earwig crawling outside a pittsburgh home

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Are you working hard to have a gorgeous flower patch, an abundant vegetable garden, and productive fruit trees and berry bushes? Do you also have earwigs? You may have been told that they are good for your plants and flowers, and this is partially true. They do play a beneficial role in your yard, as they have been shown to be important predators of aphids. But there are a few reasons you may not want these critters crawling around.

  • Earwigs hide in cracks, crevices, under bark, or other hidden spaces during the day but are active at night, foraging for food. And, while they do eat aphids, they can also be found dining on plants as well.

  • The name "earwig" is most likely derived from an old superstition that earwigs enter the ears of humans and burrow their way into the brain. This was believed to be a cause of madness. Fortunately, this is quite rare. But, it is still no fun having bugs crawling around your house, or on your body while you sleep.

  • Some species of earwigs can squirt a foul smell from scent glands. This is probably used for protection and is very unpleasant.

  • A female earwig lays about 50 tiny eggs in a subterranean burrow. These hatch into nymphs in about 7 days and the nymphs feed on their egg case. The Mama earwig cares for her young during their first nymphal stage, which lasts about 7 days. At this time, the mother loses her maternal instincts and often will then eat her children! Yuck.

  • Earwigs can devastate seedling vegetables or annual flowers, and they often cause serious damage to corn silks or maturing soft fruits such as apricots, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries.

  • When earwigs attack corn, they can cause poor kernel development.

Yes, it is true, earwigs can do considerable damage to your garden and trees. They can completely strip seedlings of their leaves and stems, and chew numerous, irregular holes into older plants, including fruit trees. But there are some things you can do to reduce the population of earwigs around your property.

  • Remove all unessential mulch from around your home and yard.

  • Remove any leaf piles, piles of branches, or other plant debris from your property.

  • Take away stones and boards where earwigs like to hide.

  • Dry up any standing water.

  • Consider contacting a the pest control specialists here at Witt Pest Management for advice and service.

Don't let all your hard work go to waste. Earwigs and many other garden pests can completely ruin your beautiful flowers, vegetable plants, fruit trees, and bushes. Protect the fruits of your labor today with help from the experts at Witt Pest Management.

 

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