Back to Africa Check

No, lesions on baby’s face not caused by earwig insect bite

A graphic doing the rounds on Facebook shows a baby with brown scabs or lesions all over their face. An inset photo shows an insect.

“Please be aware of insect bites, this baby is in a lot of pain after her being bitten by this insect,” the text reads.

“I wish you could share this please to save millions of babies in the world.”

Did the insect shown in the post cause the damage to the baby’s face?

It’s an earwig – and its bite wouldn’t cause lesions

Dr Terry Ezeudu, a veterinary doctor and lecturer at the University of Nigeria, said the insect in the graphic was an earwig.

“Earwigs belong to a group called Dermaptera. This insect cannot cause such a lesion on human skin,” she said.

“It can damage human skin, but I am certain it cannot cause the inflammatory reaction shown in the graphic.”

Dr Abidemi Fuad Adetoro, a lecturer in applied entomology and pest management at the University of Lagos, said the bites of some insects could cause serious skin rashes. But the insect shown in the Facebook post wasn’t one of them.

“The insect shown in the graphic cannot and did not cause the inflammation on the child’s face,” Adetoro told Africa Check.

The damage to the baby’s face was not caused by an earwig bite. Jennifer Ojugbeli

Further reading:

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.