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Why you're seeing so many earwigs this summer

Tuesday, August 11th 2020, 11:26 am - Earwigs can do both good and bad things in your garden, says an entomologist.

The hot, humid P.E.I. summer has been good for trips to the beach — and for earwigs too.

Islanders have been telling CBC's Island Morning they are seeing more earwigs this year.

"I have also seen a lot of earwigs this year," said Agriculture Canada entomologist Christine Noronha. "I think it's the temperature and the humidity that we've had. They like that."

In warm, humid weather, more earwig eggs and young are likely to survive, said Noronha. The heat wave at the end of June would have been good timing for them, because on P.E.I. earwigs emerge as adults in early July.

Earwigs are unusual because they care for their young, which usually only happens with social insects. The female will make a small nest in the ground and watch over the eggs, and feed the young when they hatch.

earwig - GettyImages-1154545220 File photo: Getty Images.

Earwigs can both cause harm and do good in your garden, because they are not fussy eaters.

"They'll eat other insects on your plants … but they also eat the leaves of your plants and sometimes the fruit," said Noronha.

"They're scavengers, so they eat many different things."

Islanders can expect to see earwigs around until the weather starts to cool in the fall. Like other insects, they will then begin to slow down and prepare for the winter.

This article was written for the CBC by Kevin Yarr.

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