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.


Maintaining a clean and tidy garden is key, remove leaf litter, piles of rocks, rubbish and any other places that Earwigs may like to hide, will help to keep numbers down to a minimum.

Natural Treatment

An alternative measure to spraying would be to make your own Earwig traps. Roll up some moistened newspaper and tie it with pieces of string to hold it together. Place trap among plants to provide a place for the Earwigs to hide. Check daily and remove any captured earwigs.

Another option is to make a oil pit trap. Get a small plastic container with a lid, (empty margarine tub) cut a entry hole in the lid, then put some canola oil in the bottom to a depth of 2cm, a little bacon fat or soy sauce sprinkled into the oil. Place in the ground so that the lid and entry hole are flush with the ground, empty and refill weekly.

To trap Earwigs up in trees, tie some moistened cardboard to the trunk and branches of the trees. Remove and replace weekly.

If infestations are bad, spray with Aquaticus Bugtrol.

When using sprays and chemicals always read the label and follow instructions carefully. Spray in the evening to avoid harming beneficial insects.

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