Silverfish vs. Earwig: Similarities & Differences

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Be it a silverfish or an earwig – looking at either of them is undoubtedly going to send some chills down your spine! Almost an inch long, horrendous looking and probably insensitive, they are bound to rule to the territory of your phobias.

Although people all around the world are expected to have certain preconceived notions about them, trust me, most of them are groundless. Be it about an earwig being venomous or a silverfish biting a person, actuality hardly ever comes out.

Therefore, to give a fair idea of the contemplation ofsilverfish vs. earwig, we have listed the most imperative, and contrasting, features of these insects. Hopefully, by the end of this, you would be determined to save the time you spend on paranoia for nothing!

Silverfish vs. Earwig

These creepy crawlies, indisputably, belong to the taxonomic division, Insecta. Under this major classification, silverfish belong to the order Thysanura while earwigs belong to the order Dermaptera.

comparison of silverfish and earwigs

Both of them prefer darkness, moisture, and mold. But, their choice of specific habitats is distinct as silverfish are generally found indoors, in damp areas, whereas earwigs are found outdoors, living under the soil. They can seep indoors too, causing a lot of havoc due to their tainted reputation of being harmful. Indoors, earrings aremostly found in either basements or bathrooms. Earwigs are predatory invertebrates and can fuel up on silverfish. This just adds an extra horrifying trait to their awful character!

Difference between Silverfish and Earwig

Appearance of Silverfish and Earwig

Silverfish and Earwigs have a similar body structure. Both of them have a slightly flattened body; however, the former’s body tapers from top to tail, whereas the latter has wings. Earwigs seldom fly and silverfish lack the faculty of flight. An earwig has two pincer-like appendages obtruding from the abdomen, also known as Cerci. A silverfish has three appendages which are bear a resemblance to antennae.

Coming to the length of their bodies, the minimum length of an earwig is one-fourth inches and it can be as long as one and one-fourth inches. On the other hand, a silverfish’s length ranges from one-half inches to an inch.

The predominant difference between an earwig and a silverfish is of color. While an earwig is generally black or brown, a silverfish appears to be silver-gray and has a shiny body. Thanks to their divergent colors, one is effortlessly able to distinguish between the two.

Diet of Silverfish and Earwig

Silverfish feed on items that contain starch or sugar. They become a nuisance as soon as they creep inside one’s house as they can gnaw at items such as books, newspapers and magazines, paintings, letters, photographs, ink, and even clothing. Their attraction towards such articles is justified by the presence of starch in them. They tend to damage these items permanently. So, forestall them from ruining your collections of pictures and books before it is too late!

Earwigs, in contrast, eat plants, preferably decaying, and smaller insects. On feeling threatened, they may discharge a nauseous liquid that damages plants. They are notorious for their propensity to enter the ears of people and channeling to their brains. However, one’s ear canal or brain are no suitable places for an earwig to cling to, and hence, they do not lay their eggs inside them. In simple words, they do not harm a person when they get through his ear. Still, just the idea of an insect residing in your upper body feels nauseating, and for that sole reason, these insects are despised all over the world.

How Long Do They Live?

earwigs vs silverfish

Earwigs, on an average, have a lifespan of one year from hatching. They undergo metamorphosis and change phases in their lifecycles from an egg to a nymph and finally, an adult. They molt only about five times during their growth into an adult earwig. The seasons in which they can be found are winter and autumn.

The lifespan of a silverfish ranges from about two years to eight years. Their endurance till eight long years depends on the favorability of the conditions of their environment. A juvenile silverfish takes about two years to develop into an adult and in that process, they molt up to sixty times.

Final Words

Now that you are here, we surmise that you know whether the creepy-crawly lingering near your pile of books is an earwig or a silverfish! Expectantly, on witnessing the activity of a silverfish, you will be inclined to save your dearest letters and clothes before they get to them. Similarly, covering your drains at night might prevent an earwig to surprise you in the bathroom in the morning.

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