How To Get Rid Of Earwigs In The Garden
Earwigs are one of the scariest-looking insects you can find in the garden. The pinchers on the end of their tails and their reputation for crawling into people’s ears are enough to send anyone screaming and running out of the garden.
Today, we’ll be talking about how to get rid of earwigs in the garden. Let’s get started!
Earwigs are slender insects that grow anywhere between ¼ inch to 1 in long. They have elongated and flatted bodies that can vary in color from pale brown to reddish-brown, to black.
These insects have six legs and thread-like antennae. They also have two pairs of wings.
Are Earwigs Dangerous?
Their most notable feature is of course the pair of pinchers that protrude from the back of their abdomen. While these may look menacing, they are not harmful to humans since they only use them to catch prey and for mating.
Again, they are not harmful to humans as hard as we may find that to believe.
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Earwigs have five molts in a year before they become adults. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects.
Female earwigs may care for their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over their offspring until their second molt. As the nymphs molt, often differences in pincer shapes begin to show.
Where Do Earwigs Live?
Earwigs are nocturnal insects that prefer to live in damp and sheltered spaces. This may include mulched garden beds, the underside of potted plants, rocks, and logs.
They are also attracted to light and may gather near lighting sources on porches and patios during the summer months.
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Plants That Earwigs Affect
Earwigs typically feed on plant debris found on the garden floor and under containers, rocks, and logs.
However, they may also eat a wide variety of plants including herbs and corn tassels as well as dahlias, marigolds, roses, and zinnias. They can also be a pest on fruits such as berries, apricots, and peaches.
Apart from decaying vegetation and live plants, earwigs may also feast on harmful aphids, snails, slugs, larvae, and nematodes.
To a certain extent, earwigs may be considered beneficial insects as long as you can maintain the right population. Mind you that can be said of most insects as you want an ecosystem that invites beneficial insects to take care of the ones you don’t want around.
If you find that there are too many earwigs in your garden or if you want to know how to get rid of earwigs and keep your plants safe from their feeding frenzy, there are different techniques you can try.
- Clearing the mulch from the area where you tend to see them gather
- Placing a trap of damp and rolled-up newspapers at night. In the morning, you can pick up the trap and dispose of them.
- Applying a barrier on the base of woody plants. You can use adhesive tape or petroleum jelly to trap them.
- Applying diatomaceous earth to your garden beds
- Clear your garden landscapes of unnecessary timber, logs, and firewood piles.
- Create a dry zone free from mulch, dead leaves, and other organic material surrounding your plants.
- Trim overhanging branches that may cause damp and shady areas.
Essential Oils To Get Rid Of Earwigs
In addition to the ways mentioned above there are some essential oils you can use to get rid of earwigs, too.
Each one of them affect earwigs in a different way but the results are the same, they will get rid of earwigs.
All you need to do is choose the one you have, or prefer and use 2-3 drops in a gallon of water and then use that in a spray bottle to spray any plants they are destroying or in any areas you see them.
Just remember anytime you introduce anything new like this to your plants, make sure to test it first. Spray it on a small area and wait 24-48 hours to make sure it’s safe to use on your plant.
Climates and conditions are different everywhere – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do you have other tips for how to get rid of earwigs? Leave your ideas in the comments below.
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