Monday, December 13, 2010

The Earwig Post.

So 'something' or 'somethings' are eating my plants. I don't think it's slugs or snails, because although I do see them around there are rarely any silver trails on the plants. My carrot seedlings barely saw the light of day before they were all gone; pooh. The rhubarb, which has been hanging on gamely since it was planted, currently has the most amount of leaf I have seen on it since it was bought from the nursery, and it looks quite sad indeed.

My other, fancier, 'Sydney Crimson' Rhubarb has been enjoyed more by the bugs than I can ever see us enjoying it.

Beans have been left as mere stalks in the ground. This is one of the survivors.

And my raspberries, my poor harassed raspberries! Just as they were starting to look OK, some little sod has come along and eaten almost all of it.

So, who are the culprits? My mum suggested earwigs, and I have seen them about in the garden, although not in enormous numbers. I did some googling and reading, and they are currently top of the list of suspects. Apparently they are scavengers, omnivorous, and have a particular fancy for seedlings. They like to live in damp and shaded areas... like under pea straw mulch, perhaps?!

There are a number of ways of controlling them, for example you can roll up newspapers and leave them overnight. They'll lurk in there, and in the morning you take them and burn the lot, or shake them out into soapy water. However I have opted for another method of control: the beer can buried with it's top level to the ground, and one third full of beer. The earwigs (and slugs and snails for that matter) are attracted to the beer, fall in and drown. I've also popped a couple of bean cans about the place, with a bit of Kecap Manis and canola oil in them. The KM being my version of 'soya sauce and molasses' which I've read about. Let's hope it works, and my pests have some South Australian loyalty and a taste for Dr Tims; I'd like to see at least a few carrots this year!

No comments: