Understanding Earwigs - Friend or Foe?

Despite their bad reputation, the earwig is more helpful than destructive to your garden and lawn. While their name may be misleading, in order to maintain a healthy yard the earwig can actually be a valuable insect that will eat unwanted pests and decaying vegetation. With the proper lawn care services you might even learn to love this creepy crawler instead of loathing it.

What is an Earwig?
In spite of the false belief that the earwig crawls and nests in a person’s ear, this misunderstood insect is actually a nocturnal, human-fearing insect. Earwigs thrive in moist crevices during the day and feed on other insects and plants at night. While roughly 2,000 species of earwigs have been discovered worldwide, there are a few species commonly found in North America; these include the Common Earwig, the Spine Tailed Earwig, and the Maritime Earwig. While their pinchers may look threatening they are not dangerous to humans; if they are found in your home they are lost and looking for a way outside. Utilizing one of Nutri-Lawn’s professionally installed Ottawa lawn irrigation systems is one way to support earwigs, as the moisture will help maintain a healthy yard for your insect friends to live in.

Why are they Beneficial?
Although they will eat live plants if there is a lack of other food, the earwig is most likely to feed on decaying vegetation, such as clovers and dahlias, insects, including lice and spiders, and predators, such as yellow jackets, birds, lizards and centipedes. In order to avoid having earwigs resort to eating your growing plants, remember to take advantage of lawn care services, such as Nutri-Lawn’s fertilization options, will not only provide your plants with nutrients but also supply food to the earwig. While a large number of earwigs can cause damage, these insects are often mistakenly blamed for harming plants. It is often necessary to go out at night and see what pest is actually causing destruction to your garden. If a large number of earwigs prove to be the problem, using organic insect maintenance is a viable way to bring the population back to a helpful, not harmful, number:

  • Things to Look For: Does the lawn improve with watering? If not, insects have likely eaten roots or damaged the leaves of your plants.
  • Where to Look: You will find the damaging insects around the border of the damaged area, or the transition zone where healthy turf is beginning to show damage
  • Calling the Experts: You can call Nutri-Lawn experts for insect identification and organic maintenance options such as fertilization, overseeding and/or lawn irrigation services in Ottawa.

How to Treat Them
There are simple home-remedies to treating a problematic number of earwigs in your garden. An option may be rolling up pieces of paper and using this source of shade to attract the insects during the day so you can then remove them from your yard. An even easier way to manage the insect is through the professional lawn care services offered by Nutri-Lawn. Lawn programs such as the Organic Plus Program and Organic Plus Ultimate are designed to produce a healthy yard environment by implementing options such as weed control and nutrient feedings in addition to lawn irrigation services in Ottawa.

Next time you are in the garden and notice damage, don't immediately assume earwigs are the culprit. If you are experiencing any decay to your yard contact the Nutri-Lawn experts toll-free at 613-699-0768 for more information on how lawn care services and lawn irrigation in Ottawa can solve any earwig troubles.