How do I prevent and deter earwigs?

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Mama YahYahh's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-16

Last year, my lettuce was overrun with earwigs. I put out tuna cans with oil, and I only caught a few. I finally had to throw away my lettuce and let the dirt dry out. I have containers as my garden, I live on the 3rd floor. Thank you for your advice!

Almanac Staff's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-10
Here is advice from your

Here is advice from your local cooperative: --If your outdoor area has firewood, plant debris, weeds, or other places for earwigs to harbor, remove.
--Don't use thick organic mulches. Inorganic mulches such as lava rock or stone are less attractive to earwigs; do not overwater.
--Granular or wettable powder formulations of insecticides may be used to control earwigs outdoors. For best results, apply insecticides late in the afternoon or early evening, when earwigs are active.
--Diazanon and Sevin sprays are effective. Follow directions and cautions EXACTLY.

Here are more DIY, natural suggestions from our readers:
--Sprinkle bay leaves around. It really helps!
--Take a few rolled up newspaper(s) (secured with a rubberband), wet it and leave it out overnight near your affected garden beds. In the morning dispose of the newspaper in a plastic bag, (being careful not to spill the ends or unroll the paper). It will be filled with earwigs.
--Make a mix of 1 tbsp each of vegetable oil, molasses, and soy sauce. Mix really well. Put cans in the containers. It may take a few days to "age." Check traps in the morning and shake the insects into a pail of soapy water.

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