Skip to Content.
Sympa Menu

nafex - [NAFEX] Earwigs aren't all that bad all of the time.

Subject: North American Fruit Explorers mailing list at ibiblio

List archive

Chronological Thread  
  • From: "Rodney Eveland" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: [NAFEX] Earwigs aren't all that bad all of the time.
  • Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 22:18:53 -0600

Earwigs are omnivorous and have certain eating preferences that just
happens to include certain plants which most of us prefer they

You can find statements like this when searching the internet for
things like "earwig damage":

The earwig's only insect predator in North America is the tachinid
fly. Attract this fly by planting alyssum, calendula, dill, and

European earwigs feed on a variety of dead and live organisms,
including mites and the growing shoots of plants. They feed
voraciously on soft-bodied insects and insect eggs, making them
important predators of aphids. Earwigs damage flowers including
zinnias, marigolds, and dahlias. In yards with mostly turf and mature
ornamental plants, earwig damage is unlikely to cause concern.

Earwigs are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of food. They will
eat live or dead insects as well as live or decaying vegetation

They appear formidable with their armor-like exoskeleton and
sharp-looking pincers. Nevertheless, earwigs are little more than a
nuisance for most homes and gardens.

Earwigs eat small holes in plant leaves during the night. Earwig
damage often appears small compared to the large pest populations
present, and it can be confused with injuries caused by slugs,
cutworms, or even rabbits. Larger plants will tolerate the feeding,
but seedlings and flowering plants can be severely damaged or killed
by dense populations.

I personally don't grow any of the plants that earwigs prefer (I'm a
perenial kind of guy) so I don't really have a problem with them. I
have seen them attacking other insects in the flower bed outside my
front door at night and they also seem to fight with each other over
food such as cookie crumbs left lying on the sidewalk. As I mulch a
lot, I'm sure that they have lots of cover and detritus to feed on. I
have a strong dislike for aphids, and a fondness for anyone who wants
to eat them so I consider earwigs to be my friend.

The following website has some good info on earwig controll.

  • [NAFEX] Earwigs aren't all that bad all of the time., Rodney Eveland, 07/26/2004

Archive powered by MHonArc 2.6.24.

Top of Page