Earwigs, nocturnal insects with forcep pincers and membranous wings, are found throughout the Americas, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They are among some of the smaller insect orders with approximately 2,000 species in 12 families.
Earwigs are almost always found in home gardens because they gravitate toward moist crevices during the day and feed on plants, insects, and dead and living organisms at night. Outdoor temperatures, which include dry, hot, or cold conditions, are not ideal for earwigs because they are moisture-loving insects.
Earwigs are commonly blamed for damaging foliage, flowers and crops. Earwigs have been known to cause substantial damage to seeding plants, soft fruit and sweet corn. The damage caused by earwigs is most noticeable from missing all or parts of leaves or stems. Not all earwigs are bad, but when their damage becomes excessive is when it creates havoc for gardeners. The garden plants earwigs are most attracted to are herbs, corn tassels, dahlias, marigolds, roses, and zinnias.
Getting Rid of Earwigs
A starting point for eliminating earwigs is clearing the mulch from the area where they are congregating and letting the soil dry out. Trapping is a common method of eliminating earwigs. Burying a low-sided can sunk into the ground and filled with vegetable and fish oil can make a common earwig trap. These types of traps can be placed throughout the yard or hidden under shrubbery and ground cover plantings.
Captured earwigs can be dumped or dropped into a plastic bag and crushed. These procedures should be continued until you are no longer catching earwigs.
Earwigs found inside your home can be swept or vacuumed. Seal cracks and entry points to avoid infestation and remove materials away from the perimeter of your home. Drain sprouts and clean rain gutter to minimize moisture and prevent invasions.Earwigs, home garden, Pest Defense Solutions