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Talkback: Earwigs

Hi l have been searching through my books looking for a treatment for earwig damage as they destroyed my daffodils leaves and petals right back to the core.
l have found your information in the pest section and l have found something called Hylex, can you tell me what this is and is it any good for earwigs.


  • I have earwigs in my greenhouse. Are they really a problem? Im a very novice gardner and dont really know which holes are caused by what.
  • I have found that washing up liquid mixed with water in a spray bottle kills earwigs in seconds, yes I know it sounds too good to be true, but it does work, although I would like to know if other beneficial creatures will also be effected. I collect the earwigs from upturned flower pots on canes filled with screwed up newspaper, and drop them in a trug and spray them ,away from any other creatures.

  • The petals of over half of the dwarf daffodils planted in my lawn have been nibbled, making them look quite unsightly. This has never happened before. Having ruled out slugs and snails (no corpses visible after scattering of pellets), I wondered if it could be mice, but aren't daffoldils toxic or at least distasteful to mammals? Now I wonder if earwigs may be the culprits. I will try the organic method described above to confirm suspicions. Is there a less organic way to deal with them? Or could the blame for the damage lie elsewhere?
  • Hello earlybirdie,

    Earwigs can be active at this time of year if it's warm enough. Unfortunately we've just had some unusually warm weather for the time of year so it looks like they've been active on plants we wouldn't normally associate them with. They can be helpful in the garden as they eat pests and decaying material so trapping them is often better than outright slaughter.

    Another culprit is deer or muntjac, which are partial to spring flowers. Have you kept a watch at dawn and dusk?

    Emma team

  • Thanks.  Definitely not deer or muntjac; as you suggested these, can I asume the alleged toxicity of daffs to mammals is not true?  If not, it could still be mice, presumably?

    No earwigs lured into upturned flowerpot in which crumpled newspaper, however there were 2 slugs, so maybe it was them after all, although none visible by torchlight last night.  Last month's snowdrops met same nibbled fate, so hope to find out what's going on before next spring. 


  • mine are nibbled too. cant find slugs and have used slug pellets etc and  cant find any earwigs. The only unusal thing this year is the abundance of spiders. They are running around in the hundreds the border and flowers are alive with them. i have never seen so many. Could the young spiders be to blame?

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    No spiders do not eat flowers-they are after insects.

  • Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  The culprits are still unidentified, but I still blame slugs/snails as our garden is full of them.  We need hedgehogs.

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Sadly, earlybirdellie, you won't have hedgehogs if you scatter slug pellets about! I live in an area that is known to be devoid of hedgehogs because there are far too many 'tidy' gardens where there is little habitat and the food is poisoned )-:

  • InkadogInkadog Posts: 492

    Deer dont eat daffs or narcissi--about the only thing that is guaranteed deer-proof around here.

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