July 1, 2015

Chewing pests

Earwigs are active at night, hiding during the day in mulch, under rocks and underneath wood lying on the soil surface. They prefer moist habitats. Earwigs feed on leaves and flowers, creating small, irregularly shaped holes and giving plants a ragged appearance. They overwinter as adults and eggs.

Earwig adults are 6 to 25 mm long and pale brown to reddish black, and the body appears flattened. Their large, pincers (cerci) extend from the back of the abdomen.


Remove plant debris, organic mulch and scrap wood from the area, as these are potential hiding places for earwigs. Moistened rolled-up newspapers left overnight on the soil may be retrieved in the morning, and any earwigs present can be shaken into a container of soapy water.

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