Good News Re: Earwigs

Aptos, CA

Dear Friends,

Sluggo now makes a product called "Sluggo-Plus"...It is the basic Sluggo product with the addition of Spinosad! Spinosad is an organic chewing bug killer...This is good news for me as I garden organically...Only caveat that I can find at this moment...Pricey!!

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

Immediately on my shopping list. I just put out a shallow container with oil and bone meal in it last night and caught about two dozen earwigs. They are voracious and nasty! I'm having a little problem with the Sluggo though, the birds think it's a great treat and pluck it right up. If I put it out after they've gone to bed I at least have the chance of one night of the slugs/snails getting it. I hope the new product isn't as tempting to the birds. Thanks for the info!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sounds terrific. Now to find it locally.

As for the slugs: give them a place to hide (like under a big piece of bark) and then place the bait there so the birds won't get it.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

That's a great idea Pirl. Before the iron based pet-safe slug baits came out, I used to put toxic bait under slabs of rocks or bricks tilted up. Our slug population is so much reduced the past two seasons; I can't figure it out. I just use Sluggo at intervals and kill the occasional survivor. They are still around, but the nights of nabbing 50-100 seem to be long over.

Sluggo Plus sounds like a perfect Fathers Day gift idea to me ;) tee hee.... thanks for pointing that new product out Sudhira.

Eureka, CA

I was reading quickly Poochella's last post, and read it as "nights of sTabbing" instead of nabbing! :o) I guess I read it that way because, yes, I am unmerciful when it comes to slugs..... and I do stab them if I happen to see one and can find a sharp stick soon enuf. Okay, so sometimes I leave them alone.

Hope I didn't gross anyone out ~ I just hate them sooooo much!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The bark works very well around the clematis since we try and keep them damp. It's alarming to pick up the bark before the Sluggo goes down so now I start in March and don't have to watch the death march of the slugs - too gross!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I used to use scissors but it makes me want to barf. Squishing on brick is easier on me.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I could have said 'stabbing' too Sannajane. I keep a huge nail and an old sharp pointed hoof trimmer (in case you have those lying around lol) down in the lower gardens just for slug management. Sharp rocks also work, along with sticks. It's got to be done. But I did just pass one slithering across the lawn and I let him/her live because it was far from any garden. If they're in or near the garden though, retaliation is swift.

Here's Mendy's sister's trophy Oregon slug photo, (with permission.) If that's a yellowy/green Banana slug, we would let it live as they seldom eat desireable plants.

Didn't mean to hijack the thread.... sorry.

Thumbnail by Poochella
Eureka, CA

Yeah, we get banana slugs that big.... I didn't know the yellow/green ones didn't eat the good stuff! I think all of mine are the plain yellow..... sluggo, tho' is great. I will look for that new stuff for the earwigs too! One time I used something for eawigs and a few other things, and I was devastated because it killed the earthworms too....

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I transplant every precious earthworm I find when I'm digging a hole for any plant. Just ran across a mess of slugs and put down sluggo under a 5 x 5" piece of granite and made another official burying ground. They are so slimy and yucky!

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

thanks for the info - that is good to know, I can never bring my dahlias inside for a vase - those darn earwigs crawl out - ewwwwwwwwww!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That happens to me, too! So glad I'm not alone.

Delhi, IA

Now you gals keep your slugs out on the coast. Not that we don't get them, but they aren't a big problem here. Occasionally one picks on a hosta.

Guess every part of the country has it's own problems.

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

Yo Stella!!!!
Shallow like a pie tin? What kind of oil? A sprinkle of bone meal or half and half or what... I hate earwigs!!!!! I have to admit that as I read these posts I am getting squirmey. When I looked at that picture of the coke bottle up close and got a close up of the banana slug I shivered! When we were up at that camp by your house Stella, one of the boys kissed a banana slug. got a good picture of it too! I did have him wash his mouth and face afterwards because that is just too gross!
Dayna

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

Hi Dayna, you know the little shallow plastic trays that microwavable meals come in? Like that. Yes, shallow. I use any old rancid crappy oil that I find cheap. Don't use your grade A virgin olive, ok? I just discovered the bone meal thing, so I'm still experimenting. I just sprinkled some on top of the oil. I got another couple dozen this morning. I think you need to clean the earwigs out every day......they look in there and say "hmmmm, dead brothers, do I reeeeally want to do this?" I find if I leave them in there I don't get as many as if I remove them. I'm definitely trying the Sluggo Plus though, as soon as I get myself out where they sell it. Did you guys have a great time at Camp Ocean Pines? If one of the kids was inspired to kiss a banana slug sounds like they got fairly rowdy! Ohhhh yuck!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

dwerland - I've used an old sturdy pickle cap filled with cheap oil and it's easy to place and empty each day. They love to hide in the shady damp places so that's the spot to put it down. Nothing but oil and it worked for me. It's easier to get the right spot and get it level with the ground THEN add the oil.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I tried canola oil and soy sauce one year in tuna cans. The neighbor dogs loved it. What is up with the dogs here? Can't they see I'm gardening? Bone meal would be gone in minutes to the same visitors. No earwigs were caught. I wasted a great deal of time constructing hideous water/bottle earwig traps baited with tuna; and caught quite a few flies.

I haven't tried the straw or pantyhose wadded up in an inverted pot on a stake, because the thought of "shaking it out in the morning and destroying the loosened insects" just makes me crazy. Those little suckers are too fast and tough!

I'm going with Sluggo plus and will report back in August.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I once stuffed the scarecrow! What a dreadful mistake. I had thousands of earwigs in her clothes, not that I ever keep them from year to year but saw them as I was undressing her and putting on her new designer clothes.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Eewwwww Pirl! That would be worse than kissing a banana slug LOL. Maybe that straw thing really works? I wonder if the allure of the scarecrow works better than an inverted pot on a stake?

How about this: inverted pot on a stake, lined with straw and a big bucket of soapy water waiting to dump the straw into in the a.m.? So you think they would drown?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Once I read that you should use half a grapefruit (after you've enjoyed it) turned upside down to lure them. Sure, it will work. BUT...... then, when you pick it up in the morning - even if you have a gallon of oil to drop it into, those creepy crawlers know when the grapefruit is being touched or moved and run like the blazes.......up your arms. DO NOT use this hint unless you want to squirm all day or unless you garden in the nude and have someone to hose you down. Even then these repulsive bugs can find hiding spots on your body.

My scarecrow may look too thin (not being stuffed) but I haven't had the earwig experience again.

Thumbnail by pirl
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

That is one beautifully accessorized scarecrow Pirl! Perfect accent to the daylilies or vice versa.

I don't want to mess with oil, I'm trying the soapy water thing. Instead of waiting for dahlia blooms, I'm going to put out some straw traps now and cut the earwig population, although not large, to smithereens before bloomtime. Then will come the Sluggo Plus.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Maybe the heat of the sun got to me this morning but didn't someone report that Neem oil worked on earwigs?

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

I don't think so pirl, at least not for me.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Other than the obvious damage that slugs and earwigs cause, the thing I REALLY hate is when they clog up the holes in the sprinkler heads...they get stuck in there and it's a royal pain to remove them with a safety pin. I spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning out sprinkler heads. HOW they manage to get inside those miniscule holes is beyond me.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Now I don't even want to look at mine.

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

Just spent too much time driving all over the place trying to find Sluggo Plus. I didn't bother calling around before I left the house; just figured if they carried Sluggo they'd have the Plus. Not so. No one had even heard of it yet. So I guess I look online.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good idea. They may have a store location feature by zip code.

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

My seven year old and I put out a saucer of canola oil this evening for the picherbugs. I will report tomarrow how well it works. Do I have to check it in the morning or can I wait until afternoon. Why morning? I only ask because I have to be to work so early that I don't have the extra couple minutes to play dump the bugs, before I head off down the highway.

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

Dayna, afternoon would probably work just fine. Hope it works for you. They are eating my abutilon, coleus and dahlias voraciously. Nasty little things. The oil is right now mostly with the dahlias and abutilon and I can say it does catch a bunch. The poor coleus are suffering and I dread using this method with them because there are hundreds of them scattered all over the place, so I'd need way more shallow containers and way more time to clean them out every day. I really was counting on finding Sluggo Plus today. Which reminds me to go looking on the web.

Delhi, IA

Pirl, Love your scarecrow!! I've had foil pie plates attached to twine on stakes in the ground that made a terrible racket___so much so the foil plates have had the rims all beat off___and a towel attached to the top of a bamboo pole. Well each works for a while, but I guess the only solution for my romaine lettuce will be a chicken wire fence next year. A scarecrow always seemed like to much work, but I'll try and remember your cute one for next go-round.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

dwerland - they'll be just as dead this afternoon or whenever you get to them - don't be concerned about getting them in the morning.

I think stellapathic has given me a clue as to who's been eating at my Mexican pot of orange flowers and I'll have to squeeze in some Snapple caps of oil and see if I can get them.

jamlover - she's really there for looks ...... and to annoy one particular neighbor down the block! The scarecrow does nothing to prevent any critters and I've tried pinwheels in her hands and pockets, old CD's, pie plates - none of it works. Right now she really needs some new clothes but when I went to the thrift shop nothing mismatched enough so I'll try again. If she had space at her "feet" I'd give her one of my zillion pair of heels from my working days - maybe even the Marilyn Monroe red "(you know the words)" ones!

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

As a big fan of the Iron phosphate and copper sulfate molluscicides, and a fellow organic gardener, I must say that it's good news to read about a semi resolution to earwig/sowbug issues.

Yet, maybe it's the Irish in me that just loves to set out pans of Guiness stout in the evenings and count the drunken slimers in the morning. I just love seeing animals enjoy themselves to death....lol.

I'll be watching this thread to see how others do with the earwig controls and will rejoice at having to put out fewer apples with holes cut into them to trap earwigs and sowbugs.

best to all,
don

(Zone 7b)

For those of you who don't want to bring dahlias indoors because of earwigs, do what a friend of mine taught me - get a bucket of water, and submerge the entire bloom, stem and all, for an hour or so - all the earwigs hiding in the blooms will crawl out and either escape over the edge of the bucket, or drown. Keep a large slotted plastic spoon to remove the corpses before you remove the blooms.

Works, and no more shocks at the dinner table...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good idea. With my luck they'll learn the back stroke.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Dr. Don you're positively beastly with your Stout treatment! Whatever works, but such a waste of a fine brew.

Good idea 2Zeus. I would have to be careful lifting out heavy blooms that were waterlogged so they didn't separate from stems. That usually happens in colder weather anyway, so worth a try.

Good news for PNW residents. Sky Nursery has Sluggo Plus in stock, so if you're in Shoreline/North Seattle, hop on over.

Aptos, CA

Spinosad is a OMRI certified product...ok's for organic gardening! No one in this hosuehold is willing to share their Guiness with the enemy hahaha

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

wow, what a nice way to go - drunk and drowning in guiness!

Eureka, CA

I really like the concept of playing "dump the bugs" !!! Great ideas here.

Sanna

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I was using my fire weed torch and got one today: does the heart good!

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

oh Pirl - you ROCK!

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