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Old 06-23-2009, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default Earwig damage to hops

I was having absolutely no issues with pests in my hops until the last week and a half. It has gotten very warm (85-90) in Chicagoland, and I started noticing large almost dime size chunks missing from my hop leaves. Then I went out to check on them yesterday and captured some of the culprits.

They turned out to be Earwigs, and I went to the store and bought an insecticide (Safer brand Bug Patrol / Active ingredients are; pyrethrins, potassium salts of fatty acids, and other ingredients).

I had used a home made detergent / water mixture and sprayed that on my hops 2 days ago, but they began to wilt so I discontinued my usage of that. However, the bugs are still present.

My questions are what to do to get rid of these critters without hurting the hops? And do you think the wilting of my hops is from the very warm weather or from my usage of the detergent mixture? Also is the usage of this kind of insecticide a good or bad idea to deal with my bug problem?

I have Cascades and Centennials going, and the dish soap was a basic dawn unscented. Thanks for your help and Cheers!

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Old 06-23-2009, 06:32 AM   #2
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I dunno if it helps, but if you fill washed and dried tuna fish cans with vegetable oil it'll attract the earwigs. You just need to bury it up to the rim in the dirt. The earwigs can climb and fall in and then can't get out. Seemed to lessen the earwig problem we had in our basement. We just buried them outside of the basement windows and changed the oil every few days.

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Old 06-23-2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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If there no cones yet, you might try Sevin insecticide. It works well; but if your bines are setting cones, I wouldn't use it as it is residual & may be tough to remove the residue from the hops. There are several organic insecticides/repellents on the market you could try too. You might try beneficial insects like praying mantids. You can often find them at lawn & garden centers, or you can get them here: Praying Mantid Egg Cases (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) Chinese Mantis Wolf spiders eat earwigs too, but I have no source for them. Good luck, GF.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:56 PM   #4
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From the web: A few earwig species cause some damage by feeding on crops and ornamental plants but most play a beneficial role by feeding on other insects...

But if you spray them with Sevin that should take care of whatever your problem is.... assuming it's an insect.


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Old 06-23-2009, 02:25 PM   #5
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Try diatomaceous earth. It's meant to suck the life out of arthropods.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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I would avoid the diamaceous earth on a live plant. The idea of this stuff is to cut the soft spots of the bugs so they "bleed" to death. On a live plant, every time the wind blows it will be doing the same thing, it would be like rubbing sand paper all over the hops.

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