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Attack of the earwigs...

May 19, 2021
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John Wood, Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley

I always like to see acres of young tree plantings as I drive around the San Joaquin Valley visiting customers and friends in the agriculture industry. Those saplings mean the tree nut industry is healthy and thriving and growers are investing in the future.

Right now, it’s critical to protect that investment from a young tree’s most dangerous predator—the earwig.

Researchers are reporting evidence of feeding by this notorious bug already in our area and with temperatures rising, it’s prime time for them to spread quickly. You’ll miss earwigs if you try to find them using traditional scouting methods. Since they feed at night, they can do significant damage before you really know they are there.

Earwigs will climb the trunks of trees and feed on young shoots and new growth. If you leave them unchecked, they can cause major economic damage to your crop, either by killing young, small saplings completely or causing feeding damage that alters the regrowth of young trees.  

I can almost guarantee you that if you see feeding damage, you’ll find the culprit hiding underneath the tree wraps. Often, when you pull back a trunk wrap, you’ll find hundreds of earwigs in there waiting for nighttime feedings. 

If you see feeding damage on younger trees, and especially if you find earwigs in the trunk wraps, it’s important for you to treat quickly before the immatures transition to their transient adult stages.   

Remember the last edition when I recommended Seduce® for effective control of ants in your orchards? Seduce also provides proven and fast control of earwigs and if you treat early, it’s your best chance to protect younger blocks of trees against damage.

As a spinosad insect bait, the compressed granules of Seduce are simple to apply in cartons and wraps of your young trees. It’s not raining much in the Valley right now, but Seduce can stand up to moisture, so you don’t need to interrupt your irrigation schedule after application.

Seduce is so effective against immature earwigs that typically you see efficacy results within a day of earwigs eating the bait. One application can provide control for up to four weeks, which means you may not need another application before harvest, saving you time, resources and money in the back half of the season.

Remember that as one of Certis Biologicals' long list of OMRI-Listed® products, Seduce offers the flexibility you need whether you are growing conventional, organic or both on your farms.

As an added benefit, you’ll also get cutworm control with Seduce, in addition to other arthropod species.

As the weather is really heating up here, many pests, fungicides and diseases are coming out, looking for an opportunity to feed on your tree nuts that are still filling out inside their hulls. Now is the time that your IPM program should really be working overtime for you, ensuring that you are protecting this year’s crop and even the health of future crops. 

While that is happening, remember that the Certis California team is here to help with any crop, pest or disease issue you have. Every growing season, it’s truly our honor to stand with you and help your crops deliver their fullest potential.

If you need me or one of our other California sales team members, you can reach out directly or through asktheexpert@certisusa.com

I look forward to hearing from you.

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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