Earwigs & Other Common Landscaping Pests to Look Out For
Earwigs – a Common Pest in Orange County
We have a love-hate relationship when it comes to earwigs. Under normal population growth, they snack on slugs, snails, and plant decay, which helps garden ecology flourish. But, after the rainy season or in cases where gardens are located in a shady, wet area, these landscaping pests can quickly get out of control.
With a bunch of bitten foliage and chewed vegetables adding more hours in the garden, how can homeowners manage an earwig infestation? What other landscaping pests are pertinent in Orange County? Read on to find out!
What Are Earwigs and How to Manage Them
With terrifying pinchers and a shiny outer shell, earwigs appear to have climbed quite literally out of a horror movie. These creepy insects are long and flat, measuring out to approximately .2-2 inches in length.
For centuries, rumor spread that earwigs crawled into people’s ears at night (yikes!) which perhaps is how they got their name. Rest assured, this is only myth, and likely came about because the insect is more active at night and (some species) secrete a wax-like odor.
How to Get an Earwig Infestation Under Control
These pests are known to invade freshly planted gardens. One solution involves laying out newspaper traps (wet newspaper spread out along the garden grounds). Using newspaper traps is a great alternative to pesticides, which not only affects a garden’s ecology but also our health (and anyone else’s) who eats those garden greens.
Because they thrive on moisture, the earwigs are naturally drawn into the newspaper traps. The next day, homeowners can quickly throw out the traps (along with the earwigs on them) away from their garden.
What Common Landscaping Pests Pervade Orange County?
Earwigs aren’t the only pesky garden critters to keep an eye on; here are three more common pests:
White flies feast on plant sap, damaging the plant and, if left unchecked, killing it. Prevent this from happening by introducing ladybugs, a known predator to white flies.
Snails and Slugs
Snails and slugs can easily be spotted munching on plants and vegetables. To get rid of them, lay out orange peels and cabbage traps around the garden. Like earwigs and wet newspaper, the snails and slugs will flock (or sludge?) to the traps. The next day, quickly dispose of the traps.
Although microscopic gall mites are impossible to spot by the naked eye, they can quickly infest gardens. The result? Hundreds of red raised bumps on plant leaves will appear. Gall mites are not necessarily harmful but it’s best to keep these little guys at bay for optimal garden health.
Be sure to prune infested foliage (wearing gloves to avoid spreading), and dispose of infected leaves and plants away from the garden.
For more information about how to keep common pests under control, check out our blog.
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