Issue 10, June 29, 2015


Earwigs are about five-eighths inch long and reddish-brown with large pincers called forceps protruding from the posterior end. These insects are turning from nymphs into adults at this time. As adults, they are much more active, becoming obvious in their activities. They are nocturnal insects, hiding in cracks and crevices during the day. They work their way into buildings as well. People commonly find them under damp clothes and along baseboards indoors as well as in crevices of outdoor furniture and playground equipment. Landscapers notice them under loose pieces of bark.

Earwig adult.

Earwigs feed primarily on decaying organic matter and prefer moist locations. They will also feed on the leaves and flower petals of rose, daylily, dahlia, zinnia, and other flowers. They are commonly found hiding in the heads of lettuce and cabbage. They are also predators, feeding on adult fleas and other insects.

Earwigs can be controlled on foliage with carbaryl (Sevin) or pyrethroids. Do not spray blossoms. They can be kept out of houses with permethrin foundation sprays. The most effective control is to reduce the amount of moist, dead organic matter. (Phil Nixon)

Phil Nixon

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