Earwig on Oregano
Close up of an earwigs tail
Male Earwig on Raspberry
Insects of the order Dermaptera
Found worldwide, there are around 2000 species of earwigs. Known for their distinctive forceps-like pincers. They are mostly nocturnal, often hiding in small crevices during the day, coming out at night to feed on a variety of insects and plants.
It’s debatable whether or not they are harmful or beneficial to crops or plants as they feed on both insect pests (such as aphids) and the plants themselves. While they do cause damage, generally leaving cup shaped marks between 3-11mm long, they are also commonly blamed incorrectly for the damage of other insects.
In truth they are rarely a problem, unless they become present in large numbers. As long as you keep plants well fed and healthy you are unlikely to have any problems.
In most cases a pyrethrum-based spray such as Aquaticus Bugtrol is sufficient. This works on contact, so spraying in the evening is more likely to be effective. Multiple applications may be necessary.
There are Plant Doctors in every Kings store all weekend, but you can also book a mid-week consultation. Bring in a photo and we’ll prescribe a solution on the spot!
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