European earwigs should be considered beneficial as they feed on many plant pests, such as aphids, mites and insect eggs. Earwigs hide during the day and roam to eat at night. They occasionally feed on flower blossoms and garden vegetables but this damage is usually minimal.
This insect is readily identified by the pair of prominent forceps located at the rear of the body. Earwigs have a false and undeserved reputation of entering human ears or their forceps causing a painful pinch. These old-wives-tales and the fact that earwigs hide in inconspicuous places such as tree cracks, dark areas of homes, etc. have given the insect a bad reputation.
Earwigs can sometimes be considered a nuisance when they enter homes. Invasions peak in late summer. To deter earwigs from invading the home, clean up outdoor debris along foundation walls. In the garden, an effective trap is a moistened, rolled-up newspaper placed overnight where earwigs have been suspected of feeding. In the morning, the newspapers can be crushed and disposed.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ script(s).
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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013