Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Earwigs!
Ugh, even the word Earwig makes me cringe. I think of some critter crawling inside my ear! That happened to me once. It really makes you feel like you’re going insane. Thankfully I was with someone who knew what to do! They used a little olive oil in an eye dropper and the bug just floated out. It still gives me the heebie jeebies! How to safely remove a bug from your ear. It’s hard to remain calm! 😉
Back to earwigs!
They aren’t normally a big bother in the garden bed but this year has been a different story! They have damaged some of my plants, and frankly, I would really rather never see them.
One way to capture the buggers is to trap them in rolled up newspapers, cardboard tubes, or similar objects set up outside where you find them. They’ll crawl inside these objects by early morning in order to hide. You can then shake them into a pail of soapy water to dispose of them. Beer traps work too! Sink a tuna can (or some such size) to soil level, fill with beer, earwigs go in and don’t come out till you toss them!
Check around the outside of your home and seal or repair any openings or gaps you find that allows earwigs to get inside. Check particularly around the foundation, windows and doors. Also examine where the siding and foundation meet as well as the areas around water faucets and vents. If you are finding large numbers, you can supplement this with an insecticide application around the exterior the home, e.g. permethrin. Once they get inside, the only practical control is physical removal. Vacuum them or sweep them up. The good news is that they do not reproduce indoors and will eventually go away on their own sometime during August.
Emerald Ash Borer, now that’s a real threat. EAB continues to demolish Ash trees all over the country. Click on the link for a map!