WSU Extension


Corn : Earwigs
(revision date: 7/13/2015)

Earwigs are reddish-brown insects about 3/4" or less in length. Both males and females have pincers at the rear end. Earwigs are largely beneficial, feeding on many pests such as aphids, mites, and nematodes, as well as on algae, fungi, and decaying plant material. However, earwigs can also damage plants. They may feed on the corn silks, which prevents pollination and results in partially filled ears. Symptoms include short silks, partly filled ears, and earwigs present on the silks and in the ears.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Rolled newspapers, burlap bags, or flat boards placed along rows can serve both as monitoring devices and as traps for earwigs, which prefer narrow, enclosed hiding places. The earwigs can be destroyed when the material covering them is removed.
  • Remove debris in the garden, which can provide hiding places.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended.

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Caption: An adult European earwig
Photo by: M. Bush
Caption: European earwig
Photo by: Unknown