The fall months are a peak time for apple farmers in Utah and Colorado. Consumers look forward to this season each year, buying apples in bulk for baking and canning purposes, as well as for enjoying them fresh. Harvests fuel shipments to grocery stores, local markets, and commercial food production facilities, representing significant shares of yearly profits. Making sure your crop is in peak condition is a primary concern.
There are a variety of different pests that can wreak havoc for apple farmers, with the earwig being among the most common in Utah and Colorado. At Elevate Pest Control, we can help you get rid of this nuisance before they damage your apple harvest and invade your home. Eliminating them is a top priority, but you may want to be aware that researchers have found some benefits these tiny bugs can provide.
Earwigs In Colorado & Utah
The European earwig is a common nuisance pest throughout the northwestern portion of the country. As relatively recent residents compared to some other bugs, the University of Colorado states that they began growing in number throughout our area during the 1950s. Commonly referred to as ‘pincher bugs’, they have brown bodies with redheads and are easy to identify by the prominent forceps located on the rear of their bodies. At just over a half-inch long, they are nocturnal creatures, hiding in dark, dank areas during the day. At night they come out and forage for food.
Earwigs can often be found hiding under flower pots or other containers, as well as in stacks of newspapers or cardboard, particularly if it is wet. In the garden, they may take up residence under rocks, under piles of old wood, or in other yard debris. They eat a wide range of materials and are often drawn to leafy plants and flowers. For apple farmers, they can cause damage to crops by eating holes in leaves and burrowing into damaged spots in the fruit your trees produce.
The Impact Of Earwigs On Crops
Earwigs are no doubt a nuisance pest, but some of the fear they generate is based more on myth than on facts. Apple farmers are justified in being concerned about large numbers of earwigs invading orchards, but there are times when these bugs can be beneficial to plants. The Western Integrated Pest Management Center, which is funded by the USDA, advises that earwigs are natural aphid predators and often feed on other bugs, including maggots, mites, and insect eggs. As a result, there is a growing body of research to indicate that earwigs might actually be helpful to apple growers in some ways.
As earwigs feed at night, you are unlikely to notice them eating other insects. While they may appear to have infested your apples, they likely only took advantage of the damage caused by other pests and are using these tight, warm spots as their home base, before moving on to other areas at night.
Woolly apple aphids and grubs are far more common threats for apple growers and earwigs can potentially help to reduce this problem. However, they are still a pest you will want to address before they do damage to the leaves on trees and other produce you intend to harvest.
When Earwigs Get Into Your Home
One of the very real concerns with earwigs is that they can move from your crops into your home. Earwigs can infest the areas outside, hiding in mulch, planters, and stacks of firewood. They can easily be transferred indoors through boxes, paper products, or even through the clothes you wear while gardening.
As a result, they can often be found infesting laundry rooms, bathrooms, basements and other areas where tight, moist, dark spaces can be found. They can do extensive damage to houseplants, baskets, and other woven or wood objects. While earwigs are not particularly aggressive and do not ‘sting’ or transfer any venom to victims, they do have pincers which they will occasionally use on your fingers, feet, or other sensitive body parts.
How Our Earwig Control Experts Can Help
At Elevate Pest Control, we can conduct a thorough inspection of your property, locating areas both indoors and out where earwigs are most likely hiding. Our local pest control team eliminate these pests and keep them from returning in the future. The methods we use are fast and effective methods, yet safe for use around children, pets, and your apple crops. Call or contact our local pest control experts online and request a free consultation today.