Gardening Update: How to Get Rid of Earwigs!

April 20, 2021

I got my flashlight and went into my veggie garden late last night. I was on the hunt for the Cutworms that I thought were eating my newly transplanted seedlings. After arriving at the edge of one of my raised beds, I was shocked to discover that the plants were covered in EARWIGS! So many that I could not get them off fast enough. I was happy to finally know exactly what had been eating my plants. I decided that the best approach would be to mount the best defense possible. I researched everything I could about the Earwigs. Today, I gathered the necessary supplies to mount my attack against these pests.

Second, I am trying another tip that is preventative. I cut out the bottoms of little 3oz plastic bathroom cups. I also cut a slit on the side of the cup. Then, I wrapped the body of the cup around the base of each individual seedling plant. The idea is that it creates a barrier between the Earwig and the plant. It is supposed to impede the Earwig from being able to climb up the trunk of the plant to eat it.

Third, I applied Diatomaceous Earth all around the newly transplanted seedlings. The DE is supposed to get on the Earwigs, and kills them. It is safe for the plants, and the humans. I did observe less Earwigs, since I applied it yesterday.

Fourth, I have mixed a spray solution of equal parts of water, and white vinegar. This mixture is supposed to create a natural Earwig repellent. It can be sprayed directly on the Earwigs.

Finally, I also transplanted several garlic plants around the perimeter of the raised planting beds. Earwigs do not like the scent of garlic. I have also mixed a natural repellent of garlic and pepper. WHAT PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE CAN YOU DO TO KEEP EARWIGS AWAY?

  • One of the best ways you can fight this pest off is by regularly misting the leaves to keep them moist. You should also dust and clean the leaves often to prevent these mites from laying eggs on them. For extreme cases, try a homemade bug spray made of water and neem oil for indoor plants. https://www.greenhomepest.com
  • Keep your yard and home earwig free by maintaining your property. Regularly cut the grass and avoid placing mulch around the base of your home. If you do have a garden, plant things that encourage birds or toads. They are natural predators for pincher bugs and will help keep the population low. https://thepestrangers.com

WHAT IS AN EARWIG?

There are more than twenty species of earwigs in the United States, and contrary to a popular myth, earwigs do not crawl into people’s ears while they are sleeping and eat their brains. However, earwigs do frighten some people because of their pincers which are actually used to fend off predators, and spar with other earwigs for mating purposes. They are most active at night and will hide during the day in dark, damp areas of your yard. Earwigs have elongated, flattened bodies that range in size from ¼- to 1-inch long. They vary in color from pale brown to reddish brown or black. Their most notable characteristic is the pincers on the back of their abdomen which makes them look very intimidating. ortho.com
Earwigs also have two pairs of wings, with their hind wings usually folding underneath their front wings. These body parts typically have a leathery appearance to them. Not all earwig species fly, and those that do only do so in short bursts.https://www.pestworld.org WAYS TO GET RID OF EARWIGS:

  • One of the best ways you can fight this pest off is by regularly misting the leaves to keep them moist. You should also dust and clean the leaves often to prevent these mites from laying eggs on them. For extreme cases, try a homemade bug spray made of water and neem oil for indoor plants. https://www.greenhomepest.com
  • Keep your yard and home earwig free by maintaining your property. Regularly cut the grass and avoid placing mulch around the base of your home. If you do have a garden, plant things that encourage birds or toads. They are natural predators for pincher bugs and will help keep the population low. https://thepestrangers.com
  • Rubbing alcohol: Rubbing alcohol and water – Mix rubbing alcohol and water together to spray at earwigs onsite. This method can be used to kill earwigs immediately.https://www.familyhandyman.com
  • Traps outside the house Newspaper: A rolled-up wet newspaper held together with a rubber band. Cardboard Box: Punch pencil-size holes along bottom edge of cardboard box. Old Garden Hose: 12-24 inch pieces of garden hose Used cat food can. Add 1/2 inch any type beer or wine. Tupperware: Use a tupperware like plastic container. Punch holes along the top edge of the tub, add 2 inches any cheap wine and cover with top and sink into ground. Finch Bird House can be used as a housing unit where you can place a 8 oz plastic cup 1/2 filled with beer or wine. I would try one of each and see which attracts the most.
  • Trapping is an effective, easy approach to reducing earwig populations. One of the key element of a natural earwig management program is a daily active trapping system. Just before dark, place the bird finch traps throughout the yard in out of sight places. In the morning, shake them out the traps over a pail of Dr Bronners Soap / water or any natural soap n water. Keep trapping until you do not catch any more earwigs. Traps can be hidden near shrubbery and ground cover plantings, or against the house. For fruit trees, keep weeds, brush, and the suckers (always prune) away from the base of trees throughout the year because they provide refuge for earwigs, snails and other creatures. Monitor populations by counting amounts of earwigs caught in the traps. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com
  • Natural Sprays of Essential Oil: You can make a natural spray that will keep them from coming into the house. Use 1/2 oz per gallon water of any of the following essential oils available: citronella oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, lavender oil, citrus, basil, or any natural essential oil can be use the above are just a few. Try your own.
  • Citrus Spray Use OTKO a Natural Citrus Cleaner. Spray straight through a mister. Will kill earwigs and most of insects on contact. Soap Spray Use any natural castile soap like Dr Bronners soaps. They make peppermint, lavender, almond, tea tree and lot of other natural sources. Use 1oz per gallon water. Will kill earwigs when sprayed. DE SPRAY Gadren Grade DE can be added to water and sprayed. Best way is to put some DE into a panty hose and suspend in gallon water. Allow to sit, pour into a gallon sprayer and spray. when dried the de will act as a barrier and kill and earwigs that crawl over it. You can use just dust the areas with it.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

  • Dawn Dish Soap Kills Earwigs: To control earwigs in your house, get a spray bottle and put a generous squirt of Dawn Dish soap in it, then fill with water. Spray directly on the earwig. If you coat the bugs in the solution, they die immediately. https://www.thriftyfun.com
  • How do I get rid of earwigs in my planters? Apply a sticky barrier, such as Tanglefoot, sticky tape, or even petroleum jelly at the base of woody plants. Earwigs are crawlers and will get stuck in the sticky mess before they can get up the tree or shrub to cause damage. Apply diatomaceous earth to the soil to deter earwigs; reapply in one week, if necessary. https://www.thespruce.com
  • CINNAMON: CINNAMON– The strong smell of cinnamon keeps many bugs away including wasps, earwigs, bed bugs, silverfish, and spiders. https://oneessentialcommunity.com
  • A garlic and pepper spray may effectively deter earwig feeding on valued plants. … Spray the foliage of desirable vegetation and the area around plants early in the morning so it is dry by the evening, and repeat the spray application regularly. https://homeguides.sfgate.com

WHAT EATS EARWIGS?

  • Earwigs have numerous predators that like to feed on them. Common creatures around the home that like to prey on earwigs include birds, lizards, frogs, centipedes, spiders, and yellow jackets. https://www.familyhandyman.com

Are there any plants that earwigs hate?
Bay Leaves Bay leaves produce a subtle scent flies hate. Other insects like moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice also hate the fragrance of bay leaves. You can grow bay leaf plants in pots to place in the infested areas to keep roaches, flies, and mice away. https://blog.gunassociation.org

What method have you used successfully to get rid of Earwigs? Please share in the comments. Thank you for sharing!

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