Earwigs – Forficula auricularia Problems & Control

Earwigs – Forficula auricularia Problems & Control

Earwig O

Earwigs look worse than the bites they take out of plants. Some years there may be large infestations.

Earwig Problems

  • Whilst Clematis, Dahlia and Chrysanthemum plants may be a bit chewed  and ragged by an earwig they will not come to great harm unless you are growing show blooms.
  • Larger infestations  can strip the soft green parts to a network of veins.
  • Earwigs eat large irregular holes in the leaves and petals can be damaged by droppings.
  • Earwigs feed their newly hatched young on aphids and other small insects.
  • During the day earwigs hide amongst the petals. The leaves of Dahlias can be ravaged by
  • Earwigs do not bite or spread disease.

Earwig Control

  • To catch these night feeders use a torch.
  • The inverted plant pot on a cane method with the pot filled with straw or well crumpled newspaper will act as a trap. You can then collect the earwigs for destruction.
  • Birds, frogs and toads that prey on earwigs will help reduce the population of earwigs and keep it under control.
  • Chemical controls such as permethrin should be applied at dusk on warm evenings. Treat the leaves blooms and the  soil below the plants.
  • Prevention by removing moisture and decaying vegetation will make conditions less hospitable for earwigs.



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