This post may contain affiliate links.

Earwigs are small insects with elongated bodies and distinctive pincers. They are typically brown or black and can range from ¼ to 1” in length. Earwigs are nocturnal and prefer dark, damp environments.

It can be hard to spot earwigs as they hide in crevices, under rocks, or in garden mulch. At night, they come out to feed on plants, other insects, and decaying organic matter.

Earwigs might look a bit scary, but the good news is they’re more of a nuisance than a threat. Despite their somewhat menacing appearance, earwigs are generally harmless to humans. And if you’ve ever spotted these little pincers scurrying around your home or garden, you know how unsettling it can be.

Luckily, there are plenty of natural ways to keep earwigs at bay. Whether you’re dealing with them indoors or trying to protect your garden, here are some simple and effective earwig control methods.

Concerns Regarding Earwigs

  • Earwigs feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, and vegetables, often creating small, irregular holes. This can be particularly troublesome for seedlings and tender young plants.
  • They are known to eat flower petals, ruining the appearance of ornamental plants.
  • Although earwigs eat pests like aphids and mites, they can also prey on beneficial insects, disrupting the natural balance in the garden.
  • Earwigs tend to seek out cool, damp areas like basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, where they often gather in large numbers.
  • Once in the house, earwigs can damage fabric, paper, and other household items in their search for food and shelter.

How to Control Earwigs

Seal Entry Points

European earwigs group close up.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Earwigs will seek out dark places and will often enter homes at night through gaps around windows and doors. Carry out a careful inspection and seal any gaps to help keep earwigs outside where they belong.

Use Natural Repellents

A bottle of essential oil with fresh blooming lavender.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Earwigs are highly sensitive to potent essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil. Spray a mixture of water and essential oils around potential entry points for earwigs, taking care to avoid fabrics and soft furnishings.

Keep Areas Dry

Dehumidifier on the windowsill in the house by the window. Next to a green flower. The concept of mold and fungus in the house and steamy windows.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Earwigs will seek out dark, damp places to hide. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas of your home, such as basements, to reduce moisture levels. Check under doormats regularly, as this is a common place for earwigs to congregate.

Related: 14 Ways to Dry Out Soggy Soil and Correct Overwatering Mistakes

Cedar Blocks

Fragrant wardrobe freshener cubes made of natural pencil cedar wood in a crystal bowl with a lid and few green cypress sprigs on a wooden background, front view.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

The scent of cedar is known to repel earwigs, so place blocks of cedar wood in closets and storage areas to deter these dark-loving insects.

Clean Regularly

lady deep cleaning house with child
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Maintain cleanliness in areas like the kitchen and bathroom, ensuring there is no standing water or food debris that might attract earwigs.


Construction of wooden houses. attic
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Ensure that you have proper ventilation in attics, crawl spaces, and basements to prevent moisture buildup that could attract earwigs.

Humane Traps

A lot of empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If earwigs regularly enter your home, they can be relocated to an outdoor space using a humane trap. Create simple traps using rolled-up newspaper or cardboard tubes to attract and capture earwigs overnight, then move them to a far corner of your garden in the morning. Earwigs are great at munching up organic matter, so the compost pile is a good spot to relocate them to!

Composting Made Easy

Use Pine Oil

Essential pine oil.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

The strong scent of pine oil can repel earwigs, so use a pine oil cleaner to mop floors or clean surfaces. 

Clear Debris

Vibrant orange autumn leaves being swept up by a garden rake. wide angle perspective, including the rusted metal head of the rake. Rustic garden tool.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Earwigs are part of nature’s clear-up team, turning garden debris into beautiful compost. Keep piles of leaves, mulch, and organic matter away from areas of your yard where you and your family hang out to keep them out of your way while you enjoy your time outdoors.

Trim Vegetation

A gardener trimming trees with hedge trimmer
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Keep grass and plants trimmed back from walls and fencing to reduce hiding places for earwigs.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth( Kieselgur) powder in jar for non-toxic organic insect repellent. Using diatomite in garden pest control concept.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your garden and home. This natural powder is abrasive to insects and can help deter them.

Encourage Natural Predators

Ornamental garden, garden pond with goldfish.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Encourage natural predators like birds, toads, and ground beetles, which feed on earwigs. A wildlife pond is a great way to attract natural predators to your yard.

Plant Earwig-Repelling Plants

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Strongly scented plants like rosemary, mint, and thyme can help repel earwigs. Grow these plants in containers around your outdoor seating area, or lay sprigs near doors and windows as a scented barrier.

18 Most Fragrant Flowers That Add Sweet Scents to Any Garden

Cedar Mulch

Seasonal works in the garden. Landscape design. Gardening. Ornamental shrub juniper.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Although earwigs love mulch, the strong scent of cedar is highly repellent to these little insects. Apply a layer of cedar mulch around the edges of ornamental beds and your vegetable garden to keep your plants safe from harm.

Create Barriers

Growing vegetables in a kitchen garden.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Earwigs dislike crossing over dry ground, so use a strip of gravel or dry soil around garden beds to create a barrier that earwigs will avoid.

Protect Seedlings

seedling indoors
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Young seedlings are most at risk of earwig damage, with the stems prone to being snipped off by their sharp pincers. Avoid planting seedlings out until the stems have hardened off and protect young transplants with plant collars until well established.

12 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Weeds in Your Garden

Thunderstorm with heavy hail and sleet showers. Hailstones on the ground.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

While we may tolerate certain weeds like dandelions, most gardeners aim to remove these undesired plants from their gardens—for good. To help you get rid of weeds in your garden, here are 12 natural methods to consider.

12 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Weeds in Your Garden

28 Budget-Friendly Front Yard Ideas for Stunning Curb Appeal

oversized planters
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Improving your home’s curb appeal not only presents well but can also boost your home’s value. Here are 28 to give your front yard the attention it deserves and transform it into a beautiful and inviting space you can be proud of.

28 Budget-Friendly Front Yard Ideas for Stunning Curb Appeal

How to Outsmart Gnats to Keep Them Away From Your Houseplants

cinnamon on houseplant
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Gnats are more than just a minor annoyance; these tiny pests buzz around with a persistence that’s hard to ignore. Here are ten effective ways to keep gnats away from your house plants.

How to Outsmart Gnats to Keep Them Away From Your Houseplants

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *