Earwigs and egg plant issues - Knowledgebase Question

Vallejo, Ca
Question by pitbull_vamp
July 7, 2010
The earwigs are driving me nuts they are munching holes in my plants whats a good natural way to get rid of them?? Are ants ok in a garden? Every time I plant a cucumber lately something eats its roots how do I stop this we think its some kind of grub. Last question my white eggplant keeps dropping flowers adn wont produce what can cause this?


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Answer from NGA
July 7, 2010

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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 live plants. They do like to hide in moist, dark places, however, and that may be why you're finding them in your flowers. There are two ways to control the earwigs: Put about a half-inch of water in an empty cat food or tuna can and float a tablespoon of oil on top. Place the can beneath your plants. 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.

Ants generally are not a problem in the garden but grubs are. You can cultivate your garden soil at the end of the gardening season to expose them to predators and the weather.

When an eggplant has flowers but no fruit, this is due to one of two issues. The first thing that can cause eggplant flowers to fall off is a lack of water and the other is a lack of pollination.

When an eggplant plant is stressed, its blossoms will dry up and drop off without producing fruit. The most common reason a eggplant gets stressed is due to a lack of water. Your eggplant needs at least 2? of water a week, more in very hot weather. The majority of that water should be gotten in one watering so that the water goes deeper into the ground and is less likely to evaporate quickly. Deep watering also encourages the eggplant to grow deep roots, which helps it to find water deeper in the ground and even out its water needs so it will be less likely to drop a single eggplant flower.

An eggplant flower is normally wind pollinated, meaning it does not rely on insects like bees and moths to pollinate it. A pollination problem can occur when the weather conditions are very wet or very humid or are very hot. When the air is very humid, this causes the pollen eggplant flower to become very sticky and it cannot fall down onto the pistil to pollinate the flower. When the weather is very hot, the pollen becomes inactive because the plant thinks that it cannot support the stress of an additional fruit along with the hot weather. In a sense, the plant aborts the blossom so as not to stress itself further.

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