Question about earwig control

terri76July 30, 2009

When you spray earwigs with antibacterial soap, do you mix it with water? What formula do you use? Also what soap do you find most effective?

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Insecticidal soap has minimal (no) effect on earwigs. It is registered for use on soft bodied insects like aphids, soft scale, mealy bugs and various larvae - the soap coats the insect bodies and smothers them. Since earwigs don't function biologically in the same manner, this approach really doesn't work :-) Formulations that contain pyrethrins or spinosad have much greater effect because of the addition of those products but require the earwigs to consume the treated plants. Plain insecticidal soap is a contact control only.

Be careful using home remedies. Often they can cause phytotoxic reactions with the plants. If making your own insecticidal soap, use a non-antibacterial, non-detergent based liquid soap like Dr. Bonners. You need only a tsp of soap to a gallon of water. Some folks add a few drops of cooking oil (canola, olive) to the solution to help it adhere to the foliage.

Search out some botanical insecticides registered for earwigs - rotenone, pyrethrins, spinosad - or use diatomaceous earth or traps. IME, traps tend to be the most effective way of controlling these pests.

A key element of an earwig management program is trapping. Scatter numerous traps throughout the yard. Traps can easily be hidden near shrubbery and ground cover plantings, or against fences. A low-sided can, such as a cat food or tuna fish can, with 1/2-inch of oil in the bottom makes an excellent trap. Fish oil (e.g., tuna fish oil) is very attractive to earwigs or vegetable oil with a drop of bacon grease can be used. Dump captured earwigs and refill cans with oil. Other common types of traps are a rolled-up newspaper, corrugated cardboard, bamboo tube, or short piece of hose. Place these traps on the soil near plants just before dark and shake accumulated earwigs out into a pail of soapy water in the morning. Continue these procedures every day until you are no longer catching earwigs.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:40AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Sluggo Plus is labeled for use for earwigs. It is pet and wildlife safe slug bait.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 4:52PM
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