Earwig

Chewing pests

Earwigs are active at night, hiding during the day in mulch, under rocks and underneath wood lying on the soil surface. They prefer moist habitats. Earwigs feed on leaves and flowers, creating small, irregularly shaped holes and giving plants a ragged appearance. They overwinter as adults and eggs.

Earwig
Earwig adults are 6 to 25 mm long and pale brown to reddish black, and the body appears flattened. Their large, pincers (cerci) extend from the back of the abdomen.

Management

Remove plant debris, organic mulch and scrap wood from the area, as these are potential hiding places for earwigs. Moistened rolled-up newspapers left overnight on the soil may be retrieved in the morning, and any earwigs present can be shaken into a container of soapy water.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.