Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Earwigs from Your Garden - No Plant No Life

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Earwigs from Your Garden

Gardening can be a rewarding and therapeutic activity, but it comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is dealing with pests like earwigs. 

These nocturnal insects can wreak havoc on your plants, chewing on leaves, flowers, and fruits. 

However, reaching for chemical pesticides is not always the best solution due to their potential harm to the environment, beneficial insects, and even your health. 

Fortunately, there are several eco-friendly methods to control earwigs effectively. 

In this blog post, we'll explore some of these sustainable strategies to keep your garden earwig-free.

What are Earwigs?

Before diving into the solutions, it’s important to understand a bit about earwigs. 

Earwigs are small, brownish-black insects with elongated bodies and pincers (cerci) on their rear. 

They are primarily nocturnal and hide in dark, moist places during the day. 

While they do help in controlling other pests like aphids and mites, their feeding habits can become problematic for gardeners when they start munching on plants.

Eco-Friendly Methods to Control Earwigs

1. Remove Moisture and Hiding Spots

Earwigs thrive in moist environments. To make your garden less appealing to them:


✅ Reduce Excess Moisture: Ensure proper drainage and avoid over watering your plants.

-✅✅ Clear Debris: Remove piles of leaves, mulch, and other garden debris where earwigs can hide.

-✅ Prune Plants: Keep your plants well-pruned to improve air circulation and reduce dampness.

2. Create Traps

Trapping earwigs is an effective way to reduce their numbers without harming other beneficial insects.


Oil Traps: Fill a shallow container with a mixture of equal parts soy sauce and vegetable oil. 

Bury the container so that the rim is at ground level. The soy sauce attracts earwigs, and the oil traps and drowns them.

- ✅ Rolled Newspaper: Roll up damp newspapers or cardboard and place them around your garden in the evening. 

In the morning, collect these traps and dispose of them, as earwigs will hide inside overnight.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic powder made from fossilized aquatic organisms. 

When sprinkled around plants and garden beds, it acts as a desiccant, drying out and killing earwigs.

- ✅ Application: Dust the powder around the base of plants and on potential entry points. Reapply after rain or watering, as moisture reduces its effectiveness.

4. Encourage Natural Predators

Introducing or encouraging the presence of natural predators can help keep the earwig population in check.

- ✅ Birds: Install bird feeders and birdbaths to attract birds to your garden. Many bird species feed on earwigs.

- ✅ Beneficial Insects: Predatory insects like tachinid flies and parasitic wasps can help control earwig numbers. Planting nectar-rich flowers can attract these beneficial insects.

5. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural pesticide that can deter earwigs without harming other beneficial insects.


✅ Spray Solution: Mix neem oil with water according to the instructions on the label and spray it on affected plants. 

Neem oil works by disrupting the life cycle of earwigs, reducing their ability to feed and reproduce.

6. Copper Barriers

Copper is a natural deterrent for many pests, including earwigs.

-✅ Copper Strips: Place copper strips around plant stems or garden beds. The metal reacts with the moisture in the earwigs' bodies, creating a mild electric charge that repels them.

7. Handpicking

While it may not be the most pleasant task, handpicking earwigs can be effective for small gardens.

- ✅ Manual Removal: Check plants and garden beds at night with a flashlight and manually remove any earwigs you find. Drop them into a bucket of soapy water to dispose of them.

8. Organic Sprays

There are several organic sprays that can help control earwigs without harming the environment.


✅ Garlic Spray: Blend garlic cloves with water and let it steep overnight. Strain and spray the solution onto affected plants.

- ✅ Hot Pepper Spray: Mix hot pepper flakes with water, let it sit, strain, and then spray on plants to repel earwigs.


Dealing with earwigs in your garden doesn't have to involve harsh chemicals. 

By understanding their habits and employing a combination of these eco-friendly methods, you can effectively manage and reduce their population. 

Not only will this protect your plants, but it will also contribute to a healthier and more sustainable garden ecosystem. Happy gardening!

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