Good News Re: Earwigs

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

I have a keg of Guiness and for some unknown reason seem to have this Zen need for the nasties to enjoy dying...lol. I know it is a sin for an Irishman to waste the stout but a pint or two for the garden is a lovely way to share...lol.

Good news on the OMRI listing!, however one must remember that pyrethrins is also OMRI listed and is one of the main reasons we have no bees along with Rotenone. I'll live with a few earwigs as I consider them part of the janitorial staff...lol. But slugs!.......now those beasties need to be "exterminated with extreme yeast"...lol. So out comes some Guiness most evenings and I just love seeing their little, bloated, inebriated corpses in the mornings when I feed them to the compost mountain.

As somewhat of an organic "purist", I must say that this material looks pretty promising and I'm going to see if Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (my eighth favorite store) has some so I might try it. But we should also remember that Curare is organic. So is amoebic dysentery.......lol.

best to all,
don

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I bet earwigs could roll in, inhale, ingest and infuse Curare and laugh about it the next day. Tough little customers. Pirl, I really like the earwig-flambeau plan of attack~!

Dr. Don, is it true that pyrethrins so common in the commercial flea preps are likely killing bees too? I think I've seen them listed on some of the systemic rose food etc too. This whole bee thing has me more and more curious. So far, so good in my yard; bees a buzzin'. One ran into me yesterday twice! Maybe they're dying off from stress, always rushing here and there in today's hectic bee world?

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Wait a minute -- last year there was a whole thread on earwigs, and as I remember it, people were using a section of garden hose and emptying it into a bucket of soapy water in the morning. Rolled up newspaper was given as an alternate. What happened to that idea? I was just getting ready to decide which garden hose ot sacrifice to the cause!

I do keep sharp sticks stabbed in the ground at intervals in case I see a slug...I recycle shish kabob sticks from dinner. I also keep the slugs impaled on the stick and stab it back into the soil in case their brothers see, and think, "Do I really want to go in there?" ala Pirl's post. Friends viewing the garden are grossed out for sure.

I need to know about the hose and earwigs very soon -- I have one dahlia that is a mere skeleton of itself from being eaten by something or other.

Suzy


Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

I'm with pirl.......just roast em!...lol.

Earwig flamethrowers, what a concept......and probably very good therapy as well.

There are way too many effective ways to reduce earwig populations and one, of course, is the garden hose thing as these insects are truly reclusive and will amaze at how many actually go into the hose. I'd be inclined to combine pirl's method with this one and empty out the hoses in the mornings onto cookie sheets and then performing a genocidal ritual of mass roastings....lol.

hiya Poochella,

I too just love watching the bees in our gardens and provide at least two fountains specifically designed so bees can drink here. Knowing that nothing we use in this garden is toxic to them other than our terrible domestic water quality.....lol, is a comfort. One of our farriers (horseshoe-r) also has a small pollination company and he's seeing drastic reductions in wild swarms in our region as he is often called to collect swarms when they are regarded as dangerous. The most alarming region in our hemisphere is the Yucatan Peninsula where there is so much genetically modified corn being tested and the traditionally large honey production done by the indigenous Mayan indians is now just a fraction of what it was as recently as the 1990s. In our region there has been a natural hybrid of our naturalized honeybees and the African (killer bee.....sheesh) which is a very hardy species. So at least we've got some interesting evolutionary stuff going on around here that may help with some resistance to the environmental challenges facing honeybees.

hope all are well,
don

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Suzy - the problem with the hose is the same as the half grapefruit. You still have to pick it up and that's when they run onto your hands and up your arms. It grosses me out. I always feel that if I come inside the house not knowing there's an earwig on me that she's pregnant with hundreds or thousands.

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

I'm with you Pirl - I'm always sure there is one HIDING somewhere ! ick and ugh. Reminds me of a neighbor girl telling me (when I was 6) that earwigs will crawl in your ear and never be able to crawl out... hence the name earwig.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Just the thought of it is horrid.

I haven't seen many this spring - might be due to the dry weather. Or else they're just waiting for the dahlia blooms but they haven't touched a single clematis - hurray!

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

thats when mine seem to appear - when the dahlias bloom, otherwise I don't see them - THEY'RE HIDING!!

Yuck. I'll definitely try the sluggo stuff; maybe next month ? !

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Back to the hose idea: Couldn't you just plug one end, let them do their crawling- in thing, lift it up and dump it over the soapy water the next a.m.?

Livermore, CA(Zone 9b)

now that doesn't sound like a bad idea... I'll try that, with gloves on......

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You try it first and let us know how it works. OK?

Aptos, CA

Spinosad Overview


Spinosad (pronounced "spin-OH-sid") is derived through the fermentation of a naturally occurring organism. It uniquely combines the efficacy of synthetic products with the benefits of biological insect pest control products.

Spinosad has several attractive features when compared to most synthetic insect pest control products:

It is derived through the fermentation of a naturally occurring organism;
It is highly active at low use rates;
It is active by ingestion and contact exposure;
It has less impact on certain predatory beneficial insects; and
It is active by a mechanism unique among known insect pest control compounds.
Spinosad has several attractive features when compared to most biological insect pest control products:

It consistently demonstrates commercially acceptable control for labeled pests;
It is effective by both contact and ingestion;
It has quicker speed of control;
It provides longer residual control in the field;
It has no special handling or use restrictions.
Spinosad works by contact and by ingestion. Contact occurs either by direct application to the insect or by movement of the insect onto a treated surface. Ingestion occurs as insects feed on treated substrate (such as foliage). While control via contact is highly effective, control via ingestion is 5 - 10 times more effective.

Spinosad has a unique mode of action that is different from all other known insect control products. Spinosad causes excitation of the insect nervous system, leading to involuntary muscle contractions, prostration with tremors, and finally paralysis. These effects are consistent with the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by a mechanism that is clearly novel and unique among known insecticidal compounds. Spinosad also has effects on GABA receptor function that may contribute further to its insecticidal activity.

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

I used the 'hose' method and it works wonderfully! It is my first morning chore - take a garden walk , dip the hoses pieces upside down - tap them on the ground and stomp on the earwigs. What a great way to start the day!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Think of all the flowers you've saved!

Temecula, CA(Zone 8b)

hmmm, and earwig mosh pit?

In the old days, when I wasn't to particular about killing more than just the target pests, I used to collect cigarette butts and make a sun tea out of them and then douse the plants. You can bet it looked like insects of all kinds were hitting the ground in spasms that resembled the dance scene early in the movie Animal House where someone yells "Gator" and everyone hits the ground in mock fits....lol.

Sudhira, is this material considered "selective" or "non selective"? For those of us who invest time and buckets of time trying to keep a prey-predator-pollinator balance in our gardens, it would be good to know if this material is known to be harmful to voracious predatory insects/true bugs like ground beetles, and is there any data on it's effects on amphibians or reptiles? Thanks a ton for the great overview on its activity and toxic pathways into the insect's system.

And yes, I did see a lot of raised eyebrows while scooping butts out of ashtrays in front of the local banks and markets....lol.

best,
don

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

LOL Don, I can just see you with a bucket collecting them all, LOL
But sounds like a good idea tho I hate smoking so.................bad for your heart!

Aptos, CA

Chewing insects only...HOWEVER..I never spray blooms, unless they are in bud...and I only use "stuff" if I see a problem...My garden in teeming with beneficials, predatory mites, ladybugs in all stages of metamorphis, bees, birds...theyare my "work force" hahaha...

I have sprayed x 1 with Spinosad for cucumber beetle, but I am sure I will have earwigs, hence my purchase of Sluggo-Plus...be prepared and one stpe ahead of the naughties~*~

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

I wish pirl would post a picture of herself torching the weeds and bugs....but alas, I hear she burned half her hair off trying to light a cigarette with the torch....

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

NO! I came close to burning my shoes but the heat was the first warning. I didn't even get to burn up the deck steps! I did "do in" some ajuga that were crossing the line though.

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

Okay I tried the saucer of oil no luck there. I am going to try the piece of hose now! I cut my first Dahlia of the season and two of the buggers crawled out!
Do I need to bait the hose with anything.
Dayna

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

.......along those same lines,. do the earwigs eat the plant or flower, or both?

Suzy

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

dw- I just put the piece of hose where I want it. Right now mine are in my pots. I 'harvest' ten or so from each pot- daily!! Gives me great satisfaction ps...no bait needed

Delhi, IA

Well, earwigs, smearwigs, now you people really enjoy yourselves fighting the enemy. My time will come when the corn root worm beatles leave the cornfields. At least you have a method of defense. I can only observe ___control of the situation is just a fiascos.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I have hose pieces scattered about and so far not one taker. Haven't checked this a.m. yet. Do birds eat earwigs? I notice them scampering through the garden at intervals. (The robins are admonished when they steal my worms.)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I consider myself to be in the worm relocation business. When I'm digging a hole I move any worms to a safe place (nearby) so they're not exposed for any of the birds to get as easy prey. IF the robins eat earwigs then their appetites aren't big enough.

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

If anyone knows of a bird that eats earwigs I'll stock the yard with them. I still haven't been able to get the Sluggo Plus locally and, each day avoid buying it on the internet because I have just one more place to check. While talking to different people about the problem locally a few people recommended diatomaceous earth. I knew it was good for slugs and snails but hadn't heard about the bug population. I did a bit of research and it seems to be so. I think I'll try that next and if the place also has Sluggo Plus I'll give them a double-whammy. They have devoured the coleus cuttings that I lovingly got started and planted out. I was so looking forward to seeing Inky Fingers but it's nothing but ragged growth now.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Try writing to JasperDale. He bought the Sluggo Plus and he lives in Long Beach, CA. Maybe he purchased it at a chain store that's also available to you. Not being familiar with CA areas I have no idea how far apart he is from you.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

253 miles per Google!

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

I moved here from Laguna which is a little South of Long Beach. I know all too well how long a drive it is (ever had to have a cat who hates cars in one for five straight hours?) I'm not really close to much. Cambria kinda out there, which is actually why I chose it. There is not one, mind you not one, chain store in the entire town....another plus. I can go to San Luis Obispo and find anything I want but I try to only drive there every 4-6 weeks and a month ago when I was there Sluggo Plus wasn't on any of the shelves yet. I think I've found a place outside of Morro Bay that has it and I'll probably get there on Weds. The Sluggo has worked so well on the snails and slugs I'm looking forward to eradicating the earwigs. They are really and truly out of control here. I open any container in the garden shed and it's just crawling with them....oh yuk. Last night I got my clogs all wet when I watered and left them out on the porch....you guessed it.....I tapped them on the stones and about 30 earwigs came running out.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

They are revolting and so sneaky, lurking at every opportunity for dampness. Good luck with your search.

Delhi, IA

I feel for you Stella. Sounds like you really have a corner on the earwigs, like if anybody wanted it. Sounds like my scene when the corn rootworm beatles leave the cornfields and head for the gardens. White and light colored dahlias being a favorite.

Are they eating the blooms or the plant or both? Something has taken a chomp or two on a couple of dahlia plants, but unless it gets way worse I'll just hope the plant stays ahead of it.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Stella....you have d mail re: Sluggo plus

Mike

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Great find by Alyrics posted on another site. Good info on earwigs, sowbugs and the like.
http://www.paghat.com/woodlouse.html

Eureka, CA

Very very interesting! I can handle earwigs much better than slugs. For me, the cost of my first container of Sluggo Plus is enough I'll probably stick to the regular Sluggo.... I could have purchased quite a few tubers for one of those jugs of Sluggo Plus! Anyway, the article's comment on "balance" was very good.

Sanna

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

Yes, I agree it's a great article. I only wish my neighbors weren't so into using insecticides. I don't use anything but Neem oil or diatomaceous earth and Sluggo, but I sure can't stop them from using them. Same with the gophers. I worry sick that Lionel's going to get poisoned from catching and eating a gopher that's half dead from their poisoning.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I like the natural balance emphasized in the article too.

More earwig info from another dahlia group: drop a drop of lighter fluid, liquid combustible, etc into your bamboo dahlia stake. Fumigates the little turkeys. Don't let it hit your soil, just a drop or two.
Courtesy of Bob Hendley:
" place one single drop of either benzine, kerosene
or lighter fuel into the top of the cane; stand back and within 5 seconds or so you will see whatever earwigs are in there come out of the top of the cane, arch their backs and drop to the ground dead. "

For non hollow stakes Wayne Holland offers this:
"ordinary corrugated cardboard has holes that are perfect. Wrap a
small piece onto the stake then remove in a day or two and burn or
dispose in the garbage. Replace."

There's still that creep factor in removing the cardboard though....

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I've been using the Sluggo Plus when I remember. Yesterday while watering I found 2 earwig bodies DOA below a dahlia plant. I've never seen a dead earwig before, in the garden anyway. Murdered in my kitchen sink, yes; but usually they are very much a live in the garden until yesterday! So my vote is thumbs up for Sluggo Plus or spinosad.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great to hear. I hope it's more widely distributed next year.

Cambria, CA(Zone 10a)

Me too. I never found it anywhere around here all summer. I decided they need to get the Sluggo off the shelves before they put Sluggo Plus out or lose their money. One nursery manager said she'd just trade the Sluggo back to the company but I noticed she never did. They probably won't accept it and if she put Sluggo Plus out she'd lose hundreds of dollars on her Sluggo investment. My theory anyway. Once the wet season happens again the Sluggo will probably get taken and then we can have our Sluggo Plus. Or one can hope. The earwig season seems to be over; I've found a few but not the hundreds happening a few months ago. My dahlia flowers are superb, it's just the plant itself that looks ragged. Now we have a new bad guy; I've forgotten their name....I have it somewhere but couldn't find it right now....they're the ones that look like bright green ladybugs, dots and all. You can see one peaking out on the front flower.

Thumbnail by stellapathic
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

What a gorgeous dahlia. What is the name of it?

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