DERYCKX, WOODY (email@example.com)
Tue, 11 Jun 1996 13:55:43 -0700
I have had the opportunity of observing earwigs in tree fruit crops in
various locations over the years and although I don't presume to fully
understand the situation I do have some thoughts to throw out for
consideration. Although earwigs can be aggressive plant feeders under
some situations, especially among seedling vegetables in garden settings
and European earwig damage to veg crops, their business in tree crops
may be more as predators of other insects, mites, eggs, etc than as
plant feeding pests. They do, however, have a presistant and nasty
habit of making shelters in calyxes and stem depressions of ripening
fruit and like all industrious house keepers, they add on and remodel by
chewing fruit tissue. I get shallow tunnels in my organic apples every
year where two or more fruit touch in favorable nesting locations but I
have never seen this as feeding so much as home-making since the sites
are always full of sleeping earwigs and their frass. If it is true
that they are motivated more by their need for shelter (they seem to
like to hole up together in groups - perhaps even family or clan units
as these remarkable insects are said to be the earliest evolutionary
development of offspring attending behavior) then providing them with
superiour shelter may draw them away from fruit while encouraging them
to remain in the canopy to perform beneficial work as general predators.
I have observed Swiss farmers hanging plastic flower pots filled with
wood shavings of the spaghetti like excellsior type as earwig hotels in
apple and pear trees with this intent in mind. It might pay to try
installing a dozen or so inverted cut off plastic popbottles or
something with a good bedding material inside and going out there and
checking to see who's home. They're generally day-sleepers, I believe.
I'd like to hear of your observation...
>From: Matthew Werner[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 1996 2:32 PM
>An apricot grower I am working with has trouble with earwigs getting
>the fruit when it is ripening, before harvest.
>Does anyone have any bright ideas for keeping earwigs out of the fruit,
>without using pesticides?
>Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
>University of California
>1156 High Street
>Santa Cruz, CA