The Q&A Archives: Earwigs in Potted Veggies

Question: What can I do to safely kill the earwigs that I've seen creeping around my potted vegetable plants?

Answer: Earwigs like hiding in cool, damp places and this preference for damp shade makes them easy to trap. A piece of hose, bamboo, or even rolled newspaper laid in the shade will attract them, and then you can do away with them by drowning or squashing them. To protect seedlings, surround them with a sticky barrier, such as cardboard coated with petroleum jelly; if the critters try to scale it, they'll get stuck. If you don't have time for these procedures, diatomaceous earth lightly sprinkled on the plants, and more liberally spread on the soil between the plants, will discourage them as well, as the particles are razor-sharp to insects.

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