ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Earwigs: Garden Foe or Friend?

Updated on April 6, 2022
Bob Ewing profile image

Bob is a garden writer and permaculture designer. His new ebook, From My Garden is widely available.

Friend or Foe?

If you are going to have a garden, a garden that is safe for kids, pets and friends to romp, roam and run, then you are going to have to learn to appreciate insects.

Yes, insects, bugs, the crawly, all too fast creatures, that surprise you, all too often, during the summer months.

You do not have to love them nor even like them but you had better learn to appreciate the work they do for you in the garden. There are bugs that eat the bugs that want to eat your plants; naturally, as little is perfect some of those bugs that eat the bugs that eat your plants, also like to nibble on your greens.

Nature will keep itself in check unless there is a food surplus or a food shortage and then changes take palce. Your job as a gardener is to manage your garden so it remains in balance or as close to being in balance as it is possible to get. You do have allies in this work.

In the gardening world, ugly is not necessarily a bad sign, at least not when it comes to insects.


Take the earwig. It is a pretty nasty looking creature but it does more good than harm, in the garden that is.

You really do not want to share the inside of your house with earwigs, ants or spiders to name a few garden friends,

The earwig is widely disliked but that is where we go wrong. They will bite but only when they are threatened.

Earwigs, like many bugs, really prefer to remain outside that is where food and shelter is readily found. However, they do make it indoors, usually hitching a ride on humans, clothing, vegetables, newspapers, etc.

The earwigs is a reddish-brown and is about 4/5 of an inch (2 cm) long with antennae and a noticeable set of pincers which protrude from the abdomen.

The male of the species have curved pinchers while the females are straight; should you every find a need to identify the gender of a particular earwig.

They can fly but would rather walk and the night is theirs.

The pincers of the male are curved whereas those of the female are straight. The female uses her pincers to protect her and eggs from other insects, but they cannot harm humans. They can give you a bite though. Earwigs have wings but they are rarely used to fly.

Earwigs like the dark and that is when they are out seeking their food or looking for a new home. You will find them in moist and dark places.

They enjoy a diet of decaying plant and animal matter and help clean up.

Earwigs do harm vegetables. They will use existing holes in plants as an entry point so keep an eye on your plants.

If the earwigs can be kept in balance and a good healthy garden will help with that, they will help you; however if they get out of control they are a threat. So to answer the question are earwigs a friend or a foe, the answer is both; it depends upon the garden and the gardener.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)