The most characteristic feature of this fast-moving reddish-brown to black insect is the pair of approximately an inch long pincers at the tip of a long abdomen. Earwigs thrive in tight, dark, moist places such as under stones, in mulch, soil, (compost & vermicompost bins), and anywhere there is an accumulation of plant debris. They are nocturnal and are harmless to people. Earwigs have a varied diet and can actually benefit gardeners by digesting organic matter and devouring soil-borne pests, aphids, snails, insect larvae; but they will feed on vegetable seedlings as well and can cause significant damage to plants.
Insect netting (floating row covers) provide the best form of protection against earwigs.
Plants to Especially Watch:
- Beans (Bush & Pole)