Earwigs are an enemy of anyone with a green thumb. Earwigs will happily crawl through gardens feeding on plants. Though they have their favorites, they don't discriminate what types of plants they feed on. Consider these pest management tips to prevent earwigs in your garden.
What are earwigs?
Earwigs will crawl far distances to reach gardens and homes, HGTV Gardens stated. Each earwig comes with rear forceps that look like pincers. They're nocturnal creatures - they only come out at night to forage for their food. During the day, they'll hide in dark and quiet spots. They're a fan of moist spaces, which is why the garden is a perfect environment for them. Earwigs will feed on whatever is nearby, whether it's human food or plants. Females will lay 30 eggs twice a year, allowing for infestations to happen quickly, numbering in the thousands. The insect doesn't have any foe other than humans. So, the bugs can continually breed without harm.
Earwigs can sometimes be a benefit. They'll feed on other garden pests, such as slugs and snails. However, if there's a population boom, then earwigs quickly become an annoyance. They'll feed on your garden, leaving behind a trail of holes. They may also consume seedlings before they even had a chance to bloom. Some of their favorite garden snacks include squash, potatoes, dahlias, marigolds and beans.
Homeowners might not be aware that earwigs are residents of their property at first, since other garden pests will leave cut-outs as well. People can check to see if they have an earwig problem by venturing out to the garden at night with a flashlight. Look underneath leaves of plants and in the small crevices of stems.
How to prevent earwigs?
Luckily, there are a few tips on insect management for earwigs.
Clean up any garden debris: Earwigs love to feast on decomposing plants, Organic Gardening noted. If you notice that leaves or old vegetables have fallen from the plants, clean them up and toss them. A cleaner garden can prevent earwigs from hiding under fallen foliage and feeding on it. If your garden is near your home, be extra mindful of cleaning up. Earwigs will happily move from garden mulch into your home.
Spread dry gravel: If you know any areas of your garden or house are predominantly moist, spread some dry gravel around. That will prevent earwigs from believing an area is moist, and they won't feel comfortable wiggling between rocks.
Eliminate light: Some gardeners will have spotlights on their gardens at night. Prevent earwigs from settling in by eliminating light around the garden. Earwigs are attracted to light, so it could lead them to your plants.