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I have found that washing up liquid mixed with water in a spray bottle kills earwigs in seconds, yes I know it sounds too good to be true, but it does work, although I would like to know if other beneficial creatures will also be effected. I collect the earwigs from upturned flower pots on canes filled with screwed up newspaper, and drop them in a trug and spray them ,away from any other creatures.
Earwigs can be active at this time of year if it's warm enough. Unfortunately we've just had some unusually warm weather for the time of year so it looks like they've been active on plants we wouldn't normally associate them with. They can be helpful in the garden as they eat pests and decaying material so trapping them is often better than outright slaughter.
Another culprit is deer or muntjac, which are partial to spring flowers. Have you kept a watch at dawn and dusk?
Thanks. Definitely not deer or muntjac; as you suggested these, can I asume the alleged toxicity of daffs to mammals is not true? If not, it could still be mice, presumably?
No earwigs lured into upturned flowerpot in which crumpled newspaper, however there were 2 slugs, so maybe it was them after all, although none visible by torchlight last night. Last month's snowdrops met same nibbled fate, so hope to find out what's going on before next spring.
mine are nibbled too. cant find slugs and have used slug pellets etc and cant find any earwigs. The only unusal thing this year is the abundance of spiders. They are running around in the hundreds the border and flowers are alive with them. i have never seen so many. Could the young spiders be to blame?
No spiders do not eat flowers-they are after insects.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. The culprits are still unidentified, but I still blame slugs/snails as our garden is full of them. We need hedgehogs.
Sadly, earlybirdellie, you won't have hedgehogs if you scatter slug pellets about! I live in an area that is known to be devoid of hedgehogs because there are far too many 'tidy' gardens where there is little habitat and the food is poisoned )-:
Deer dont eat daffs or narcissi--about the only thing that is guaranteed deer-proof around here.
FloBear, there are safe slug pellets - Growing Success Advanced Slug Pellets - which are only toxic to slugs and snails. They are harmless to hedgehogs even if they eat the corpses, which they are very unlikely to.
I've been using them since they came out, and still have my hedgehogs, and a plethora of frogs and birds.
Thanks for mentioning these Alina. I have occasionally used these type but unfortunately most people don't.
They are not doing much harm-are you sure it is earwigs doing the damage and not something else?
Try the upturned pot trick mentioned above and you need to find out where they are hiding in the daytime.
Having just stumbled on this thread, I'm wondering whether Triffd House's abundant spiders could be red spider mites, which do damage plants and are not actually red until autumn. It was pretty warm in April.