Hello, earwig

Well, look who is eating my basil, sage and zinnias. This one crawled onto my hand while I was checking out the damage. Earwigs were legendarily scary to me as a child. I thought they would crawl in my ear [not true, although people used to believe that]. At the very least, they would pinch. Sometimes, they’re called pincher/pincer bugs. In my adult life, they seem to be a garden scourge. But they have a good side. It’s true. They eat other bugs. They really like to eat aphids and we know those need an enemy.

So you want to control earwigs? It’s not easy. Pesticides that kill earwigs also harm bugs you probably like, such as bees and ladybugs. And if you use contact poisons, just remember they can fly. That means even if you kill the ones here today, more will fly-in tomorrow.

Their method of wing-folding is an origami puzzle.

My video tips for dealing with earwigs including homemade traps. Except, to be honest, one of my traps caught an unintended critter.

And if you want to get close to an earwig, you can tell the boys from the girls based on the shape of their pincers.