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Soil and Composting: Lots of Earwigs this year. Now have a lot in my compost!!

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 12, Views: 90
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nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 20, 2012
10:38 AM

Post #9212479

Hi,
I know that generally things that crawl around in compost are good. My question, though, deals with a lot more earwigs than normal this year (very strange weather this year).

I sometimes find one or two in the house (easy to get rid of) and clusters in the normally expected places around the yard, but I just opened a trash barrel I use to store "finished" compost and there were bunches in there crawling all around.

I use compost directly from this barrel to spread around the yard. I've read earwigs eat other garden pests, but I've also read they eat holes in plants.

When my husband set up this barrel for me I had him drill lots of holes all over it so there's plenty of air. I've been using this barrel for a couple of years and this is the first time I've seen this.

Have any of you had any similar experiences? If I use this compost am I introducing a problem into my garden beds or will most of them just disperse?

Thanks a bunch in advance for any and all help!!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 21, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9213466

Here's an article that you might find useful...

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74102.html
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 21, 2012
1:35 PM

Post #9213524

Thanks for the link, Honeybee! It had a lot of really good info.

I think I'll also do a little searching online to see what I can find about Earwigs in the compost.
seran72
Bozeman, MT

July 24, 2012
12:08 PM

Post #9217030

My earwig population is out of control this summer as well. I planted my herb and veggie beds very close together and keep them pretty moist. That combined with the not-quite-fully-cooked compost has probably all contributed to the problem. In my garden, they are eating the plants and pooing everywhere. Gross!!

Last night, I set out some tins with grape seed oil and bacon grease. This morning, I had caught one earwig.

I also spread bacon grease on newspapers, added a little banana, rolled them up and set them in the beds. Of six or seven rolls, all but one were empty this morning. That one had probably 15 earwigs in it.

Hope this gives you some ideas.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 24, 2012
12:40 PM

Post #9217060

Hi seran72...Thanks for your response!
You're right, they really are gross, yet much of the info I've come across considers them as "beneficial" insects because they eat other insects like aphids.

Many of the treatments I read about are like the ones you tried. A few mentioned sprinkling diatomaceous earth around since they are soft-bodied insects. Others said if you spread the compost thin they will scatter because it takes away their hiding places.

I'm kind of thinking about spreading it on the lawn first to try to draw them out since I haven't read anything about them eating lawns. Then possibly rake some of it up to spread on the garden...or...worst case scenario, just leaving it on the lawn and hope the next batch isn't infested with them.

I haven't made any decisions yet, though. I'll post anything I try and let you know how it worked.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 24, 2012
5:27 PM

Post #9217362

You could possibly make a sort of trap by rolling up cardboard, and then when they (hopefully) gather in it, dump them into soapy water. I come across gatherings of them in nested pots and various places---ew! ..Earwigs creep me out and they can be pretty bad here too.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2012
7:02 AM

Post #9217872

Well, I haven't checked my "completed" compost in a few days. I've also let it dry out, though I doubt that will make any difference. I'll probably try a combination of methods in the hope that one or more of them work. If I come up with anything exciting I'll post it here.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 25, 2012
11:22 AM

Post #9218192

Sluggo Plus will kill earwigs.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2012
11:25 AM

Post #9218195

Happy Birthday, Honeybee...Enjoy your day!!
Thanks for the info. I'll have to check into it.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 25, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9218279

nutsaboutnature - thank you. I'm just having a "normal" day at home. Too hot to go anywhere!
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

July 25, 2012
1:15 PM

Post #9218372

Happy B-day Honeybee!!!!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 26, 2012
10:16 AM

Post #9219394

Belated Happy B day HB!

I just had an earwig in my basement/ family room- ew
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 26, 2012
10:38 AM

Post #9219415

Yeah...they show up in my house in unexpected places (fortunately not a lot). A couple of days ago I picked up a stack of mail to sort through and there was one right in the middle of the stack. I jumped a few feet!

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