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