Dahlia: Earwigs

categories: Bulbs Dahlia Dahlia Insects Ornamentals

revision date: 2024-06-12 08:56

An earwig on a rose flower stem.
Earwig as nuisance pest on flowers
Photo by: M. Bush


Earwigs are reddish-brown insects about 3⁄4 inch 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

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended

Additional Images