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Daylillies are getting eaten!

July 14th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Well, Daylillies are supposed to be bug-proof aren't they? I have quite the collection, and I've never had trouble with them. They're like the ideal flower...until this year. All my flower stems have fallen off.

I went at night (because there were no bugs in sight during the day) and shone a light on the flower stems and discovered the culprits : EARWIGS!!!

So beware, daylilly enthousiasts...earwigs eat flower stems from the inside out (they crawl around inside the stem!) *******s! Now...anyone got any idea how to get rid of them without using illegal pesticides?? :confused:

July 14th, 2006, 03:39 PM
You can buy environmentally friendly pesticide,my Clematis's this year did not do well at all,also from earwigs.My day-lillies and other lillies are fine
There is a way to mix up your own pesticide,using dishsoap etc...but I forgot how:mad:

July 14th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Are you sure it's not squirrels or romantic wannabe men who pass by in the night and steal them?:D

July 15th, 2006, 01:20 PM
Hnmmm..earwigs like to stay in dark/moist areas during the day. If you have any piles of stone/bricks near your plants, you can move them away and that will help.

Otherwise, there aren't many natural options. Here is what I found:

Earwigs congregate in areas that are shaded or filled with lush plant material, boards, debris, or organic mulch. Exposed, sunny yards have fewer problems. Two species of parasitic fly, including Digonichaeta setipennis, have been introduced to help control earwigs naturally. In good years these parasites attack and kill over 1/3 of the earwig population.

You can trap earwigs in rolled up newspapers or in old tuna fish cans baited with fish oil or vegetable oil. Place traps near the problem areas and check them each morning. Shake live insects into a pail of soapy water to kill them.

Converting the backyard to a dry, sunny environment with few hiding places will also help control earwigs. Remove any shelter sites, prune low-growing bushes, avoid growing the earwigs' favored food plants, and destroy moss and algae. Avoid overwatering and don't use thick organic mulches.


Diatomaceous earth is a safe and effective way to control earwigs in the home. One application in key spots (bathroom, baseboards, window frames) can be a long-term repellent.
To trap earwigs, spray a newspaper lightly with water, roll it up loosely and secure with a string or rubber band. Place on the ground near earwig activity. The next morning pick up and discard the paper in a sealed container.
Another method to trap earwigs is to take a shallow, straight-sided container and fill it half full with vegetable oil. Clean the trap daily; the oil can be re-used.

Diatomaceous earth is made up of ground diatoms, which is mostly silica. If you put a nice thick layer (about 1/2 inch thick) around the bottom of your day lillies, and spread it around so that the earwigs can't travel over it, then you should be ok. Diatomaceous earth is VERY sharp to insects, so it cuts them if they walk on it, and because insects have hard shells, they don't heal and die.

I think that's the most natural option.