Organic Gardening Logo spacer
Gardening Articles ::  Newsletter ::  Reminders ::  Green Blog ::  Nursery
Sustainable Gardening |  Trees & Shrubs |  Flowers |  Compost |  Soil
Garden Tools |  Gardening Books |  How To's |  Gardening Tips
Children |  Gardening Methods |  Organic Pest Control

Home pointer.gif - 1kb Reading Room pointer.gif - 1kb Pests & Diseases


  • Everyone has seen an earwig. They are everywhere from Aachen to Zyryanka!
  • They are one of the oldest insects on our planet. They haven't evolved a lot except to become smaller.
  • They will run toward you which makes you think they are aggressive but in reality they are running for the closest dark place to hide, like under your shoe!
  • Earwigs are about 1" long (2.5 cm) with a hard, reddish brown shell and pinchers at the tail end.
  • They don't bite but the pinchers on their tails can give a nasty pinch if they get trapped under you.
  • If your plants are getting chewed to pieces and the roots are shredded then there may be earwigs in your garden.
  • Flip over a rock or some mulch and if you see a bunch of them scurrying away then you definitely have an earwig problem.
  • Use a floating row cover to keep your plants safe underneath. Lay it early in the season before earwigs start to get out and roam.
  • You can make an earwig trap using empty margarine tubs or pop cans.
    1. Half-fill the margarine tub or soft drink can with the used, soapy dishwater.
    2. Turn it on its side and bury the trap halfway in a shady spot in your garden or around the yard.
    3. If you are allowed, use flat beer instead and your traps will also catch slugs.
    4. After a couple of days empty and refill the trap with new used dishwater or beer.

    earwig trap

  • Alternately, you can mix 1/4 teaspoon (2 ml) dish washing soap to 3 cups (1 L) of water in a spray bottle.
  • Squirt the earwigs with the mixture when you find them hiding in damp places and under rocks.
  • If you have a severe problem with earwigs try this non-chemical method:
    1. Put a damp, rolled up newspaper in the garden each night.
    2. This will attract hundreds of earwigs in a heavily infested area.
    3. In the morning, dump the newspaper into a large bucket of hot, soapy water to kill the earwigs.
    4. Dispose of the wet newspaper in your compost pile.

moon phases
meatrix-link-anim.gif - 11kb