Earwigs chomping their way through Sudbury gardens

Something other than you may be dining on your garden this summer.
Ear wigs love cool, damp areas during the day, and come out at night, says a Sudbury gardening expert. They live in leaf compost and will eat just about anything, including the swiss chard plant pictured above. But they will also eat other garden pests, like aphids. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)
Earwigs seem to be thriving this summer under the cool weather. We spoke to a master gardener about how to keep your garden safe. 5:42

Something other than you may be dining on your garden this summer.

A pest control company serving northeastern Ontario says people are reporting earwig infestations.

Abell Pest Control says there are about 25 per cent more calls than usual.

Spokeswoman Ruby Gowan said the calls started early — in June instead of the usual July.

The only control measure is to put insecticide around the foundation of your house so earwigs don't enter, she said.

But she noted earwigs try to avoid people.

“Contrary to the rumour, or old wives' tale, they do not go into peoples' ears and they do not eat your brains.”

Gowan added that calls to deal with mice, ants and wasps are also up this year, and blames the cooler, damper weather for creating a good environment for pests.

“It's just been a really, really strange season.”

A master gardener in Sudbury said earwigs don't deserve their bad reputation.

“Earwigs also eat other insects, such as aphids, so they're not entirely bad guys,” Linda Hugli said. “But unfortunately they're really creepy.”

To cut down on the earwig population, people should remove garden hoses and cut back bushes growing against buildings, Hugli said, as those dark, damp spots are where earwigs like to gather.


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