Earwig Damage?

Steve Massachusetts Zone 5bJune 27, 2013

Is this what earwig damage looks like? This is C. Serenata in it's first year. I don't think it's bunnies since my montana Mayleen has the same damage and it's 10 feet high. The leaves are eaten at the top of the plant, but the bare stems are still standing. No new growth after this chewing has occurred. Should I cut it back to stimulate new growth?


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I'd doubt earwigs. They tend to like to be in places they can hide. Do you have deer in your area? It looks a lot like the few instances of deer that I have had.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:34AM
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I agree. IME, earwigs tend to damage flowers and flower buds much more than foliage. I've yet to seen them clean off all foliage such as your photos show.

It won't hurt to prune and very well could help. Pruning in general stimulates new growth. I also might consider some sort of protection around this small vine. Also, an application of alfalfa meal or alfalfa tea will help to stimulate additional stem growth from the base of the plant.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Thanks. I don't think it's deer. They would have to walk past an entire Hosta garden with a few hundred plants and a few more Clems in order to get to this one. That's why I think it's some kind of bug eating the leaves and not the stems. Maybe an Asiatic or Oriental Beetle.

Since Alfalfa meal is rabbit food, I think I'll skip that and try some Fish Emulsion and then cut it back. Hopefully that will stimulate some growth.

Thanks for putting me on the right track.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Earwigs are here as well & agree w/ nhbabs ~ they do love to hide where it's dark, safe & muching designs on petals & some young folded leaves. They also seem to love certain Clem blooms & certain rose blossoms.

Here they love Marie Boisselot & Cezanne Clems & my lovely Yellow Submarine-Easy Elegance blooms. I find them hiding in young folded leaves of my Hydrangea lacecaps (Grrrrr!) I'd hate spraying w/ soapy solution for fear of hurting the blooms! Any ideas for safe deterrents?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I hope you find out what is munching your leaves. I have noticed the exact same problem on a recently planted 'Huldine'. It only seems to affect the new tender growth at the very top of the stems. In my case the foliage was chewed off about 6 feet above ground.

I live in urban Chicago and I can assure you there are no deer in my area. I have never noticed any type of insect on the plants throughout the day, early morning through evening, but I have never checked during the middle of the night.

The main chewing mammals in my area are rabbits, and to date I have never seen a six foot tall rabbit! :-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:07AM
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I've occasionally gone out at night with a flashlight to see if I can spot what is munching on plants if I haven't seen the culprit during the day.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:49PM
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My clematis was STRIPPED of all leaves, buds etc..it is not earwings or deer.. They are infested with large brown flying bugs with legs similar to grasshoppers....Plant GONE..in less than 24 hrs... so sad...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 3:28PM
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What are those bugs......I can't find any pictures.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Just an update. I'm pretty sure the damage was caused by Oriental Beetles. They do their damage at night and I have found them on pretty much everything around. They prefer tender new growth on Clems, but they will eat Echinaceas and love Roses and Daylilies.

In the short term Neem will likely help with Clems, but long term it's important to control the white grub population. So in August I'm going to use beneficial nematodes all over the garden and lawn to see it I can get the population of these pests under control.


Here is a link that might be useful: Beneficial Nematodes

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:19PM
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