I found a few of these bugs hiding away in my cauliflower when I picked it. What are they and are they harmful to other plants in my raised vegetable garden? If so how can I organically eliminate them?

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2 Answers 2


That appears to be a male earwig, and it was probably just hiding out in the cauliflower - they operate after dark, so will hide themselves away during the day.

They're not usually too much of a problem unless you have hundreds - whilst they may eat soft leaves and petals on plants, they also like soft bodied insects like aphids, so they serve a useful purpose. More info here https://www.growveg.co.uk/guides/dealing-with-earwigs-in-your-vegetable-garden/


Earwigs, slugs, pillbugs...love debris and stone condos. To keep many pests in control without using any pesticide is by NOT attracting them with free condos, debris filled piles. Remove rocks get them away from tender perennials and vegetables. Remove rotting wood. Remove piles of leaves to an area away from potted plants, vegey garden and ornamentals. Slugs love to have ready made things to crawl beneath for the day to come out at night especially on lawns. Decomposers to include pill bugs, earwigs have a job to do. They are part of a huge team that is responsible for decomposing organic matter after death. Best thing to do is have an area to feed these insects ...called a 'trap crop'. Decomposing wood, leaves, organic debris interests and attracts these insects far more than tender vegetable crops. A trap crop keeps insects happy and fed so they won't mess with your 'cash' crops.

There will always be a few insects...around. In no way can we humans eliminate insects nor should we, but to create a self sustaining way to control them. Controlling their environment is the best. Give them stuff that is decomposing and they will stay there, not eat live plants.

  • You don't need a trap crop to catch earwigs - just a trap. Get some 2 or 3 inch plant pots, fill with straw or similar dead material, and put each one upside down on a short cane so it is a few inches off the ground. Each day, knock out the earwigs into a bucket of water. The only hard part is not letting them run away and escape before they drown, while keeping the straw dry so you can reuse it. They only do cosmetic damage to vegetables, but they can ruin flowers by feeding on the buds just as they start to open. In the UK, they just love eating dahlias and chrysanthemums!
    – alephzero
    Commented Sep 3, 2017 at 22:36
  • My point was NOT attracting earwigs by not giving them room and board, grins! They don't really eat fresh vegies, they do love compost, rotting debris. I shouldn't have used the term trap crop as that isn't a trap crop crop at all. This is what I do to create harmony. I feed everyone. Give them something they want to eat or shelter within where I want them to go, not
    – stormy
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 6:04

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