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How to Get Rid of Earwigs


Earwigs are unusual looking insects that have the potential of becoming a nuisance for your garden. They can be identified by their pincers that protrude from their abdomen. This makes them look dangerous, but rest assured that they are not carriers of disease and aren’t poisonous.

Twenty different types of earwigs have been found in the US. There are earwig species that secrete a liquid with an extremely foul smell as a defense mechanism. Earwigs also release pheromones in the area that they inhabit -- studies have shown that this might be the cause for earwigs existing in large clusters almost always. .

Earwig biology and habits significantly vary, as is the case with any insect that has multiple species. Most earwig species prefer damp areas that are isolated and cooler. If there is sufficient food, damp soil and ground cover, earwigs can thrive and become a serious nuisance.

Earwigs like to consume moist leaves and plants that are decomposing. This makes your garden or flower beds natural targets for earwigs. Earwigs could also infest your house if there are plants inside. Here are methods you can use to get rid of earwigs. There are also ways of preventing earwig infestations before they start to happen.


  1. Vegetable oil attracts earwigs. A simple trick is to take some empty shallow cans, fill them with approximately half an inch of vegetable oil. Earwigs will crawl in and will be unable to drag themselves out. Get rid of the oil with the earwigs and refill as necessary.

  2. You can roll up newspapers and keep them at the bottom of your plants. Do this preferably at sunset. This will attract earwigs as they prefer damp areas that are isolated. You can either submerge the rolls in a water bucket at dawn or place them as far away from your garden or home as possible.

  3. Alternatively, you could use a shoebox. Use a knife to make some holes in the sides of the box near the bottom. After that put some bran or oatmeal in the box and then close the lid. You can either place this close to any entrance of your home or close to plants. It will attract earwigs and you can accordingly dispose of them in the morning.

  4. Professional pest control traps for earwigs also work wonderfully in trapping earwigs around the home. One such product which we carry here at Solutions Pest & Lawn is the  B&G Lo Line Insect Trap. These traps contain a special pheromone which will lure earwigs looking for a meal and will trap them. This is good is your infestation is minor.

Earwig hunters

Birds and toads hunt earwigs. Therefore a simple solution to combating earwigs is keeping birds and/or toads in the yard. These natural earwig hunters will be of great help in keeping the earwig population in control. So keep your garden inhabitable for toads and/or birds; you can do so by keeping sources of food that they prefer and natural shelter as well.

    • Toads are attracted to shade. So a simple method of attracting toads is by letting close-by plants near your home to grow slightly wild. Alternatively, you could lay out some bricks on the surface, put some boards over them and then put plants on top of the boards. Either way you can easily create some shade for toads.
    • Birds are easy to attract. You can keep a nest box or a bird feeder. If you know the berries that local birds consume, you can even plant trees or bushes on which those berries grow.

Chemicals for Earwig Extermination

There are a number of professional DIY chemicals which we sell here at Solutions Pest & Lawn that have proven to successfully get rid of earwigs.  For invasions in the home or outdoors in the garden, an insecticide containing Bifenthrin or permethrin such as Reclaim IT and Permethrin SFR can provide long lasting control. Mix these products into a hand sprayer and treat all around the foundation both indoors and outdoors.

There are also dusts which you can use that are effective in killing earwigs and keeping them away like Essentria D Dust Insecticide and others.

  1. Use appropriate insecticides and spray them around the bottom perimeter of the house. Spray 3 feet away from the house foundation as well.

    • Spray the mulch of your flowerbed thoroughly, along with crawl spaces (if any) under the subfloor of the house.
    • It is ideal to do this late in the afternoon. Earwigs come out during the evening so the insecticide will still be active and take care of them.
    • Spraying may not work for earwigs that are deep into the soil. In that event, take an insecticide which can work as an emulsion, dissolve it in a lot of water and then apply it.
  2. Use aerosol that is designed to be used indoors. Spray all the nooks and crannies, skirting boards, cabinet insides etc. We would recommend using Pyrid Aerosol.

  3. If you can see the earwigs then simply spray them with Spray ‘n Wash cleaners, as these will instantly kill earwigs.

  4. You can even use sprays or traps that are designed for cockroaches. Both can kill earwigs.

Preventing Earwigs

  1. Prevent earwigs from infesting your home.

    • Fix any holes that you see in your window screens.
    • Check if all your window frames and door thresholds have weatherstripping so that they are completely sealed.
    • Seal up any and all cracks and fissures you find in the house. Check the floors, the roof, foundation etc for them and use the correct sealant to seal them up.
  2. Seal up any cracks that you find around your doors, windows, and piping.

    • It’s a good idea to apply eucalyptus oil on door frames and windowsills to dissuade earwigs from entering through these points.
  3. Earwigs like the damp so do away with any damp places in the house, especially around the base of your house. Check the faucets that have been installed outside. Check out the crawl spaces. Hire a plumber to get rid of leakages that you cannot fix by yourself.

  4. Keep a border of stone or gravel surrounding the foundation of your house. Also, ensure that your downspouts and roof gutters carry water far away from the house foundation.


By following the various solutions we mentioned above, earwigs will not be a problem in your home for long. For more helpful DIY advice, you can reach out to us by calling our phone number 800-479-6583 or send us an email at askapro@solutionsstores.com.


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