How to control Earwigs

Earwig 960 x 150

Earwigs are normally night feeders and they are included in the group of insects. They feed on the soft shoots of plants like corn silk and they eat small flowers.  There are times that they can eat ripened fruits while their damage may be tolerated, but it is known to be too damaging to the seedlings. The earwig plays a beneficial role in a garden because they act like the scavengers on the decaying organic matter and they are a predator for the aphids, snails and insect larvae.  They can be carried a long distance in a produce shipment or other freight.

Earwigs are red and brown insects, and they have flattened and elongated bodies that can be distinguished by their pair of sharp pincers at the tail end that they use in capturing their prey or in matting. There are few of the species that have wings, even if they are not considered to be too strong fliers since they normally crawl to get food. They are called earwigs because there is an old belief that they normally crawl within the ear when someone is sleeping and they bore into their brain. However, even if they may look menacing, they are not harmful to human beings.  Even if earwigs may find themselves in the home from time to time, it is by accident since they do not reproduce or establish themselves in the home.

Life cycle

The adult lives within the soil. The females are able to lay around 20-50 eggs in their underground nests during January until February.  The new hatched nymphs or younger start to appear during April. The nymphs live in the nest and they cannot leave until they are able to fend for themselves. The young earwigs may develop in a gradual way and they can pass from 4-5 nymphal instars before they become adults. Their appearances are the same as the adults except they do not have wings and their pincers are not that large. Many species in the country have only one generation for each year.

How to control earwigs

When the earwigs became pestiferous, there are many organic methods which you can use so that you can get rid of them.

  • Get rid of the garden debris and excessive mulch where the earwigs may breed or live.
  • Because the earwigs do not fly, you can use a sticky band around the woody plants, shrubs and trunks of the trees so that you can prevent them from reaching the fruits or the leaves of the trees that they use to feed.
  • When the number of the earwigs is not tolerable, you should use botanical insecticides on the crevices, cracks and spot treatment.