Latin name: Forficula auricularia
Reason for Concern:
1) Significant harvest contaminant, particularly if there is rain just prior to harvest or in wet harvest conditions.
2) Earwig feeding causes superficial leaf damage.
A 1/4” to 1 1/4” insect recognized by prominent forceps-like appendages at the tip of the abdomen. The body is reddish-brown to black, elongated and flat with short, leathery wings. Weak fliers, they crawl and emit a foul-smelling, yellow-brown liquid from their scent glands.
Egg to adult development is gradual and temperature dependent. Earwigs overwinter as pairs in cells in the soil. Females lay 2 broods: 20 to 50 small, white eggs in early spring with about 70 days incubation; the late spring brood requires about 20 incubation days. Immature earwigs are smaller than adults, grayish-brown, lack wings, and mature in 50 days.