Problem with earwigs destroying clematis

Credit: iStockphoto


Q: Last summer, earwigs literally wiped out the flower production of the Clematis that are planted along our cedar fenceline (types Henryi, Jackmanii Superba, Rouge Cardinal, Nelly Moser, Westerplatte, The President, and Ken Donson). The earwigs eat huge ragged holes in flower petals as they open and even sometimes burrow into the unopened buds. My guess is that they live in the cracks and crevices of the fence itself and so far, my concerted efforts to trap/kill them (rolled newspaper, diatamaceous earth) seem virtually ineffective. Can you recommend any other non-chemical, environmentally safe solutions to this particular problem?

Trap earwigs using a low-sided cat food or tuna can filled to 12mm (1/2 inch) fish oil, vegetable oil with some bacon grease, or oil-soaked bread crumbs. Cover traps with a large mesh screen (chicken wire) to keep out cats or other animals. Continual trapping should reduce populations.