WSU Extension


Western spotted cucumber beetle 

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Caption: Earwig as nuisance pest on flowers
Photo by: M. Bush
Dahlia : 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 (including apple aphids), mites, and nematodes, as well as on algae, fungi, and decaying plant material. However, earwigs can also damage plants. They sometimes feed on flowers, shoot tips, or leaves. Damaged shoot tips may fail to develop properly, sometimes stunting growth. Damaged leaves exhibit small to large holes.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Remove debris in the garden, which can provide hiding places.
  • Rolled newspapers, burlap bags, or flat boards placed beneath plants 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.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Earwig as nuisance pest on flowers
Photo by: M. Bush
Caption: European earwig
Photo by: Unknown