The Q&A Archives: Dahlia Pest

Question: I have dahlia and there are bugs in the center of the flowers. Bugs are about 1/2 inch long, shiny, and black. Moves fast when disturbed. What should I do to control them?

Answer: I'll bet earwigs are hiding in the centers of your dahlias. Earwigs are one of those semi-good guys that sometimes become a nuisance. Although they occasionally chomp on our flowers, they also have the habit of chomping on aphids and certain pest larvae. Earwigs like cool, shady spots to hide out in. You can trap earwigs with small boards, pieces of hose, bamboo, or even moistened rolled newspaper laid in the shade. Pick them up in the morning and dump into a can of soapy water. Also keep your garden free from plant debris and rubbish, where earwigs love to hide. If this trapping method dosn't catch what you have, diatomaceous earth sprinkled liberally around the soil will discourage them as well. Diatomaceous earth is available from Gardener's Supply Co. ( or ph# 800-863-1700).

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