Earwigs in Hydrangea flowers - Knowledgebase Question

newport, RI
Question by Chrisjac
June 6, 1998
Last year, I gathered some Hydrangea flowers for drying. As I walked in the garden, I shook the blossoms, and hundreds of earwigs dropped off the flowers. My bush is now in full leaf and I don' t want a repeat situation.


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Answer from NGA
June 6, 1998

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The earwigs were likely hiding in the flowers rather than consuming them, but it's still not fun to encounter such a huge population of the creatures. You can trap earwigs, or prevent them from climbing the branches of your shrubs. Make traps by placing cat food or tuna cans (don't bother to wash them out), on the surface of the soil near the plant. Fill half-full with water and float some vegetable oil on top. The earwigs will crawl in and drown. Or, place a paper collar around the base of the shrub and coat it with 'Tanglefoot', a sticky product designed to trap insects as they march up the trunks and branches of plants. Either way, you should encounter fewer earwigs when you harvest your flowers.

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