How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific Name: Forficula auricularia
(Reviewed 10/14, updated 10/14)
In this Guideline:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST
Adult earwigs are about 0.5 inch long, shiny brown, and have a pair of forceps-like structures at the back end of the abdomen. They are nocturnal, and their presence or damage may go unnoticed until harvest. There is one generation per year. Females overwinter and lay consecutive broods so there can be two distinct nymph hatchings, one in the late spring and one in the early summer.
Earwigs feed on fruit and foliage. Foliage feeding is of little concern in mature trees. However, shoot-tip feeding on young trees may stunt normal growth. Earwig feeding results in shallow, irregular feeding areas on the fruit surface.
Management requires the removal of daytime harboring sites and prevention of access to fruit before it ripens.
Remove weeds from around the base of trees. Keep orchard clear of prunings, loose bark, or debris under which earwigs could nest. Remove tree limbs that come in contact with soil to prevent alternate access to trees.
For a limited number of trees, earwigs could be trapped by applying Tanglefoot or a similar material to the tree to prevent earwigs from crawling up the tree:
This technique is very labor intensive, especially because applications often have to be repeated several times during the season as dust accumulates on the sticky material.
Organically Acceptable Methods
Use cultural controls and the Entrust formulation of spinosad on organically grown apricots.
Place boards, rolled-up newspapers, corrugated cardboard, or cardboard trunk bands in the orchard in early spring and monitor them weekly for the presence of earwigs. Start treatments when earwigs start appearing, because control is best if applications are made when nymphs are emerging and before they move into the tree canopy.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Apricot
Insects and Mites
W. W. Coates, UC Cooperative Extension, San Benito County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:L. C. Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County