also need to watch the area while it heals in case there’s tissue damage.


We have examined the evidence and can say that earwigs are not a danger to cats and dogs. Though infesting pet bedding might be worrying, the harm caused is minimal. Earwig pincers can pinch humans but cannot puncture animal fur or skin. As they are nocturnal and hide in moist, dark places, pets will unlikely meet them inside in large numbers.

If you are still concerned, you should consider pest control solutions like insecticides or traps made for earwigs. Plus, sanitation is always a great way to keep the area free from pests.