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Control Earwigs with a DIY Trap

Don’t let their looks fool you. The long slender earwig may look ferocious with its pinchers, but it won’t crawl in your ear or harm you.

Earwigs only pinch if cornered, but usually scurry away. Before spraying make sure the earwigs are causing enough plant damage to warrant control.  These insects are beneficial, feeding on decaying plant matter, dead insects, and some plant-damaging pests. 

If you decide the plant damage and nuisance factor outweigh the benefits, try trapping rather than spraying these pests.  Like slugs, earwigs like cool, dark, damp locations.  Use the cardboard cylinder from the center of a paper towel roll.  Fill with straws and weatherize it by covering the outside of the cylinder with packing tape.  The earwigs hide amongst the straws during the day.  Each morning lift the cylinder and knock the earwigs into a container of soapy water.

A bit more information:  When earwigs move into your house, you can easily vacuum them away.  Just be sure to empty the sweeper bag before putting it back in storage. If they continue to move indoors, you need to fill in their port of entry.  Caulk around the basement windows and fill in any cracks where the earwigs may be entering your home.

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