Earwigs pest is one of the most common species of earwigs found in human ears. The female earwigs lay their eggs on the ground, and when hatched, the nymphs feed on plants. Earwigs are herbivores (plant-eating animals) and have a flattened body with long antennae.
Since earwigs feed on plants and crops, it is best to use natural ways to get rid of them in order to keep the plants and crops healthy.
12 Effective Natural Ways to Get rid of Earwig
1. Soy Sauce and Oil Trap
The smell of soy sauce, the same soy sauce that’s on the table at your favorite Chinese restaurant, instantly attracts earwigs. You can use that to make a cool little trap in which to capture earwigs.
For example, take any container with a lid, a mason jar that has a metal screw-on lid, and poke some holes in the top so that earwigs can get inside. Put soy sauce and vegetable oil or olive oil in equal portions and blend them together.
Bury the container in the ground until it is at ground level with the holes. The earwigs are drawn into the holes by the soy sauce and the oil can keep them trapped and unable to crawl back out. They’re going to get stuck and die. Adjust the blend as needed in your earwig trap.
2. Alcohol and Water Spray
A 70 percent mixture of tap water and Isopropyl Alcohol allows an outstanding touch spray to kill earwigs. In a 32-ounce spray bottle, combine equal parts of 70 percent Isopropyl Alcohol and water and shake well to blend. When you spray it on them, it will kill the earwigs.
You may also spray it in your garden where the earwig infestation is at its worst, around the base of your house, in the flowerbeds, and plants. When it starts chewing its way through to destroy them, the alcohol serves as a surfactant to bind to its shell.
Note: to this mixture, some plants can not react well. Try it on a single leaf and wait a couple of days before spraying the entire plant to see how it responds.
3. The Birds
Remember the old 1963 horror movie by Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds? Place earwigs in the film’s position of the people and you’ll have an idea how this one is going to play out. Birds are fond of eating insects of all kinds, particularly earwigs.
Hang a couple of bird feeding equipments in areas where you’ve found heavy earwig colonies to attract birds to your backyard. When the birds start coming on a daily basis, the amount of birdseed in the feeder will be decreased so that they will instead start chasing insects.
Hola! No earwigs any more.
The good thing about this all-natural earwig management strategy is that some colorful birds will be drawn to your yard.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
For stomach disorders, diatomaceous earth is edible and sometimes used. It is from the fossilized exoskeletons called diatoms of microscopic sea creatures. It’s a desiccant that allows moisture to be lost by living creatures. The smaller the plant or insect, the more pronounced the effect.
Get a bag of diatomaceous earth and spread a fine layer of it all over your plants and your house’s foundation using a spreader. It will begin sucking the moisture out of them as the earwigs crawl over it. They can also cut their shell with microscopic sharp points, accelerating the loss of moisture.
This will also discourage other garden pests from infestation, which could be trying to destroy your plants and flowers.
5. Neem Oil
Extracted from India’s neem trees, neem oil has been used to kill and repel insects of all kinds for decades. A natural chemical called Azadirachtin, which is an active ingredient, is found in neem oil.
In insects, it disrupts the hormonal balance so that they die before they can molt and their ability to eat can be suppressed. As well as fungicidal ones, it has repellent properties. In a 32-ounce spray bottle, mix a teaspoon of neem oil with a quart of warm water.
Wherever you have seen the earwigs, spray the mixture, especially around the entry points they use to gain access to your home. Spray it around the areas, particularly dark, damp areas or mounds of decaying plant material, where they congregate outside.
Spray it over all the gaps and crevices around the baseboards within the building, around the windows and doors. As long as you don’t forget to respray the contaminated areas 2-3 times a week, this form of pest control will definitely yield good results.
6. Suspend SC
Suspend SC is a professional-strength insecticide used every day by pest control professionals in the United States. It’s now available for sale to the general public. The active ingredient, Deltamethrin, is a synthetic version of natural pyrethrins derived from Chrysanthemum flowers.
There is a built-in measuring cup on the container. Measure 0.75 ounces of the concentrate into a gallon of tap water and agitate vigorously in a 1-gallon professional sprayer for 2-3 minutes.
Spray it all around the foundation of the house on the outside and around the cracks and crevices of the baseboards on the inside. Spray around all the windows and doors, both inside and outside. Suspend will last about 90 days before you need to respray.
7. Delta Dust
Delta Dust is a fine dry powder, similar in texture and fineness to baby powder or talcum powder. The active ingredient is Deltamethrin. Delta Dust is a professional insecticide that is now available for purchase by the general public.
For you to use it, you’ll need to get a bulb duster. Fill the duster about halfway full. Cap it and shake vigorously before each application. Squeeze the bulb sharply to emit a brief cloud of dust from the tip of the application rod.
You should puff a cloud of Delta Dust into every crack and crevice you can find inside and out. Delta Dust is not water-soluble so it won’t wash away. It has the added distinction of being one of the longest-lasting insecticides on the market, up to 9 months!
Note: Delta Dust won’t hurt you if you get a mouthful of the dust blowing back in your face but it tastes nasty (been there, done that). Keep your mouth closed when you’re using it.
The two insecticides listed above, Suspend and Delta Dust, can be used inside the house and outside it. However, they should only be used on the building itself. If you need something further out in the yard, you’ll need a different kind of pesticide.
8. Earwig Traps
Create your own traps for earwigs. Roll damp paper tightly, securing it with rubber bands, twist ties, clothespins or other acceptable means. Place the roll in the field where the earwigs were seen in the evening. They are drawn to dampness and will only be able to find their way out of the newspaper. In the morning, discard a newspaper roll containing the trapped earwigs. Before discarding it, cover the trap in a plastic container.
9. Earwig Spray
Mix an earwig from household goods with a spray repellent. Apply 2tbsp. An 8-oz of baking soda. Water-filled spray bottle. Just shake good. Apply 1 tsp. Soap for dish-washing. To keep the earwigs away, spray the repellent around trees, light fixtures and door frames. From a 50/50 combination of water and white vinegar, you can also make a spray repellent.
Bury cans half full of beer in your garden or near it. Bury it far enough that even the ground is at the top of the can. The earwigs would fall in the can and drown, drawn to the smell of beer.
11. Sticky Trap
To capture the earwigs, make a sticky trap. Cover a piece of cardboard, sticky side up, with duct tape. Place the cardboard below the couches, tables or anywhere earwigs bother you. The insects are about to crawl through the trap and get trapped. Dispose of the whole pit, the earwigs and all!
12. Seal Entrances
Through doorways and areas close to your base, earwigs also enter your house. For any holes that they may come into, check your house. To keep them from gaining access your house, seal gaps near water pipes, baseboards and walls. To prevent them from entering through the front door, add a rubber door seal.
How to get rid of earwigs in potted plants
Earwigs don’t occupy large spaces due to their small size; but once they increase their number, their presence can be determined by noticing their black-colored excreta on the leaves.
Once you get to know about their presence, you can get rid of them through the following ways in order to save your plants:
- Lay bamboo or garden hose between your plant beds to catch any earwig.
Once caught, you can dump them in soapy water.
- Spread petroleum jelly around your plant stem to avoid them coming near your plants.
- In the absence of children, spray borax powder to prevent woodpile infections.
- Make oil pit traps by combining olive oil and soya sauce in a plastic container and sealing it. Once sealed, make some holes at the top and pace it about three inches under your soil. Soya sauce will attract earwigs in the box and olive oil won’t allow them to leave.
- Use alcohol like Isopropanol and Ethanol as a surfactant or killing agent. Before using them on earwigs, test them on plants. If they cause any damage, dilute it by adding some water and use it again.
- Use insecticides such as aerosol to control their infestation.
How to prevent Earwigs?
You can prevent earwigs from entering your garden or house through the following ways:
- Remove garden debris and excess pilings to prevent earwigs from breeding.
- Get rid of excessive moisture and keep the nearby areas dry.
- Direct rainwater and spouts away from your house.
- Use weather stripping to block the entry space between the sides of doors, windows, and pipes.
- Use ornamental stones or gravel to make barriers against earwigs and pests.
- Make your garden bird-friendly as birds act as natural predators for earwigs.
Earwigs are ominous-looking insects, also known as “pincher bugs,” they are best identified by the pinchers reaching from their abdomen to their tail end. They’re harmless to humans, but they look intimidating.
Earwigs are insects that feed on plants and crops during the night time making it hard for humans to notice them before they increase in number. Once you get even the slightest hint about their infestation, get rid of them using natural ways so that no damage is done to plants, and crops remain edible