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EARWIGS!!!!

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EARWIGS!!!!

Post  florenceq on 3/5/2011, 9:30 pm

I have a complete infestation! They've eaten the tops off all my beets and radishes and tuned the Swiss Chard into Swiss Cheese Sad . I tried everything; DE, Cayanne pepper, Br. Bronners soap, beer trap and they just keep coming. My husband thinks I am a nut because I have been going out every night with a flashlight to remove them by hand from my little baby plants. Today I vistied the garden center and bought Slupgo Plus. Wish me luck.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  camprn on 3/5/2011, 9:39 pm

In this article
there is a description of how to make an earwig trap.There is also a caution that any insecticide that will eliminate the earwig will also eliminate beneficial insects.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/6/2011, 3:08 pm

I've used Sluggo Plus for the last couple of years, and haven't seen an earwig.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/12/2011, 8:16 pm

do earwigs eat plants? I started out last night looking for what ever is eating my plants. found one earwig and one cutworm

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 8:23 pm

@model a man wrote:do earwigs eat plants? I started out last night looking for what ever is eating my plants. found one earwig and one cutworm

Yes, they do. I hate earwigs!!! You can make a trap for them out of rolled up damp newspaper left out overnight, dispose in the morning. Others may have better advice. (I have a childhood hatred of earwigs.)

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  camprn on 3/12/2011, 8:26 pm

Yup earwigs eat plants. There is an info link in This thread.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/13/2011, 4:21 pm

Last night I did the damp paper rolled up as a trap and did not catch anything. Maybe I am lucky and dont have any more earwigs. but something is eating my plants so today I was at OSH and saw some benificial nematodes, the box stated that it will preaty much kill all the bad bugs i am worried about. the box states it is enough for up to 2000 square feet and the nematodes will last up to 2 years. if you order them on line it is $39.00 but at OSH it was $21.99 so I bought some and will add them to the boxes tonight as you cant do it in the day time as the sunlight will kill them.(thats what the box said) I know this wont be a magic pill but one can hope. their web site is www.organiccontrol.com

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/13/2011, 11:27 pm

Ok I just got done applying the beneficial nematodes. i have no idea how long it takes before it starts working or if I will even be able to tell. keeping my fingers crossed that I will see a decrease in leafs getting eaten. I even planted some marigolds because I had heard that they can keep bugs away but something has been eating them already Shocked

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/14/2011, 11:40 am

this morning I check my SFG beds and something is still eating my plants. the marigolds are almost completly gone. something has eaten all the leaves and just left stems and dying flowers. I have lost most of the bok choy and also my sunflowers are showing signs or leaves being eaten. and even my onions are dying. not having good results for a first time gardner. Sad

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/14/2011, 2:03 pm

Model A Man
Could you post a picture of the damage? Perhaps someone will be able to determine the pest or disease that is affecting your poor little garden.

The worst damage I had on marigolds last year came from slugs

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/14/2011, 2:20 pm

Here are some pictures of the damage the first one is Bok Choy the 2nd pic is marigolds. 3rd is sunflower, 4th is onion the the tops got eaten off. I also had some onions the turned yellow and died and when I pulled I found a worm inside I am guessing a root magot. and I dug around and found 2 more around the onions.




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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 3/14/2011, 4:24 pm

Hard to tell exactly what you have there, but the tops of the onions look like a larger animal (I have rabbits here) was munching. Especially if that happened overnight... I put up a quick fence last year at this time with a plastic mesh net, 4 metal posts and some 8" zip ties.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/14/2011, 4:51 pm

I agree with Squat the onions look like they were chomped off at the top, not nibbled like earwigs or slugs.

That marigold looks like slugs got to it. Does it have dried up slime on it?

Here is a link to photos of damage from a couple of types of pests.

Slug Damage Photos

Total Gardening dot com says: Sometimes earwigs are blamed for slug damage because the slug takes a chunk/bite and then the earwigs congregate to get the sweet sap or to hide in the hole the slug ate. The slug meanwhile has moved on. One way to determine if a slug or earwig is causing the damage is to look for the trail of slime that slugs leave behind. There is little point in controlling earwigs if slugs are doing the damage …

UCDAVIS Earwigs

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  camprn on 3/14/2011, 5:19 pm

Looks like slug damage to me as well. Actually it looks like a variety of pest damage. To trap slugs we used to put boards down in the row garden, leaving a bit of space
under them. When daylight is approaching the slugs hightail it for
cooler shaded moist areas. They think that under the board is a perfect
area. Just turn the board over in the morning and collect the slugs.
Same principal applies to the inverted 1/2 grapefruit.
see this link for natural slug control.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  AndreaHall on 3/14/2011, 5:26 pm

Model A Man... your sunflower looks a lot like mine, and I found a bright green grasshopper munching happily away on mine. He was about 1.5", all one color... beautiful, but totally unwelcome in my garden! I know we live in the same area, and I've seen several of these guys around.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/14/2011, 6:38 pm

I am going out tonight to see if I can find what is eating my plants. I have dug around the plants with a stick looking to see if any thing is hiding in the mix. Keeping my fingers crossed

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/14/2011, 11:21 pm

ok I spent about an hour checking all the plants and what I found was 5 earwigs (caught 4 and one got away) and one cutworm. 4 of the earwigs were on the different marigolds and one was on the onion top and the cut worm was on the sunflower. I am going to try to check everynight to see what else I can find to get a hold on this. Can just a few earwigs do that much damage or are there likely a lot more I just havent found yet?

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Megan on 3/15/2011, 7:30 pm

There are probably more earwigs and/or cutworms, and more types of pests (slugs, probably) than you saw. You might try putting out a slug trap. They always say use beer, but I had out traps for ants with borax mixed with sugar water and caught plenty of slugs with it. (No idea if it did anything to the ants, though! Rolling Eyes)

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/16/2011, 9:51 am

@Megan wrote:snip.....I had out traps for ants with borax mixed with sugar water and caught plenty of slugs with it. (No idea if it did anything to the ants, though! )

Details please!!

What do you mean by "traps"
Does the sugar water (boil first or just stir like kool-aid?) and borax make a sludge?

For earwigs, A tuna can with water and a bit of bacon grease or tuna oil floating on top will catch quite a few, but where there are quite a few there are hundreds more. Pulse it has to be changed nightly, plus (and this is REALLY gross) the dogs like to snatch them from the garden and slurp up the contents.....not so bad if you can avoid their kisses later. At least the tuna can is clean and ready for the next night (always look to the bright side of life)

Deborah…..getting ready to cut up potato eyes for St Patrick’s Day

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Megan on 3/16/2011, 9:57 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:
@Megan wrote:snip.....I had out traps for ants with borax mixed with sugar water and caught plenty of slugs with it. (No idea if it did anything to the ants, though! )

Details please!!

I had some old custard / creme brulee dishes, glazed ceramic, about 3" diameter and with a rim maybe 1.5-2" high. I was completely lazy and did not try to make a syrup by boiling. It was just water, sugar, and a little borax, not a sludge. Did not measure, but it sloshed around in the container like water.... maybe a teaspoon each sugar and borax to one container (just guessing there), fill with water then swirl it up to mix. I didn't bother burying the dishes, either, since I was trying for ants. I just set the dishes on top of the landscaping timbers...and was completely grossed out by all the slugs I caught. They drowned, just as in a beer trap. The slugs around here are fairly small; for the monster ones in Washington you might want to use a bigger dish or a disposable tin pie pan (though I'm not sure, maybe the aluminum would put them off... maybe a terra cotta pot saucer would be better?)

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/16/2011, 10:14 am

Thanks Megan.

The normal size slugs (the size of dog poop and just as enduring) are not a real problem until the basil sprouts. It is the little gray slugs, the kind I refer to as "plant-lice" that do all the damage.

Thanks!

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Megan on 3/16/2011, 10:21 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:Thanks Megan.

The normal size slugs (the size of dog poop and just as enduring) are not a real problem until the basil sprouts. It is the little gray slugs, the kind I refer to as "plant-lice" that do all the damage.

Thanks!

Hope it helps!

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  Old Hippie on 3/16/2011, 11:41 am

It looks like several different things to me also. Some of yours looks like slug damage. The kind I have are very tiny at first and almost impossible to see. In the spring they are about the size of a pin head but grow over the summer to about an inch long. I use almost every natural method of slug control I have read about..... crushed eggshells, diatomaceous earth, coffee grounds, spray with coffee and soap suds, copper wire, hand picking. This summer I will add the beer/molasses in tuna cans to the list. It seemed when I only used one method, I couldn't keep ahead of the slimy things but using a combination of them worked better.

Sometimes my onions looked like yours. I saw some crows pecking at them one day and think that is what get mine. They pulled some right out of the ground. It's seems weird but I have found lots of slugs in the onions as well. I thought that most things didn't like onions. My slugs don't seem to discriminate.

Grasshopper chewings look kind of like what you have on the sunflower. I have small brownish grey ones here.....but they have done a real number on some of my flowers. They are very hard to see and I have no idea what to use on them.

Best of luck. It is so frustrating to spend all the time tending your precious plants
and something else steals them before you get a chance to enjoy them.

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Organic pest control methods

Post  dizzygardener on 3/17/2011, 10:45 am

For slugs: Put out a beer trap. Bury a container in the soil. The top should be about even with the top of the soil. Fill the container with beer with a little flour mixed in. Repeat until you stop catching slugs.

For cutworms: Use BT (BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS) or dipel dust if you can't find BT. Make sure to coat your target areas. The cut worms have to ingest the BT in order for it to work. BT degrades in sunlight and can be washed away, so you will need to reapply. Don't water for two days after using BT.

For earwigs: There is an interesting trap recipe here: http://www.ghorganics.com/page9.html#Earwigs: "1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp molasses, 1
tbsp dry yeast, 8 ozs water. Mix all the ingredients well and place in a
small plastic container (like a cottage cheese container). Bury the
container to ground level. Clean it out as needed"

If you are using DE please remember that you have to put it where you think they may crawl and you will need to reapply. One application of DE is not going to get rid of your problem. The earwigs must crawl over the DE in order for it to be effective.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

Post  model a man on 3/19/2011, 3:11 pm

the last few nights the only bugs I have been finding is earwigs and I think onion magats. I even watch one earwig munching on the marigolds. I tried the rolled up paper for earwig traps with no luck. I did read the praying mantis will eat the earwigs so I will be checking into that. I am stating to wonder if having mulch on the ground around all the boxes is giving hiding places for the earwigs so I am wondering if neem oil spray would do any good if I sprayed all the mulch.

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Re: EARWIGS!!!!

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