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European earwig

By: Garden Gate staff
The 1/2-in.-long brown-red adults above hide during the day in plants, debris or cool, moist, dark areas near woodpiles and buildings, including your house.

Courtesy of Whitney Cranshaw, CSU, Bugwood.org

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European earwig Forficula auricularia

IDENTIFICATION — The 1/2-in.-long brown-red adults at left hide during the day in plants, debris or cool, moist, dark areas near woodpiles and buildings, including your house.

You may notice the small, ragged holes these insects chew in leaves, fruit and tender shoots of ornamental plants, such as butterfly bush, dahlia, clematis, hollyhock, rose and zinnia, and edibles, such as beans, beets, lettuce, strawberries and potatoes. In addition to fruit, leaves and shoots, they also eat other insects, such as mites.

CONTROL — Inspect plants after sunset with a flashlight to find earwigs and carefully knock them off into soapy water. Remove hiding places, like plant debris, especially around buildings. Place short sections of hose as hiding places to trap insects during the day and empty into soapy water daily. For larger numbers, use an insecticide like carbaryl (Sevin).

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