Earwigs and Potato Bugs, Oh My!

Earwigs and Potato Bugs, Oh My!

AAAAearwigLast evening whilst running the descaling cycle on Grumpy Villa’s Tassimo coffee maker, Grumpy was horrified to find that, said maker, spewed out the corpses and body parts of several earwigs.

That explains the brackish floaters he’s been finding in his morning cup of coffee recently.

“Honey, does that look like a bug head to you?” Grumpy whined to the good wife. He had just taken a huge gulp of his morning Joe.

“Coffee grounds,” she replied. “I think it’s just coffee grounds!”

“Isn’t that a leg?” he continues.

“Coffee grounds,” she repeats, as she pours her coffee in the sink. “But, maybe it’s time to descale the darn thing?”

Well grounds it surely was only in this case it was ground up earwigs. Grumpy had consumed many a leg and torso of the Jimmy Hoffa of all summer bugs, otherwise known as Mr. Forficula Auricularia Linnaeus (European Earwig).AAAAearwig

This summer has provided great conditions for this little “Bugger” to proliferate. Every time Grumpy removes his barbecue cover there is a mad scramble of earwigs scurrying this way and that. Guests are totally unaware when Grumpy announces, “Tonight I’m going to barbecue up some delicious STEAK AURICULARIA.”

“Mmmmmm, that sounds appealing. What is it –Greek or something?”

Pick up a pot, or turn over an object in the garden and you are sure to find a wiggling mass of earwigs that would even put Indiana Jones on red alert.

We all abhor this tiny creature because we’ve all heard how earwigs can crawl in your ear and bore into your brain and lay their eggs.

Grumpy was happy to disprove this notion when he read this.

“The name “earwig” derives from a popular superstition that earwigs crawl in people’s ears, burrow into the brain, and then lay eggs. However, this myth has no basis in fact. Earwigs do prefer dark, moist areas, so it is possible for them to crawl into sleeping people’s ears, but there is no danger that they will bore into the brain or cause any damage at all.”


It’s good to know old Grumpy’s noodle is not under attack but for now he will continue stuff cotton batten in his ears before he hits the sheets.

I also learned this.

Most earwigs are nocturnal and inhabit small crevices, living in small amounts of debris, in various forms such as bark, fallen logs and coffee makers.

Here’s a trick to catch the little nuisances. Just lay down a newspaper on the ground and the next day pick it up and it will be infested with earwigs. What you do next is totally u to you! But, be forewarned, I’ve seen swarthy men scream like little girls when they uncover a squirming hoard of Forficula Auricularia.


“Don’t worry Mr. Schwarzenegger. They’re just harmless earwigs!”

“I vill NOT be back!”

And, don’t get me started on the Potato Bug. I’ve found more of them this year than ever before. Great masses of them!

Indeed, the Gardens at Grumpy Villa are undergoing “bugaggedon” of the worst kind. There are creepy crawlers everywhere.

I suggested that the next episode of FEAR FACTOR might be filmed here but the producer said they weren’t allowed to go that far – to gross for a mass market audience.

Nevertheless, Grumpy has decided to put his “icky” feelings aside. He is not going to worry the next time he brews up a cup of Java. He’ll remember what his good friend Freddy would say when he swallowed a bug, or found one in food, “Just a little more protein for me, Grumpy!”

Or, my cousin the Godfather’s take is that “it gives you something to chew!”

“What’s that floating in my coffee, Grumpy?” a friend may soon ask.

“That’s not coffee, my friend,” he will reply slyly. “It’s Grumpy’s version of a protein shake! And, don’t forget to chew!”


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