Earwig Control

Earwigs are regularly preyed upon by birds, and like many other insect species, they are prey for insectivorous mammals, amphibians, lizards, centipedes, assassin bugs, and spiders. European naturalists have observed bats preying upon earwigs. Their primary insect predators are parasitic species of Tachinidae, or tachinid flies, whose larvae are endoparasites. One species of tachinid fly, Triarthria setipennis, has been demonstrated to be successful as a biological control of earwigs for almost a century. Another tachinid fly and parasite of earwigs, Ocytata pallipes, has shown promise as a biological control agent as well. The common predatory wasp, the yellow jacket (Vespula maculifrons), preys upon earwigs when abundant. A small species of roundworm, Mermis nigrescens, is known to occasionally parasitize earwigs that have consumed roundworm eggs with plant matter. At least 26 species of parasitic fungus from the order Laboulbeniales have been found on earwigs. The eggs and nymphs are also cannibalized by other earwigs. A species of tyroglyphoid mite, Histiostoma polypori (Histiostomatidae, Astigmata), are observed on common earwigs, sometimes in great densities; however, this mite feeds on earwig cadavers and not its live earwig transportation. Hippolyte Lucas observed scarlet acarine mites on European earwigs.

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