Friday, 17 October 2008

Catching Earwigs!!!!

It's the time of the year when the European Earwigs (Forficula auricularia) start eating everything in sight. They can destroy young seedlings overnight! If you go outside with a torch after dark they will be there. You can squish them but wear gloves coz they nip at your fingers with those nasty pincers they have! They absolutely love mulched gardens.

While allowing the chooks to scratch through last seasons crops and mulch works at reducing numbers of these creatures I can't always time that right. My friends the lizards eat these nasties too and sometimes the chooks eat my little lizard friends eek so I find other ways to deal with them!

You can trap them in old tuna tins filled with cooking oil and water but these need to be emptied regularly or they start to stink! I've also accidentally caught lizards in these pots too. cry

My favourite way is to get some old hose pipe and cut it into 30cm lengths. For some reason the weepy hose made from recycled car tyres seems to work the best. I have plenty of this as I've replaced all mine and refuse to use them anymore because they go brittle after about a year and split easily. They also leach chemicals so are not recommended for use in vegetable gardens!

I place these lengths of hose around the garden partially hidden in the mulch. Each morning I go out with a bucket and shake the hose pipes into it

...out roll the earwigs into the bucket.

Then it's down to the chookies for their morning treat!
They love 'em.

Only one problem...after doing this for a short while there are few earwigs left for the chookies now! rolleyes

I should stress that these are European Earwigs not Native Australian ones...these native ones are mainly predators (some of the Codling Moth larvae) so that makes those ones my friends! wink

Catching the European Earwigs while they are alive means that I can remove any of the Native 'Good Guys' (they are easily identified) so the chooks don't eat my friends! cool


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