Thursday, 20 November 2014


According to wikipedia, there are about 60 soecies of earwigs found in Australia.  I don't know which one I have here… or even if they are all the same species.  I do know that they are plentiful during the spring in most years though about every three years their numbers seem to peak and the damage is enormous.  
Adult earwigs survive over the winter and by early spring,  the young, which look like small versions of the adult, are hiding under every loose rock, board, straw or inside flower buds or leaves.  I have heard that they do no real damage, eating only damaged plant material.  I don't believe this.  They do eat fresh new vegetables (at the moment it is zucchinis) that are perfect in the early evening and half eaten by mornng.  The eat leaves from leafy plants, silverbeet flowers, carrot leaves, potato plants, parsley flowers, holly hock flowers… though those are just the favourites… there are more.
Numbers build up each year to a peak every 3 to 5 years and then the numbers "crash" ready to begin the cycle again.  This year is a peak year!
Last night I went out to see just how thick they were… and they were everywhere…  these photographs were taken at about 10pm as the earwigs were feasting on the parsley flowers…

I have used all kinds of traps, feeding the captives to the chickens, but even buckets full of the little critters don't seem to make any dent in the population.  
They are a considerable niusance,  but I am not resorting to poisons that I wouldn't want to eat myself.

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