Broad insect pest resources including Apps are outlined in the Agronomists Toolkit. Select below for pest-specific information.


European earwig

Constraint - European earwigs


  • Adult European earwigs range from 12-20 mm long, and are dark brown with yellow legs

  • They have distinctive “pincers” that protrude from their rear end 

  • They are nocturnal and can often be found sheltering under stubble and in cracks in the soil during daylight hours


  • Earwigs feed on the developing leaves of seedlings

  • Typical feeding damage is shredded leaf tips and/or irregular holes in leaves

  • They can also chew through canola pods and contaminate windrows at harvest time


  • Seedlings can show slowed development, stunting, and reduced seed set

  • In extreme cases, feeding damage can kill the plant

  • Heavy infestations can cause significant damage and paddocks may require resowing


The use of insecticide treated seed and insecticide baits, as well as reducing stubble residue and implementing crop rotations can all help in reducing the risk of European earwig damage. 


Links and Resources

CESAR - Pestfacts. European earwig

Information on sightings, common characteristics that encourage population growth, damage, distinguishing features, and control. Published 2010.

DAFWA - Identification of pests of canola. European earwig

Page 12. Information on description, lifecycle, damage, and control. Published 2005.

GRDC - Best Practice Management Guide. European earwig

Page 53 of 92. General information, distribution, feeding habits, appearance, habitat, and damage. Published 2009.

PIRSA DAFWA & CESAR - I Spy Manual. European earwig

Section 4, pages 59-62. Main characteristics, lifecycle, habitat, earwigs relevant to broadacre. Description/distinguishing characteristics, confused with/similar to, distribution, pest status and risk period, host range, damage, monitoring and sampling, and management. Published 2012.