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How to Control Earwigs Naturally
They feed at night and look for dark, cool, moist places to hang out during the day. Some common hiding places are under organic matter such as mulch, pine straw, leaf litter, and other debris, loose wood chip mulches, decaying matter, rotting fruit on the ground, wood, boards or tree branches that are on the ground, under dense. vine growth or thick cover and flower pots, anything moist that will shade and protect them from the sun. As well as hiding in piles of firewood you didn’t use last year, and let’s not forget hanging out in that little forest shed you have out back that you haven’t been in for years. While earwigs are scavengers, eating dead insects, decaying plant material, they can also eat live plants and damage your vegetables and eat flowers from plants, including marigolds, petunias, hibiscus and many other plants. Ear forks leave many small holes in plant leaves and flowers.
Seedlings and most flowering plants can be seriously damaged or even killed when you have a large ear fort (coffee grinders will protect). Earwigs can produce large populations quite quickly and can become a major problem for the homeowner overnight! They are attracted to lights so they will come at night attracted to any lights that are on; as well as any lights you turn on during the day that will cause them to hang out there if it’s a cool area. Earwigs can be found in most homes and can enter through entry points such as doors and windows, climbing up through broken walls and some cracked openings, broken screens. They do have a beneficial role in the landscape and have been shown to be important predators of aphids, mites, most insect eggs, and most soft-bodied insects such as whiteflies. They do have a very unpleasant smell when crushed.
Some Natural Controls
Hint: earwigs are attracted to moisture
Check for water around the outside of the house. Repair any leaks. Convert to a drip system to keep water underground. Regularly check for weeds and clean up dead debris. Eliminate high humidity areas around walls, in mulch, under rocks, boards, etc. Check for damp humid conditions in crawl spaces, faucets, along the foundations. Change up landscaping by creating a dry border right around the walls of the house. Gravel or flat stones can make an attractive barrier against earwigs and other pest invaders. Gutters must direct water away from the house. Caulk or use weather stripping at all potential entry points such as doors, windows, pipes, repair screens and doors and windows. Where earwigs are a problem, eliminate hiding places that have high moisture levels. Begin a regular daily trapping program. Eliminating earwig habitats is very important for the control of all insects, including earwigs. Because they are attracted to lights, stop lighting outside at night. Remove the white light and install yellow LEDs instead.
Inside the Home
Indoor ear perches should be vacuumed daily; be sure to kill them and throw them away by throwing them in a plastic bag and tying and throwing them in the trash, immediately so that they do not re-invade. If earwigs are a regular problem in a building, inspect the area to see how they are getting into the house and seal and seal cracks and all entry points. Fix all broken screens.
Essential oil spray
You can make a natural spray that will prevent them from entering the house. Use 1/2 oz per gallon of water of any of the following essential oils available
1. citronella oil
2. cinnamon oil
3. penny oil
4. fine oil
5. lavender oil
8. any natural essential oil can be used the above are just a few. Try your own.
Citrus Spray Use OTKO Natural Citrus Cleaner. Spray straight through sir. Will kill earwigs and most insects on contact. Soap Spray Use any natural castile soap such as Dr Bronners soaps. They make peppermint, lavender, almonds, tea tree and many other natural sources. Use 1 oz per gallon of water. Will kill earwigs when sprayed.
DE SPRAY Gadren Grade DE can be added to water and sprayed. Best way is to put some DE in a panty liner and suspend in a gallon of water. Let sit, pour into a gallon sprayer and spray. when dried the of will act as a barrier and kill and earwigs that crawl over it. You can use just dust the areas with it.
Vacuum, vacuum and vacuum…
Clear out any ear plugs in your house. Vacuum very thoroughly and as often as necessary. Discard the bags in the trash.
Garden Grade DE can be used as a dust around the house as well as under the house and the attic. Dust lightly and let sit.
Boric acid can be used as dust in cracks and other areas between the walls of the house.
Traps inside the house are one sustainable way for you to manage earwigs in the home on a regular long-term basis.
Ultimate Flea Trap is by far the best insect trap on the market. This one uses no chemicals and just a small light with a sticky mat that traps the insects that are attracted to the light. Put one in every room that has earplugs. It also works on fleas (hence the name) as well as spiders, cockroaches and most other insects.
Outside the house
Remove materials outside the perimeter of the building that could provide a hiding place, such as ivy, plant debris, leaves in gutters, old wood piles, old leaf litter, piles of newspapers or other organic material. Caulk and repair cracks, crevices and other openings around the foundation or around the exterior of the house. Manage moisture around the building by repairing or replacing leaky faucets, leaky air conditioners, leaky drains, control water entering the foundation after rain, and provide crawl spaces to allow entry. Fix or change the conditions to promote a drier environment. Caulking and weatherstripping around doors. windows bathroom water outlets also electrical outlets.
Go through any places inside dark and they can hide. Cardboard boxes will make a great host place for them to hang around the house. Remove any other debris such as old unused firewood. Always keep moisture out of your home by repairing any faulty sprinklers, maintaining the grading in an area to allow water to drain away from the home, and maintaining adequate ventilation in crawl spaces to allow the area to dry.
Earwigs are attracted to outdoor lights, so replace them with Yellow LED lights, which are less attractive to earwigs. Treatment should be done outdoors with garden grade DE natural applications around the building foundation, flower beds, mulch areas and lawn within a few yards of the building, as well as in the crawl space areas of the home. Treat with a two-foot band around the building adjacent to the foundation to restrict earwigs from entering. Establish a dry border right around the base of the houses for great control.
Traps outside the house
Newspaper: rolled up wet newspaper held together with a rubber band.
Cardboard box: Punch pencil-sized holes along the bottom edge of a cardboard box.
Old Garden Hose: 12-24 inch garden hose
Used cat food can. Add 1/2 inch of any type of beer or wine.
Tupperware: Use tupperware as a plastic container. Punch holes along the top edge of the tub, add 2 inches of some cheap wine and cover with a top and sink into the ground.
Finch Bird House can be used as a housing where you can place an 8 oz plastic cup 1/2 filled with beer or wine. I would try one of each and see which one attracts the most.
Trapping is an effective, easy approach to reducing earwig populations.
One of the key elements of a natural earworm management program is a daily active trapping system. Just before dark, place the bird traps around the yard in inconspicuous places. In the morning, shake them out of the traps over a bucket of Dr Bronners Soap/water or any natural soap and water. Keep catching until you catch no more earwigs. Traps can be hidden near shrubs and ground cover plantings, or against the house. For fruit trees, keep weeds, brush, and suckers (always prune) away from the base of trees year-round because they provide refuge for earwigs, snails, and other creatures. Monitor populations by counting amounts of earwigs caught in the traps.
Delete Their Habitat:
Changing the habitat around your garden will reduce earwig population and damage. Remove their hiding places: boards, weeds, wood piles, plant debris, leaf litter and any other objects that create dark, moist hiding places. Do not plant dense ground covers, such as ivy, mint, grasses, next to vegetable or flower gardens. Raise vulnerable seedlings indoors until they can handle some feeding. Or start them outside on a table with legs protected by sticky barriers.
Some people advise against the use of organic mulch because they say it provides refuge to pests such as earwigs and spiders. I take the opposite view that organic mulch offers earwigs a diverse hunting ground that will save your plants and take care of the needs of the earth. Mulch can easily be kept clean of ear forks by dusting with a garden grade several times a year or by dusting just before and after each time you apply a new layer of mulch. Spraying the mulch with any natural soap will also control them.
The Invisible Gardener
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