Where does the saying “cute as a bug’s ear” come from and What does it mean?

On the theory that the smaller they come the cuter they are, the modern American metaphor “cute as a bug’s ear” epitomizes the acme of cuteness, for if a small ear is cute, the ear of a bug, if bugs have ears, must be the cutest thing imaginable.

Sometimes the expression is paraphrased into “cute as a bug in a rug,” but this is a poor foist of new upon old.

“Snug as a bug in a rug,” the utmost in contentment and comfort, dates back two hundred years.