The Q&A Archives: Earwigs

Question: Are earwigs harmful to a garden? Other than being very ugly, should I treat my garden for these unsightly creatures?

Answer: Earwigs can, and do, feed on flower petals and leaves. They don't do a great deal of damage to the average garden, but if you want to get rid of them, you can trap them. Earwigs like dark, damp places, so just fold a piece of newspaper and put it in the garden. Usually the nighttime or morning dew is enough to dampen the newspaper. Earwigs will crawl between the folds to hide. In the morning, pick up the paper and toss it on the compost pile, or into the trash can. You can also make a trap by using tuna or cat food cans, filling 1/3 with water, floating some vegetable oil on top, and placing the cans in the garden. The earwigs will be attracted to the oil, crawl into the cans and drown. Try it, it really works!

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