Earwigs - How to get rid of them?

janenMay 12, 2009

Could someone PLEASE tell me how to get rid of earwigs. They are like a plague in my roses. This is the first time that I have seen them in such numbers. Is anyone else having this problem? I need to do something quick. Thanks for your help. Janen

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henryinct

I've hardly ever seen earwigs in the rose garden. Are you sure they are harmful? I think not. I think they are insect predators and scavengers who are nocturnal so they are probably just hiding in your roses during the day. Or you may have some rain damaged rotten blooms which they are eating. I have seen them in the bloom compost pile so I know they like dead roses.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:21PM
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cupshaped_roses(6)

Do you have some small pots? About 5-8 inches deep - fill them with a little long dry grass forming something that looks like a birds nest. Place the pots bottom up different places on the ground where you see the earwigs do damage. Once every day (mornings) - take the pots and shake or tap the grass and earwigs into a bucket. Poor boiling water from an electric kettle over them, in the bucket to kill them. Only worry I have is - this tecnique works well here where we have no poisonous critters - I don´t know if other critters in your area will seek shelter in the pots too and give you a scare when you lift the pots with hay.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:33PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I am told that it will also work to put cantaloupe rinds upside down at night, and pick 'em up in the morning.

My only reservation is that, when I see earwigs (UGH!) they are in blooms, maybe 6 ft in the air.
So do they catch the siren song of the cantaloup rind and rush to their doom?

Jeri

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:31PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Earwigs eat decomposing mulch, leaf litter, and other organic material. Aside from being ugly and scareing the hell out of you when they pop out of a bloom, they are harmless. I've heard from others they eat leaves on the bush but I've never see that. Lots of them in your roses means you have lots of mulch and organics.
Relax, soon you'll have Japanese beetles and you won't even think about earwigs.
Just keep them out of your ears!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 12:59AM
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allison64(So Cal San Diego 10)

I am having the same problem, mass earwigs! Ewwww! One bloom had 5 in it! I went to smell it and UHHCH! Just lovely. Mind you these are brand new raised beds. They are eating my rose buds. I read:
"The easiest way to remove earwigs from your yard would be to put down some rolled-up damp newspapers in the garden. The earwigs will be in the folds of the paper the next morning and you can haul them off.."
Good luck to us!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 1:36AM
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cupshaped_roses(6)

Jeri great idea with the cantaloupe-rinds! I will use that tip since it will also work against the horrible killer slugs (start out small - but grows big and looks like crawling dogpoop. They eat and damage everything if allowed to take hold - ferramol garanula (non-toxic) has proved effective keep the numbers down.

Earwigs do cause damage on roseplants holes in leaves and petals chewed with holes. Damage other ornamental gardenplants too. The damage is mild to severe. I keep their numbers down but allow a few and tolerate a little damage.

BUT: When I worked as doctor at the ER I saw why they are Called "EAR" wigs. Some patients had woken up in the middle of the night, feeling a bug crawling in their ears - I have seen grown men cry in discomfort and hysteria wanting to get rid of them - but couldn't get them out since they sat in a fold near the tympanic membrane. This is not a rare incidence in summer time, when people go camping or sleep with their windows open in the summertime. The big black beetles that were able to crawl in, but unable to back out, because they can´t turn were however worse ..... I hope it never ever happens to me .......

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 7:38AM
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janen

Thanks for all the good suggestions - I'm willing to try anything. I like your humor Karl - relax, worst things are coming soon! Yes, the JBs are much worse. These earwigs just look so icky. I tried to pick some beautiful blooms to give to a friend and there are all these icky bugs coming out of them. Alas.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 7:41AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

BUT: When I worked as doctor at the ER I saw why they are Called "EAR" wigs. Some patients had woken up in the middle of the night, feeling a bug crawling in their ears - I have seen grown men cry in discomfort and hysteria

*** Does anyone, other than me, remember that starkly-horrible episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"

Jeri

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 1:35PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Jeri, I remember that episode well, especially the part where the earwig was a female and laid eggs in his brain. The resulting munching noise in his brain as the eggs hatched and the larva were eating their way out was creepy.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 3:38PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

It sure was -- and the memory pops up everytime I see an Earwig.
ICK!

Jeri

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 4:31PM
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sandy808(9Fl)

Oh man!!!You guys! I was sitting here munching on a snack while reading this. I can't finish my snack now......the brain munching larva part got to me.

Sandy

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 5:18PM
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