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A bug that you might not recognize in your garden or home, the Earwig!

October 20, 2020
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Earwigs are bugs that feed on algae, mosses, fungi, lichens, spiders and mites, sometimes aphids, and other insects. They will eat the insects dead or alive. Earwigs can also feed on living plants, meaning they can live in greenhouses and on some crops like forages, fruits, vegetables, field plants, and ornamentals. This means they could cause a lot of problems for gardeners. They have 3 body parts, 6 legs, 2 antennae, and a set of pincers on the end of its abdomen. Even though earwigs don’t bite, they can pinch, but it’s known not to be painful. Earwigs can lay up to 80 eggs at a time and once they have hatched, they become adults in just about 70 days. Their lifespan is about a year. So if you see one, just know that there might be more. 

For survival, earwigs need moisture, so low spots around the foundation of your house, leaky faucets, and downspouts are good spots for them to hide in. To reduce the population of earwigs your home, it’s a good idea to try and get rid of damp conditions in crawl spaces under the house and damp conditions around air-conditioning units. Earwigs inside of your home can be found in kitchens, basements, potted plants, and laundry rooms as well. Depending on how you landscape, you might have to change the way it’s being done so that water will instead flow away from the foundation of the house. Other ways to prevent earwigs in your house or in your plants is to clean up wood that may be rotting around your property and keeping shrubs and plants that you have, trimmed to reduce hiding places during the daytime. A barrier you can use against earwigs and other pests is having ornamental stones or gravel, and of course applying a granular pesticide all around the outside foundation walls will give some prevention.