The Q&A Archives: earwigs

Question: We recently discovered that a type of earwig have been eating our big oak trees and are now in our yard everywhere. What can we do to get rid of them?

Answer: Earwigs generally feed on organic debris and other insects. Unless the population is large and there's lots of competition for food, they won't usually feed on flowers. They do like to hide in moist, dark places, however, and that may be why you're finding them. As for controlling the earwigs - you can trap them in one of two ways: Put about a half-inch of water in a cat food or tuna can and float a tablespoon of oil on top. Place the can in your garden. Earwigs will be attracted to the residue in the can, crawl in, get coated with oil and drown. Or, roll a few newspaper tubes, moisten them, and place them in the garden in the early evening. Earwigs are mostly active at night and look for a moist, dark place to hide during the day. They'll crawl into the tubes in the early morning. Collect and dispose of the newspaper tubes each morning and eventually you'll lower the earwig population in your garden.

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