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  • What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

    Posted by Raven on Thursday, June 27, 2002 11:43 PM ADT

    Hello: I live in an earwig infested area. I hate the things, they are creepy! I don't use any insecticides except Safer's soap or plain old dishwater- but I'm thinking about something different. They don't seem to like my geraniums, which is great. So I plant things I want to be safe with them, hoping this will work- I container garden alot. My question is: Does anyone know of other plants that will repel earwigs and other non-wanted bugs? Anything? Any help will be much gardening sanity depends on it! Thanks, Heather

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Jenn on Friday, June 28, 2002 7:57 PM ADT

      Have you tried marigolds!!! they come in all sizes from 2 to 3 inches to about 3 feet. they are reputed for repelling bugs!!!!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Angie on Monday, July 1, 2002 6:26 PM ADT

      Infestations uysually indicate that there's something around someone's property that certain bugs love. Maybe if you got rid of their favourite food, you could get rid of them. Why don't you go to the library and research earwigs to see if you can get any clues. It may also give you some repellents that are also environmentally friendly.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Raven on Monday, July 1, 2002 11:41 PM ADT

      Thanks! Yes- I've tried Marigolds, they loved them. (As a meal!) Chewed them to bits...they liked nicotiana, too. So I don't grow them anymore. Earwigs are rambant in this county, and they love damp places and old wood. We have both. I also have animals, so I have sawdust, shavings and hay around, and other things to entise them. Luckily tho- I'm raising chickens shortly, and they love earwigs! (Last year I gave the chickens free rein in my gardens, - they did a great job, and didn't bother my plants.)

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Tracey on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 3:54 PM ADT

      If you do not like insecticides try using dish soap and water and spray around your plants and house. May be an old wives tale? But might be worth a try.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Victoria on Saturday, March 8, 2008 3:34 PM AST

      dahlias are a favorite of earwigs. And dahlias are a favorite of mine also. Soaps do nothing nor do mariglods. I am also on here looking for alternatives. anybody? Maybe planting garlic around them? I use the little sliver diametric earth when I plant but this only helps a little. I have 3 little dogs that also love the garden so chemicals are not an option.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Miranda on Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:04 PM ADT

      i've seached the net and can't find anything but incecticides to get ride of earwigs. i'm looking for a non harmful way to keep them off my corn, and tomatoes

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Lorraine on Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:57 PM ADT

      Pretty hard to find a plant to keep them away but if you want to collect them every day, you put a long hollow tube or rolled up newspaper, closed at one end, on the ground where they are most seen. Every day you take a container of soapy water and shake the tube over it. The earwigs are trapped in there. They can`t come out once they have crawled in. It works, I`ve tried it. Also when I first see earwigs, I pour warm soapy water all along the foundation of the house.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Sarah Frazier on Monday, July 6, 2009 6:51 PM ADT

      I too have the same problem with earwigs.They do not like geranimuns but what other plants don`t they like? I would plant them if I knew. Hope some help out there.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Bill Carroll on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 1:22 AM ADT

      I just saw a clip which said citrus oils are an effective treatment for earwigs. Lemon and orange oil were mentioned in particular. What is effective on slugs? i have heard that earwigs feed on slugs and aphids. Has anyone any info on this?

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Brittany on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:20 PM ADT

      I have always had a terrible problem with slugs and earwigs in my garden. I found that placing a pie tin on beer ever 10 feet in every other row of our garden seems to attract and take care of the slug problem. I still haven't found a cure for the earwigs though. All I know is they're gross and I hate it that get to eat my tomatoes before I do.

    • Earwigs are nice

      Posted by Wisey McSanePerson on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2:59 AM AST

      Guys, what's with all the hatred of earwigs? You guys are carrying a fear of them from childhood. I did that too for a long time. I remember my aunt and mother screaming if one was found in the house. Thinking back on it now, it's ridiculous. They may not win any regular insect beauty contest but they're not a bad insect (and no they don't crawl in your ear and lay eggs). If you read about them, you may even learn to love them. At the very least, get rid of your fear of them. They are known to do some damage to gardens when in large numbers and really only then to particular plants, but they can also help to keep down the pest population, such as aphids. Read about them here: Like them! They're weird and cool!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by elizabeth on Saturday, January 30, 2010 4:51 PM AST

      Not sure if this will work in the garden, but in my hanging planter I did have a lot of earwigs, and put a few cloves of garlic in there, did not water it for a few days, and the earwigs were gone. If you see any eggs, you will have to get rid of them yourself, or hopefully the garlic will take care of them for you. Good Luck elizabeth

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by vik on Thursday, February 4, 2010 2:05 PM AST

      Every year the earwigs devour my marigolds but they never touch my nasturtiums!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Damien on Friday, February 12, 2010 1:19 PM AST

      A teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle of water kills them within seconds, I've sprayed them off my plants, and in the soil, most plants don't get too bothered by the spray. The best way to use this technique is to find their sleeping places during the day, I've killed hundreds in minutes by simply lifting a few railroad ties and spraying till my fingers are tired. Make some suitable sleeping places for them, then you know where to strike when they get out of hand.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Tara on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 2:50 PM ADT

      Would love more ideas on the plants to grow. Don't have a garden yet, I am still working on a few in the house plants, but I intend to someday and while I don't really mind slugs or spiders I HATE earwigs so would like to be prepared.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by nashira on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:03 PM ADT

      Things they love: food, damp clothes, crumbs, cracks, sticky fruit juices, flowers, plants, veggies, beer and dark places Things they hate: the feeling of being crushed by a shoe, fantastik, soapy water (takes the oil off their backs, kills em in about 10 seconds), basically any household cleaner, chlorine, they can drown as well and no place to hide on a hot summer day. Don't be afraid of earwigs, they may look dangerous but their stingers aren't venomous! And them crawling into your ear is highly unlikely, you are a long way up from the floor! The chance of getting an earwig in your ear is the same as getting any other insect in your ear. If you have kids, tell them for every ear wig you stomp on and kill, I'll give you 5 cents. In about ten minutes you'll owe them about 5 bucks and your backyard will be earwig free! There is no way to fully get rid of earwigs. Brought here in 1907 by the Europeans, they are an invasive species that are eaten by many things. Earwigs have the ability to fly as well, with wings folded in their backs. But it is against their instinct. Hint: DON'T KILL SPIDERS! THEY DEVOUR EARWIGS! An earwig can grow up to 1 inch long before death. Earwigs are found all over the place, don't worry, you're not alone!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Mary on Monday, July 12, 2010 10:43 AM ADT

      I've found earwigs won't eat geraniums, lobelia and begonias -- my garden is full of earwigs and they leave those plants alone. Good luck!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Deb on Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:15 PM ADT

      I have earwigs but I haven't seen any damage done to my mint plants that i keep for mojito's :) or my astilbe's !

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Elizabeth on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:08 PM ADT

      I have a mild earwig infestation in my house due to a mild ant infestation. Nothing we have tried has managed to get either under control. My husband wants to bug bomb the house but I am really worried about the poison residue since we have three kids and two cats. Someone suggested that I add mint to my indoor herb garden to repel the ants so I am trying to find a solution for the earwigs too.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Arik on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 4:05 PM ADT

      For Elizabeth and her ants: we have had great success using cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and/or lemon juice as a barrier for ants. (Since you have kids and pets, maybe skip the pepper, though I don't think it would do any permanent damage). For earwigs, I don't know of any plants that repel (that's why I'm reading this!). But to get rid of them, my wife says that damp rolled up newspaper lures them in, then after a few days stomp on it and throw them in the trash. But don't leave it too long or you've given them a nice home to lay eggs.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Brenda on Sunday, March 6, 2011 11:48 PM AST

      One thing you can do is put a glass bowl with water soy sauce at ground level around the plants they love to eat or put nice sticks to help them climb into the bowl. In the morning, if you infestation is as bad as ours was last year the whole top of the bowl and sometimes the entire thing will be covered in dead earwigs. Place that next to your beer traps in the garden. Just remember to empty and refill every couple days. It works, but is a lot of maintenance.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Brenda on Monday, March 7, 2011 1:07 AM AST

      correction of previous message: you put soy sauce with a little vegetable oil as well in the bowls (I use the small pyrex type measuring bowls). The soy sauce attracts them and the vegetable oil traps them.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by colleen on Monday, May 30, 2011 1:58 PM ADT

      Well, nightmares of last year are coming back. We had a# of the critters-earwigs enter through a crack in the basement. My husband went outside the basement window one night and literally saw thousands (he said it)around the grass/foundation area of the house. Every evening we would see them on the wall, the counter top and any crevaces inside. There were probably 10 each night on the main level of our home. Doesn't seem like a lot, but where were the ones we did not see? It took us a couple of weeks but we did get rid of them in our home and saw fewer #'s outside. We tried everything we read about, from tins of mixtures to rolled up newspapers to hoses. Nothing worked!!! We took things into our own hands and sealed the area(s) we thought were the entry points. Then I went around our property trimming shrubs, removing groundcover and all things that harboured a possible earwig. I am being very kind here. When I finished, my property looked like it had been ravaged by a tornado. My shrubs were very small and the ragwort was all gone (this was July last year)as groundcover. Hostas and young cedar bushes were ripped up. When these things get in your house, you go a little snakey!! I wanted NO shadows or dark places around my house. After that, I bought 5 spray bottles, one for each member of my family, and a natural insectide.(I was assured it would not be harmful, other than to earwigs). I did not want anything harmful to butterflies, bees etc, and animals in my community. We diluted the concentrated liquid and went on the attack. I should inform you that my children are university age. We sprayed crevaces around the outside of our home, deck, chairs, siding, etc. It seemed to work much like dish soap does, but you have to come into contact with them. We got rid of a large # of earwigs, which was our goal. We were overwelmed by the #'s and needed to manage them somehow. I would like to mention, when I picked up my flower pots (3 on my deck) one did not have earwigs under it-ever! It was the one with impatients in it. All my other baskets and my flower baskets had a variety in them with a petunia focus, but no impatients. They love petunias! I will be planting impatients with liberty this summer. I will also remove our wood pile to the back area of our property and remove cedar mulch around my foundation. We have had so much rain, I am scared of the #'s this year. Today is the first sunny day and I begin my earwig natural management journey 2011. Good luck all!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Terri on Saturday, October 1, 2011 10:58 AM ADT

      A few years ago we had a bad infestation of earwigs. They were even in the house and I was ready to move out. I found them climbing up my fridge, in my turkey baster and electric kettle. Gross little bug.....! I've been told that they can nip you, but I've never been close enough to one for that to happen. I did have one on my t-shirt once, but it wasn't there for long after I started swatting myself like crazy. Water with dish soap seems to work the best if you're looking for a natural remedy. I've also heard that they migrate. We don't have a lot this year which is fine with me. Good luck, everybody.

    • NO i'm not scared I just hate them for eating everything

      Posted by lou on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 4:46 PM ADT

      NO i'm not scared of them I hate them cos they eat my seedling in entirity afgter planting out, if any do get to grow big enough to bear fruit they eat that along with my tomatoes, and every single passion flower. Earwig (and slug) patrol before bed tip them from the wall/plant into jam jar of water and put the lid on, thats they only success i've had at stricking back at the infestation the last tennets (who liked the wild look) left.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Susan on Sunday, June 24, 2012 9:44 AM ADT

      My experience so far is they've eat up the leaves on every plant I've planted around my house. My climbing rose bushes and my honeysuckle leaves were ravaged as were my climbing grape vine leaves and the fruits when they start to appear. They've killed my petunias, marigolds and any butterfly friendly shrub I've attempted to plant. I agree with the other post that they don't seem to like impatience. I have a bunch they haven't touched. I'm going to try the geraniums as that was the one plant I hadn't tried. Funnily, the same ones that repel earwigs are also the ones that other insects are not that fond of. Bummer...because I really would love to have butterfly/bee & hummingbird friendly plants but the earwigs seem to go along with it. I tried the solution of 1 tbs oil, 1 1bs soya sauce + 1 tbs molasses suggestion I read in another post. I put out 6 separate little dishes and put them into the ground and grass so the edges of the dish were flush with the top of grass or soil. I've done that 3 nights in a row and each morning all dishes were full of them...except the ones where I didn't get the dish flush enough with the surface of the dish. It makes me realize though just how bad the infestation is. I'll try the soap/water and rolled up wet paper next. Marigolds do not work..they obliterated mine last year in no time.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Stephanie on Monday, June 24, 2013 5:18 AM ADT

      I just set up a test of some natural insect repellants: cayenne, tobacco tea, garlic. I applied each of these to zinnia seedlings, then offered them to a female earwig who came in with the garlic. She was not repelled. She walked onto every sample I offered her and found a tender spot to begin eating. She did seem repelled by a spray I made with cayenne, tobacco tea, plus dish soap and mouthwash (about 1 Tablespoon of each in a gallon of water). PLANTS earwigs love: marigolds, zinnias, & beets. Plants they leave alone: mums, native prairie flowers, most garden vegetables. I let them stay in the vegetable garden because they are omnivorous predators & probably eat caterpillar eggs & other pesky herbivores.

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Margie on Saturday, June 29, 2013 10:37 AM ADT

      Earwigs are such a pest were we live. They eat everything before it can even get second leaves. They don't seem to like peas or chives but that seems to be the end of it. We put out tuna cans with oil. That works really well as they can climb the paper sides so you don't have to bury them. Also diatomaceous earth works well, but it can take out other bugs you maybe want, and should never be breathed. Add squash and potatoes to plants that they love. Unfortunately there are far more that they love than they hate!

    • re: What plants to keep earwigs at bay?

      Posted by Angie on Monday, August 26, 2013 3:40 PM ADT

      Earwigs devastated out garden of impatiens this year. From all these postings I learn EARWIGS DO NOT LIKE: Nasturtiums, Geraniums, Lobelia, Begonias, Mint. ANY OTHERS WE CAN PLANT NEXT YEAR?

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