Trap­ing ear­wigs

RTÉ Guide - - Interiors - Der­mot O’Neill’s

As we move into au­tumn, the pop­u­la­tion of ear­wigs in the gar­den can boom, but be­cause they are noc­tur­nal crea­tures, of­ten the first sign that you have a prob­lem are holes ap­pear­ing in dahlias and chrysan­the­mums as well as fruits such as ap­ples. They will of­ten fall out of cut flow­ers brought in­doors.

An easy old- fash­ioned but ef­fec­tive method is to fill a small pot with damp straw and place this up­side down on a bam­boo cane near the plants likely to be at­tacked by ear­wigs. Overnight, ear­wigs will crawl in to hide dur­ing the day. The next morn­ing, you can dis­pose of them. It is worth not­ing that as well as eat­ing holes in dahlias, ear­wigs will also eat green­fly and other small pests.

To pro­tect her fruit trees, I can re­mem­ber my grand­mother rolling fun­nels of cor­ru­gated pa­per and putting them into the trees. As with the pots of straw, it pro­vided the ear­wigs with a place to hide from which they could be eas­ily re­moved be­fore do­ing dam­age.

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