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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

European earwig.


European Earwig

Scientific Name: Forficula auricularia

(Reviewed 11/07, updated 11/07)

In this Guideline:


Earwigs are about 0.5 inch long, shiny brown, and have a pair of forcepslike structures at the back end of the abdomen. They are nocturnal and their presence or damage may go unnoticed until harvest. There are two generations per year.


Earwigs feed on fruit and foliage. Foliage feeding is of little concern in mature trees. However, shoot-tip feeding on young trees may stunt normal growth. Earwig feeding results in shallow, irregular feeding areas on the fruit surface.


Management requires the removal of daytime harboring sites and prevention of access to fruit before it ripens.

Cultural Control
Remove weeds from around the base of trees. Keep orchard clear of prunings, loose bark, or debris under which earwigs could nest. Remove tree limbs that come in contact with soil to prevent alternate access to trees.

Earwigs can be trapped by applying Tanglefoot or a similar material applied to the tree to prevent their crawling up. Before emergence of the nymphs, wrap the trunk tightly with plastic wrap so that the insects can't crawl beneath the wrap. Apply the Tanglefoot to the plastic wrap, not the tree, as it can soften bark. Remove the bands before winter.

Organically Acceptable Methods
Cultural controls are acceptable for use on organically grown apricots.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
Place boards or rolled-up newspapers in the orchard in early spring and monitor weekly for earwigs that hide under the boards or in newspapers. Treat at the beginning of spring activity when earwigs are found.

Common name Amount to Use** R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name) (conc.) (dilute) (hours) (days)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to the impact on natural enemies and honey bees and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
  (Sevin) XLR PLUS 3–4 qt 0.75–1 qt 12 1
  COMMENTS: Spray on trunks and crotches of trees at the beginning of spring activity. Once high populations are found in trees such an application will no longer be effective, and a foliar spray, which may cause increased spider mite populations, is necessary. Do not apply more than 14 qt/acre/crop.
**  For concentrate applications, use the amount given in 80-100 gal water/acre or lower if the label allows; for dilute application, amount is per 100 gal water to be applied in 300-400 gal water/acre, according to label.
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode of action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Apricot
UC ANR Publication 3433
Insects and Mites
W. W. Coates, UC Cooperative Extension, San Benito County
R. A. Van Steenwyk, Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
K. R. Day, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
K. A. Kelley, UC Cooperative Extension, Stanislaus County
J. L. Caprile, UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:
L. C. Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County

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