Ask a Question forum: Earwigs are eating my pepper transplants!

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Name: Heidi
Mentone ca
Region: California
Heidlberg
Mar 20, 2015 12:38 PM CST
I'm assuming it must be earwigs, because I've looked everywhere for worms and can't find any. I also have lettuce two rows over that I know earwigs are living in. The dammage occurred overnight and I know that earwigs are nocturnal mostly. I'm not ready to pull up all my lettuce, any other ideas? I'd rather keep things organic. I've read about traps, but since they have a place to hide already, I'm not sure that will work.
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Heidi
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Mar 22, 2015 10:19 AM CST
It does look like it could possibly be Earwig damage: https://www.google.com/search?q=Earwigs+damage+to+pepper+pla... but I don't know how to eliminate or control them. Hopefully someone who has experienced Earwigs in their garden will pop in to offer advice.
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Name: Sequoia
Oakland, California (Zone 9b)
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sequoia
Mar 22, 2015 10:25 AM CST
Hi
Take some newspaper and roll it into a cylinder and and put it near your plants. Add a little water to lightly moisten the newspaper. Put the newspaper out in the evening and in the morning go and close up the ends and take the newspaper to the garbage. When you look inside the newspaper you should find the earwigs. They like to hide in dark damp areas. Good Luck !
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 22, 2015 11:36 AM CST
Easiest and safest way is to use diatomaceous earth. Totally inorganic - not a poison and you can dust it all over your plants and fruit/veg up to harvest time .. just wash it off. It's been used for years as a dewormer for livestock as well. You'll be wanting what's called 'food grade' DE - or one that does not have a bait in it. Only con is that it is indiscriminate about what it will kill, so when you dust try not to get any on the flowers that bees will pollinate.

I use DE in my potting mix as it keeps ants from colonizing pots. Even if it is wet it will work though you will have to reapply to leaves and ground after it rains since the rain will wash it off.

To insects, DE is like walking through shards of glass - for hard body insects it actually scratches of the waxy substance on their shells causing them to dehydrate - also when they groom themselves after walking in it they ingest it and it will tear up their digestive system. That's how it kills soft body insects.

This stuff is amazing .. it's totally knocked down a severe whitefly infestation in 2 days.
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