The Q&A Archives: Earwigs on Corn

Question: The past three years I have planted corn in my garden, but never had a chance to pick and eat it because it is infested with earwigs. What is a solution to preventing the earwigs from colonizing my corn!

Answer: Earwigs like to hide in dark, moist places, and the husks on corn provide both. You can try trapping the earwigs at soil level before they have a chance to climb up the stalks and invade the ears of corn. Begin early in the season, before the pest population gets out of hand. You can trap earwigs by placing cat food or tuna cans filled with an inch of vegetable oil on the soil around your plants. The pests will be attracted by the oil, crawl in and drown. Empty and refill the traps as necessary. Another effective trap is to lay dampened, rolled newspapers on the soil surface just before dark. The earwigs will crawl in to hide at night and you can shake them out into a pail of soapy water the next morning. If you keep weeds and debris out of the garden, earwigs won't have places to hide and reproduce.

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