The Q&A Archives: Controlling Earwigs

Question: What is the best way to control Earwigs in the vegetable garden? They are killing my green and lima beans just as they crack the soil. They get into the cracks and eat the new seedlings. What would be a safe pesticide to use on beans and other vegetables? Also, is there an organic way to do it other than by hand? Thank you. Al Hedrick Valley Springs, CA

Answer: Earwigs can get to be a nuisance, especially if your soil is wet and there are many places for them to hide. The first step in controlling them is to remove mulch, boards and any other place where they can hide. They like wet soils and dark places. Plant flowers further apart and cultivate the soil regularly to keep it dry. Set up a trap of 1" of vegetable oil in an empty tuna fish can sunk into the soil to trap and kill them.You can also try spraying a mix of cayenne pepper, garlic and soap on the plants to create a bad tasting environment. Mix 2 teaspoons pepper, a few cloves of garlic and a few drops of liquid soap. Blend it together in a quart of water, strain and spray.

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