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(9 Posts)
notthehippopotamus Mon 25-Jul-11 10:12:04

I've been wondering for ages what has been eating the plants in my garden, and we've also been getting a lot of earwigs in the house. After a bit of research it looks as if the earwigs are doing the eating too. I've put in a lot of young plants recently as it's a completely new garden, and some of them including my little wisteria (long-term project!) are looking very chewed.

Does anyone have any good advice to deal with them? Any ideas greatly appreciated!

Ponders Mon 25-Jul-11 10:38:20

I found an earwig on my hydrangea the other day so I looked it up at the back of the Flower Expert - he says

'they are night feeders, hiding in the petals during the day. To control this pest, shake the stems & then spray plants & ground thoroughly with Long-last or Hexyl'

My hydrangea hasn't got any flowers though (sad) & the one I found was on the leaves confused

When I was little my grandad grew dahlias, & he used to put upside-down flowerpots on canes amongst them - the earwigs used to hide in them & then they could be knocked out & squashed. You might be supposed to put straw inside, I can't remember...

(Have you got slugs/snails too? They are very good at hiding)

Ponders Mon 25-Jul-11 10:46:15


Gardeners' World website - the flowerpots need straw or shredded paper inside


the whole problem solving section looks really useful, it has pests & diseases & other problems, I'm going to hang on to that!

notthehippopotamus Tue 26-Jul-11 09:40:35

Thank you Ponders - that section looks excellent. Will try the flowerpots method. smile

Meanwhile DH, who has been humanely releasing the earwigs caught indoors back out of the back door, has been instructed to despatch them in left-over homebrew instead.

Haven't seen many slugs or snails, and a lot of the damage is high up on the young leaves of my climbers (honeysuckle, clematis etc.) whereas some lettuces are comparatively untouched, so it didn't quite seem to fit with slugs!

Ponders Tue 26-Jul-11 20:12:55

I expect they'll enjoy the beer (briefly grin)

shoots Tue 26-Jul-11 20:22:12

Hi I posted recently about my clematis which is also being attacked with young shoots (hence the nn!) and leaves completely eaten and destroyed. I think it is earwigs and we also have loads of them. I sympathise as I've also planted lots of new climbers and young plants this year - am going to avoid clematis from now on (shame) and buy some more ivy as it doesn't seem to get harmed!

Hate using sprays but the flowerpot thing hasn't worked for me..

Ponders Tue 26-Jul-11 20:32:25

well sometimes chemicals are the only way, shoots - good luck smile

notthehippopotamus Mon 01-Aug-11 22:37:22

Just thought I'd add to this, to report that DH tried a technique he found on the internet - variant of the flowerpots and straw - with great success. Old ice-cream tub with holes made in the side and vegetable oil in the bottom, weighed down with stones on the lid and tucked under the plants where it's dark. 20 of them crawled in over night the first night and got stuck in the oil and drowned. Apparently there is a video of how to do this on Youtube.

Needless to say DH's proposal to use olive oil was vetoed - I gave him the bottle of sunflower oil instead! grin

Ponders Tue 02-Aug-11 09:57:48

wow - what a neat idea!

(& then did you fry them for breakfast? grin)

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