This year we have come across a new "friend" that has been sharing our garden plants with us. Earwigs.
We have found that earwigs will nibble on most any plants, even some flowers or onion tops! When they munch, they generally eat the leaf parts, and not the stem or veins. When they are finished with Chinese Cabbage, it looks like lace!
The reason that we had so much trouble with these little creatures this year, is because God blessed us with much rain in the early Spring, and the mulch we use on our garden held that moisture in.
Our system of mulching is usually our best friend. It keeps the produce clean, soil most, and the weeds down.
So, not wanting to get rid of the mulch, we researched on how to get rid of the earwigs.
We tried a few different things:
We spread diatomaceous earth on the plants that were being eaten.
- Diatomaceous earth (or DE) is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine off-white powder. Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae.
- When earwigs walk through the DE, the sharp shards of the hard-shelled algae, it cuts their bodies, and they bleed to death.
We sprayed the earwigs with soap water at night.
- The soap water covers over their skin, through which they breathe, thus suffocating them.
Lastly, we tried making beer traps with crude homemade beer!
- The homemade beer is made up of water, brown sugar, and yeast, then left open on the counter to sit and ferment for a few days.
Then you take the beer, and put it into containers, and set out in the garden. The earwigs crawl into the traps (along with other bugs), and they die.
These 3 things (and God's hand) seemed to help bring the earwig population under control. We did have a dry spell in late June, early July, which also played into their demise.
Two other suggestions for earwig problems:
Plant Chinese cabbage among the other plants in your garden to deter them from eating the other ones.
- Try putting out containers with soy sauce and a little bit of oil. The soy sauce attracts the earwigs, and the oil keeps them from crawling out of the container.
We hope your gardening adventures help you to learn along the way, as we always are!