The Q&A Archives: Earwigs In Garden

Question: I have a garden (30x300)sq.ft. Most of what I've planted is thriving. However recently I've noticed that there are holes in my spinach leaves, pepper plants and in the walla walla onions. I saw earwigs today when I removed a little soil fgrom around the onions. What do I do about them?
For compost I used grain fed cow manure. Soil is at 7 alkaline.

Answer: Earwigs are night-feeding scavengers and are generally considered beneficial in the garden because they feed on insect eggs, small insects such as ants, and decaying debris. They like to hide in dark, moist areas during the day. When populations become large, they may graduate to feeding on flowers, stems, and foliage. It may be coincidence that you found earwigs in the garden and holes in the leaves of your plants. Caterpillars can feed on foliage, too. Since you haven't actually witnessed the feeding, you can't be sure who's to blame! I trap and dispose of earwigs by placing rolled up, dampened newspaper tubes in the garden at night. Earwigs will crawl in and hide just before daylight. I simply gather up the tubes in the morning and throw them in the compost pile. If you don't compost, throw the tubes into a trash can. Eventually you'll lower the earwig population in your garden.

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