The Q&A Archives: Earwigs on Artichokes

Question: I have earwigs and slugs on the insides of my artichoke fruit. What kind of pesticide can I use that is safe for vegetables?

Answer: Earwigs love to hide in dark, moist places, which is what makes your artichokes so attractive to them. You can trap the earwigs by rolling up a few pages of newspaper, dampening it and laying it on the soil near your plant. The earwigs will hide inside and in the morning you can pick it up and toss it out. Or, you can make traps by filling tuna or cat food cans with a half inch of water and floating a layer of vegetable oil on top. Place the traps near the base of your plant. The earwigs will be attracted to the oil, will crawl in and drown. You can empty the traps when they're full. Slugs on artichokes are quite unusual. They generally shy away from the rough surfaced leaves. But, since they have found your plants, you'll have to discourage them. Use stale beer in a trap, crush eggshells to place on the soil around the plant, or sprinkle the soil with Diatomaceous Earth or charcoal. Slugs don't like any of these (except the beer!) and will stay away. The beer traps actually attract them, which is fine because they'll fall in and drown. Just pour a few inches of beer in an old cottage cheese or yogurt container, snap on the lid, cut two entrance holes in the sides of the container and bury it in the soil to an inch below the entrance holes. Slugs will climb up the sides, slither down into the beer, and drown. Empty and recharge the traps until the slug population diminishes.

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