P&PDL Picture of the Week for
June 21, 2004


Tim Gibb, Insect Diagnostician, Department of Entomology, Purdue University

Earwig is the common name of a group of reddish brown insects, approximately 3/4 of an inch in length that possess a distinct set of pincers on their posterior end. While not native to the Americas, they have certainly made themselves at home here and have become a serious nuisance pest in Indiana over the past few years. This year appears to be no exception. Earwigs feed on decaying plant and other organic material - usually in damp and dark areas. They do not attack or bite people and are not a structural pest of homes. They usually invade gardens, yards and buildings where shade keeps things dark and moist. The amount of damage to live plants attributed to earwigs is usually grossly exaggerated.

Our wet spring has increased the potential for this pest to really become a nuisance this year.

Physical removal of earwigs is often sufficient, however 'perimeter' or 'indoor' lableled pesticides also have their place in earwig control.

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Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service