auricularia) are mainly vegetarian, eating a wide range of living
and dead plant material, but also taking some insect food, they particularly enjoy the flowers and young leaves of
dahlia, clematis and chrysanthemum, other plants may also be damaged.
are largely nocturnal, hiding under loose bark and in
other crevices by day. Both sexes can fly, but rarely do so. Female
looks after her eggs and young and family groups are often disturbed
under flower pots and other objects in the garden. Young earwigs
always have straight, slender pincers. The white or cream earwigs that
are often unearthed in the garden are not different species; simply
individuals that have just changed their skins.
excluding the pincers. The latter are 4-9mm in the male, strongly
curved and with a flat base. Female pincers are 4-5mm and almost
straight. The body is shiny brown, with the hindwings projecting as
short triangles from under the short forewings.
Impact/effects on chrysanthemums
Flower petals and young leaves are
eaten; older foliage may also be attacked.
Trap earwigs by placing upturned
flower pots loosely stuffed with hay or straw on canes among plants
being attacked. Check the pots each morning and remove the
earwigs. This may not protect plants when earwigs are abundant, but it
will provide a useful check on population numbers.
Before resorting to chemicals
remember that earwigs can be of benefit in the
garden by eating small insect pests and their eggs. If damage is
extensive, you can spray with bifenthrin at dusk when earwigs are likely to be active.