In small numbers, and in spite of their creepy appearance and even creepier name, earwigs are relatively harmless. However, in large numbers, these insects can wreak havoc on your garden plants.
Overall, most would agree that earwigs are unwelcome pests in the yard. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can repel earwigs from your garden without using harmful chemicals or pesticides.
Are you looking for the best natural earwig repellent for organic gardeners? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Join us today as we take a look at some of the best natural earwig repellent that is safe for people, pets, and the environment.
But First, Here’s What You Should Know About Earwigs
In small numbers, earwigs are actually good for your garden.
Earwigs are small insects that are sometimes confused with cockroaches or other types of hard-bodied bugs. They have a pincer-like appendage at the end of their abdomen, which they can use to “bite”, for lack of a better word, when they feel threatened or are disturbed. But unlike roaches and other insect pests, earwigs are actually beneficial to the environment. Well…in small numbers, that is.
So, What Are Earwigs?
“Earwig” is the common name for several species of insects in the order Dermaptera. In fact, there are roughly 2,000 species of earwigs across the globe.
These primarily small brown or black insects are known for their ability to fold their wings (yes – earwigs have wings) under their body, which makes them look like they have pincers. In fact, they do have pincers that they use for mating purposes, protection, and even for attacking prey.
Earwigs are often villainized due to their creepy look and unpleasant name, however, in small numbers, these insects are quite beneficial for gardens and plants. In fact, earwigs are predatory insects that feed on a variety of garden pests that are far more damaging than they are to vegetation.
Unfortunately, earwigs also feed on plants and vegetables, and in large numbers, they can be incredibly destructive.
The good news is that earwig infestations are incredibly rare. Earwigs are solitary insects, with females able to brood up to twice a year and produce up to 80 eggs each time.
What Is An Earwig’s Life Cycle?
Earwig eggs hatch into nymphs that go through five moltings before becoming adults. The life cycle may take as little as 40 to 60 days.
The average lifespan of an earwig is about one year, though this can vary depending on temperature and other factors like food supply and predation pressure from birds and other predators.
And while an earwig infestation may be rare, it is possible. This is especially true if the environment of your garden is ideal for these pests.
Keep reading to learn more.
Why Do I Have So Many Earwigs In My Garden?
Earwig infestations are rare, though they can happen.
It’s quite common to find earwigs in the yard or garden, especially during warmer months. Though they are not harmful, they can be annoying to have around, especially if they accidentally wind up in your home.
And if you’re here looking for the best earwig repellent, then it’s also important to understand why you might be dealing with earwigs in the first place.
Earwigs can be found not only in gardens, but also in mulched areas, shrubbery, and around homes. They are most attracted to moisture and decaying organic material. In fact, one of the most common reasons for having a large number of earwigs in your garden is because there is too much moisture present in your soil. Because these insects like to live near water sources, this can cause them to seek out your yard or garden as a source of drinking water or shelter from predators.
However, if you notice that your garden has an excessive number of earwigs present, there may be other factors involved besides just a moist environment.
Like many insects, earwigs are attracted to light. Oftentimes these pests will venture out at night to look for food, which includes plants and flowers. If there is a lot of light in your area, then this could attract more earwigs to your garden than you would like.
Earwigs also love mulch and compost piles because these areas provide them with plenty of food as well as hiding places for mating purposes. If you have an overabundance of these types of materials around your home, then this could also cause an increase in these pests.
Other pest activities could also be a reason for your earwig problem. Earwigs feed on a variety of insects including ants, mites, aphids, sowbugs, and even the eggs of other insects. But that’s not all.
Earwigs are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. So along with insects, earwigs will also feed heavily on plants, fruits, and vegetables. Some common foods for earwigs include:
- Flowers (especially dahlias)
- Vegetables (especially sweet potatoes)
- Fruits (especially apples)
So, what does this mean for you when it comes to finding the best earwig repellent? It means that getting rid of earwigs is going to be a process that takes not only a good earwig repellent but also steps to ensure other pests aren’t roaming about your garden attracting them.
Different Natural Methods You Can Use For Earwig Repellent And Control
There are several natural methods you can use to get rid of earwigs.
Although earwigs may not be harmful, their presence could be the first indicator that something isn’t quite right in your garden. Luckily, many of the methods you would use to get rid of earwigs will also work to get rid of other pests that might be attracting them there.
And there are certainly many different ways to go about getting rid of earwigs, even if you plan on doing it naturally or using an all-natural earwig repellent.
Natural Earwig Repellent Sprays
Using natural earwig repellent can be an effective way to repel earwigs and many other pests. However, it is important to remember that these methods are not always 100% effective. In fact, using a natural earwig repellent works best when this method is used in conjunction with other forms of earwig control methods, like those listed below.
Companion planting is another method you can use that can help repel earwigs from your garden. Companion planting involves growing plants that attract beneficial insects into your garden as well as plants that repel pests. Pest plants such as marigolds can be planted near vegetable patches to keep away pests such as earwigs from destroying crops.
Inviting The Predators
Another way to get rid of earwigs using a natural earwig repellent is to invite their predators into your garden. Earwig predators include spiders, birds, lizards, yellow jackets, centipedes, and frogs.
If you want to get rid of earwigs and keep them from coming back, a great natural earwig repellent is some simple landscaping. Remove excess water sources, keep your yard nice and tidy, and don’t allow leaf litter or other garden debris to build up, as this attracts not only earwigs but also other pests.
There are many useful home remedies that you can use for natural earwig repellent and control such as white vinegar, garlic or lemon juice mixed with water, and even essential oils. If you are interested in using home remedies to make your own natural earwig spray, scroll down to that section below.
Professional Pest Control
Though rare, earwigs have been known to infest homes as well as commercial buildings if they get out of control outdoors. If you have an infestation of earwigs in your yard, you might want to consider hiring a professional pest control company to help get rid of them for you quickly. A professional may also be needed if you find you can not eradicate the earwigs on your property by yourself.
But before you decide if professionals are the right solution for you, why not try your hand at a few of the above options listed when it comes to natural earwig repellent?
Let’s take a look now at some of our favorite commercial earwig repellents for organic gardeners.
Best Natural Earwig Repellent For Organic Gardeners
There are plenty of natural products you can use to get rid of earwigs.
Earwig repellent products are a good way to keep your garden free from these pesky insects. Of course, if you’re an organic gardener, then using a chemical earwig repellent is off the table.
The good news here is that there are plenty of natural earwig repellent products you can purchase that use plant-based ingredients that are safe for people, pets, and the environment.
When choosing a natural earwig repellent, there are several factors you should consider before making a purchase.
There are a number of different types of natural earwig repellent products available on the market today. Some are made from natural ingredients while others use chemical compounds to repel earwigs. The type of product you choose will depend on your personal preference as well as what kind of environmental impact you want to have on the world around you.
Remember to look for earwig repellent products that contain natural active ingredients like lemongrass oil, citronella oil, or peppermint oil. These natural oils are known for their insect-repelling properties, which makes them ideal for keeping away pesky earwigs from your organic garden. Other natural ingredients can include powders or dust like borax or Diatomaceous Earth.
The first step in choosing which type of natural earwig repellent is right for you is understanding what each one offers and how it works. The second step is determining what factors make up a quality product for this purpose.
If you’re not sure where to begin, we have listed some of our favorite all-natural earwig repellent products to consider below.
Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
One of the most effective and safest ways to repel earwigs is by using a natural product like Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer above. This natural earwig repellent product is made from crushed algae that have been fossilized over millions of years. It contains sharp edges that cut through the exoskeletons of insects when they walk over it. This dehydrates the insect, effectively killing it.
Earwigs have waxy exoskeletons that help to keep water in, so they are particularly susceptible to products like Diatomaceous Earth. Not only will crawling through the product kill them, but they will also avoid the powder substance as well, making DE an excellent earwig repellent.
To use Diatomaceous Earth, sprinkle it around your plants and flowers every few days during warm weather. Best of all, DE is perfectly safe for children and pets, so you don’t have to worry about them being at risk while playing outside in your yard.
Monterey Sluggo Plus
Monterey Sluggo Plus is an organic product that you can use to repel earwigs from your garden, as well as many other pests. The product is made from a combination of ingredients including garlic, hot pepper, and castor oil. This makes it safe for pets and children, yet still strong enough to repel earwigs from your garden.
To use Monterey Sluggo Plus, simply spray it directly onto the soil around your plants, especially where you’ve noticed earwig activity in the past. Be sure to apply this product once every two weeks for the best results.
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray is an organic solution to repel earwigs in your garden. This is an all-natural earwig repellent spray that is made with a blend of essential oils and other plant-based ingredients. It is safe for use around children and pets, and there is no spray and wait time upon applying this product to your garden.
The spray is designed to be used outside around the perimeter of your home. You can also use it on plants that are vulnerable to pests like earwigs and other insects.
The best way to repel earwigs with Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray is by spraying the perimeter of your home around windows, doors, and any cracks or crevices where they might enter. You can also spray plants that pests such as tomatoes and other vegetables that may be damaged by their presence.
We like that this earwig repellent can be used on your lawn and in flower beds to repel not only pests like earwigs, but also mosquitoes, roaches, fleas, ticks, and ants. For the best results, experts recommend you spray your yard every two weeks.
Bonide Neem Oil For Organic Gardening
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Bonide Neem oil spray is a natural insecticide that uses neem oil, a byproduct of the neem tree, to kill pests. Neem oil works as a contact poison and can be applied to soil or plants to kill insects like earwigs that come into contact with it. It is considered safe for use around humans and animals when properly diluted and applied according to the directions on the label.
The active ingredient in Bonide Neem Oil Insecticide For Organic Gardening is azadirachtin A (also known as neem extract), which is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree.
This product kills insects by dissolving their digestive system so they starve to death rather than being poisoned by the chemical itself. It also has repellent qualities that keep earwigs and other insects away from treated plants for several weeks after application.
Products You Can Use In Conjunction With Natural Earwig Repellent
Along with using repellents, you can also make some updates to your yard to keep earwigs at bay.
You can try many different methods and types of products to repel earwigs, and there are several different types of products on the market that will work well in conjunction with the natural earwig repellent products we have discussed above.
When choosing products that work well with a natural earwig repellent, there are a few things to keep in mind:
How Does It Work Alongside The Earwig Repellent I Am Using?
When picking out different products that you would like to use together for the same goal, be sure they do not counteract one another. For example, if you are looking for an earwig repellent, you don’t want to buy earwig traps with an attractant built-in, as this is counterproductive.
Is it safe?
Some products such as DE or cedar chips may be safe for children but not necessarily cats or dogs, so check their labels carefully before using them around your pets.
Does it work?
Most products will work with varying degrees of success depending on the situation and how much time you have put into applying them correctly so make sure you read the instructions carefully before using any product!
Here are a few products we have found to work well alongside natural earwig repellent products for organic gardeners.
Briignite Store Yellow Bug Light Bulbs
As we discussed above in this article, earwigs are attracted to light. If you enjoy having lights in your garden, there are some types of lightbulbs you can invest in that actually deter pests like earwigs.
The Briignite Store Yellow Bug Light Bulbs are lights you can use in your garden and around your property in conjunction with other natural products like a natural earwig repellent.
The yellow bug light bulbs may not necessarily repel earwigs and other pests, but they are designed to not attract them in the first place. Unlight soft white lights or other traditional outdoor garden lights, yellow light bulbs actually are not enticing to pests, so earwigs will stay away.
The yellow bug light bulbs are not just effective for repelling pests—they are also safe for use around humans and animals. Plus, they will add a lovely ambiance to your garden.
Playsafer Rubber Mulch
Using mulch in your yard and garden is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, mulch can help your plants and vegetation thrive. On the other, mulch provides an ideal living environment for pests like earwigs due to the decaying organic matter it harbors and the high moisture retention it holds.
Enter Playsafer Rubber Mulch! Playsafer Mulch is made from recycled tires which makes it an ideal choice for use around your home because it provides natural protection against pests such as earwigs. This type of mulch is easy to install and will not rot or mold the way that traditional wood chips do over time when exposed to moisture or humidity in the air.
It also provides excellent insulation against extreme temperatures so it won’t heat up too much in the sun during the summer months nor will it get too cold during winter months when snow covers the ground.
How To Make Your Own Natural Earwig Repellent Using Home Remedies
Home remedies like vinegar and peppermint oil can help repel earwigs.
As we already know, there are plenty of earwig repellents available commercially. Unfortunately, many of these products may contain harsh ingredients and chemicals that can be harmful to your health, the health of your pets and loved ones, and the health of the environment.
If you’re looking for a quality all-natural earwig repellent but can’t seem to find the best product for you, you’re in luck!
Earwigs are sensitive pests, which means it may be easier than you think to make your own natural earwig repellent using ingredients found around the home.
Here are some of the best natural earwig repellents for organic gardeners:
1) Catnip Oil
2) Garlic Oil
3) Soap Spray
4) Bay Leaves
5) Vinegar Spray
6) Lemon Juice Spray
7) Canola Oil
How To Make Your Own Vinegar Spray Earwig Repellent
To make a vinegar spray earwig repellent, mix 1 part water with 2 parts white vinegar and spray the mixture anywhere you see earwigs lurking. You can also make a solution using insecticidal soap and put it in rags or paper towels that will be placed near areas where the bugs may be hiding out.
How To Make Your Own Vegetable Oil Earwig Repellent
Vinegar works well to repel earwigs and other pests. However, if you’re looking for an alternative method, you can make your own natural earwig repellent spray using ingredients that are readily available at most grocery stores and markets. This spray will discourage earwigs from coming near your garden while also helping to protect it from any damage they might cause.
To make the repellent, you will need:
- 1 pint of water (8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal or flour
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or canola oil (though canola oil works best)
Combine all of the above ingredients into a spray bottle with a lid and shake well until dissolved. You may need to shake it again before each use if any clumps form after sitting for several hours.
Then simply apply this homemade earwig repellent liberally around the perimeter of your garden or flower bed where you want to keep pests away from plants or vegetables. You can also spray directly onto plants as needed when bugs are present.
How To Make A Garlic juice Earwig Repellent
Garlic is a natural repellent for earwigs. It can be used as a natural pesticide and insecticide. You can use garlic in a few ways, but one of our favorites is the garlic repellent spray:
You Will Need:
1 cup of fresh garlic cloves (you can use dried cloves too)
1 cup of water (separated into two halves)
A jar with a lid
A blender or food processor
In a blender or food processor, mix together the garlic and 1/2 cup of water until you have a smooth paste. Transfer this mixture to your jar, then add another 1/2 cup of water and put on the lid. Shake vigorously until you have created an emulsion. The best thing about this earwig repellent is that it will last for months if stored in the refrigerator!
Alcohol Earwig Repellent
Alcohol is another natural earwig repellent that works well against not only earwigs but many other pests. If you have an earwig infestation, pour some alcohol into a bowl and place it near the area where you think they are hiding. The smell will deter them from entering their hiding spots again.
You can also combine equal parts of rubbing alcohol with water and add 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice to the blend. Then spray this product around areas you have noticed earwig activity.
However, we should note that alcohol can be drying to plants. Use this method with caution in your garden.
Organic Gardening And Earwigs – How To Manage These Pests Effectively and Naturally
Though earwigs are pesky, they can be managed using consistency and patience.
Earwigs are a common pest of gardens. They feed on plants and cause damage to the leaves, flowers, and fruit. They also can be a nuisance because they crawl into the home looking for food and moisture. Earwigs are nocturnal insects, so they are active at night when humans are asleep. They hide during the day in mulch or under stones or boards lying on the ground.
Earwigs have pincers that can pinch if they feel threatened. They do not bite humans but will bite other insects such as caterpillars or grasshoppers if given the opportunity.
While earwigs are not harmful to people or pets, they can be harmful to our gardens if left to get out of control, as we mentioned above. Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take as well as natural earwig repellent products you can invest in to keep these pests under control.
Remember, if you do find that you have a severe earwig infestation, this could be a sign of other pest problems brewing. If you can’t manage the earwigs on your own using natural earwig repellent products, it may be best to contact a professional.
Of course, for the most part, you should be able to tackle this earwig problem head-on using the above methods, tips, and tricks listed by our experts.
So, what do you think about earwigs and natural earwig repellent products? Would you try your hand at making your own earwig repellent spray?
Share what you think with us in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.