How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific Name: Forficula auricularia
(Reviewed 12/09, updated 6/12, pesticides updated 5/16)
In this Guideline:
Description of the Pest
Earwigs feed at night and can be found hidden around the crowns of the plants during the day. They are slender brown insects, about 0.5 to 0.75 inch (1.25 to 2 cm) long. They have a conspicuous pair of pincers attached to the back end of the abdomen. The adult wing covers are short and leathery. The pest becomes most destructive as nymphs approach maturity from April to July.
Earwig feeding results in small deep holes in the fruit that can only be distinguished from slug damage by the absence of slime. They will also inhabit or catface open-ended fruit.
Cultural control methods to reduce earwig damage include:
Check the bottom of developing fruit for damage and treat if feeding holes are present.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Cucurbits
Insects and Mites
E. T. Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:R. L. Coviello, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
C. B. Fouche, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
J. B. LeBoeuf, AgiData Sensing, Inc., Fresno
M. Murray, UC Cooperative Extension, Colusa and Glenn counties
C. G. Summers, Entomology, UC Davis and Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier