GLT's Grow: Banishing Earwigs | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Banishing Earwigs

Jun 24, 2016

The earwig is one of the scarier looking insects that you may find in your yard. They use their pincers for mating.
Credit Kevin Melger / Flickr

No gardener likes to see the nasty earwig move in. He's like the worst house guest ever --  he's a voracious eater, invites all his friends, and sports a nasty set of pincers.

  • Anne in Bloomington has heavy earwig damage in her yard.  The pest has consumed many tender plantings, and has resisted Anne's attempts at control with insecticide.
  • Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, said that earwigs like darkness and will hang out under piles of mulch or logs.  When exposed to light, they scurry away.  
  • Lots of standing timber with shade and falling debris creates a great space for the earwigs. Damp, dark spaces attract the insect.
  • You can trap the earwig by getting an empty small can, like tuna or cat food, and push it into the ground until the top is level with the soil.  Put some oil in there.  The earwigs will fall in and then the party is over.
  • Earwigs can be a help because they control aphids.  But too many earwigs is bad news for the plants they like to eat.