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Forficula auricularia
Type: Insect

Effect: Pest

Carcinophoridae Family
Forficula Genus

Location / Where this Creature is found:

Earwigs are generally nocturnal and can be seen patrolling household walls and ceilings. Interaction with earwigs at this time results in a defensive free fall to the ground below, and the subsequent scramble to a nearby cleft or crevice. Earwigs are also drawn to damp conditions. During the summer, they can be found around sinks and in bathrooms. Earwigs tend to gather in shady cracks or openings or anywhere that they can remain concealed during daylight hours. Picnic tables, compost and waste bins, patios, lawn furniture, window frames, or anything with minute spaces (even artichoke blossoms) can potentially harbor them. Upon gaining entry to the basement and living areas of the home, earwigs can easily find cover in undisturbed magazine and newspaper piles, furniture/wickerwork, base boards, carpeted stairways, pet food dishes, and even inside DVD cases and keyboards.

General information about Earwig :

Earwig is the common name given to the insect order Dermaptera characterized by membranous wings folded underneath short forewings (hence the literal name of the order—"skin wings"). The abdomen extends beyond the wings, and frequently, ends in a pair of forceps-like structures called cerci. The order is relatively small among Insecta, with about 1,800 recorded species in 10 families. Earwigs are found around the world. There is no evidence that they transmit disease to humans or other animals.

This pest causes problems by:
Most earwigs found in Europe and North America are of the species Forficula auricularia, the European or common earwig, which is distributed throughout the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere. This species feeds on other insects, plants, ripe fruit, and garbage. Plants that they feed on typically include clover, dahlias, zinnias, butterfly bush, hollyhock, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry, sunflowers, celery, peaches, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, seedling beans and beets, and tender grass shoots and roots; they have also been known to eat corn silk, damaging the corn. Typically they are a nuisance because of their diet, but normally do not present serious hazards to crops. Some tropical species are brightly colored. Occasionally earwigs are confused with cockroaches because of their cerci and their long antennae.

How to get rid of it:
The normal advice given for eliminating earwigs from the garden is to reduce or eliminate moist, dark conditions from your garden. But frankly, eliminating these conditions from a healthy garden is nearly impossible. A compost pile and mulched beds are part of a well tended garden. Instead, try to remove any non-essential elements that may be providing these conditions so you can at least reduce the number of areas in your garden where earwigs can flourish.

You can also try adding barriers to the edges of your garden. Earwigs cannot travel very far especially over dry conditions. Adding a small moat of consistently dry material, such as gravel or coarse sand, around garden beds will help to keep earwigs out of the beds.

You can also set up earwig traps. Roll up a section of newspaper and wet it down slightly. Place the damp newspaper roll into the part of the garden that you are having an earwig problem. Leave it there overnight. The earwigs will crawl into the newspaper as it provided the exact conditions that they like.

In the morning, dispose of the roll of newspaper either by burning it, dousing it with boiling water or immersing it in a solution of water and bleach.

You can also use pesticides to eliminate earwigs, but some care should be taken if using this method as pesticide will kill both earwigs and helpful insects, such as lady bugs and butterflies.

Earwig - Pests
Earwig - Pests - July 26, 2009

Earwig - Pests
Earwig - Pests - July 26, 2009

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