At least, that's what my mom tells me. Fortunately, my mom isn't all that old, so stll consider her fair game.
Because we live in a split-level townhouse and our living room and kitchen are below ground, there is approximately one month out of every year that we have an earwig problem. Since we have a dog only marginally larger than an earwig, I'm afraid to spray, so we just have to deal with it and count the days until they die off for the year.
Unfortunately, my daughter has a fear of earwigs that borders on phobic. This was undoubtedly triggered by the fact that when she was little, we were sleeping over at a lock-in in the children's department of the Rochelle Public Library when she saw an earwig crossing the floor toward me. I was asleep. She shined her flashlight on it and one of the library workers ran over to tell her to turn it off and go back to bed. She reported the earwig and the woman said "Okay" and turned away. Tori thought she was going to get something to kill it with, but instead she just went on about her business and the earwig finished its journey and bit me on the arm (or pinched me or whatever they do), leaving my arm red and sore and swollen for days. That's a lot of responsibility for a pre-schooler.
Her fear, in fact, is so great that she won't say "earwig" and doesn't want anyone else to. It conjures up anxiety. Every year, she comes up with a different name for them, but this year she's settled on "devil bugs". She says that she refuses to believe that God could have created them, so they must be minions of the devil. She often invites them to go back "home" where they belong.
The other day I was out and she was on the phone with my mother when she spotted one. She exclaimed, "devil bug! devil bug!" Then told my mother to hang on because she had to kill a devil bug and needed both hands. When she returned to the phone, she said something like "Okay, I killed the devil bug."
My mother asked what a devil bug was, then said, "Oh, are they those ones you don't like? What are they, earwigs?"
Tori said, "we don't use that word" and my mom said...
"Oh, okay. What do we call them?"