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How to Get Rid of Earwig Infestation

Earwigs, with their intimidating pincers and nocturnal habits, can be an unsettling presence in your home or garden. While they are generally harmless to humans, an infestation can lead to damaged plants and a general sense of unease. This guide will walk you through the steps to effectively eliminate earwig infestations and prevent their return.

Understanding Earwigs

Before diving into eradication methods, it is essential to understand what earwigs are and why they might be attracted to your environment. Earwigs are small insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They thrive in damp environments and are often found in gardens, under rocks, or within mulch. Their primary diet consists of decaying plant material and small insects, but they can also cause harm by feeding on live plants.

Signs of an Earwig Infestation

Recognizing the signs of an earwig infestation is the first step towards addressing the problem:

  • Visible Insects: If you see earwigs crawling around your home or garden, especially at night when they are most active.
  • Plant Damage: Noticing irregular holes or damage on leaves and flowers.
  • Damp Areas: Finding them in moist areas like basements, bathrooms, kitchens, or under outdoor debris.

Earwig Prevention Techniques

Preventing an infestation is often easier than eliminating one. Here are some strategies to keep earwigs at bay:

Reduce Moisture

Earwigs seek out moist environments. By reducing moisture around your home:

  • Fix any leaking pipes or faucets.
  • Ensure proper drainage around your home's foundation.
  • Use dehumidifiers in damp areas like basements.

Eliminate Hiding Places

Earwigs hide during the day in dark, damp places:

  • Remove piles of leaves, mulch, and other organic debris from around your home.
  • Keep firewood stacked away from exterior walls.
  • Trim back overgrown vegetation that touches your house.

Seal Entry Points

Prevent earwigs from entering your home by sealing cracks and gaps:

  • Use caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors, and foundations.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Repair any damaged screens on windows and vents.

Natural Remedies for Earwig Eradication

If prevention hasn't worked and you're dealing with an active infestation, consider these natural remedies:

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder made from fossilized algae:

  • Sprinkle DE around the foundation of your house and in areas where you've seen earwigs.
  • The fine powder dehydrates insects by damaging their exoskeletons.


Simple traps can help reduce earwig populations:

  • Roll up a damp newspaper or cardboard tube; place it near infested areas overnight. In the morning, dispose of it along with any trapped earwigs.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils have insect-repelling properties:

  • Mix water with a few drops of essential oils like neem oil or lavender oil. Spray this mixture around entry points and infested areas.

Chemical Solutions

If natural remedies prove ineffective against a severe infestation, chemical treatments may be necessary:

Insecticidal Sprays

Insecticidal sprays specifically designed for indoor use can target earwigs directly:

  • Apply according to manufacturer instructions in areas where you've seen activity.

Granular Baits

Granular baits attract and poison earwigs when ingested:

  • Scatter bait granules around the perimeter of your home as per product guidelines.


Getting rid of an earwig infestation requires a combination of understanding their behavior, implementing preventive measures, using natural remedies when possible, and resorting to chemical solutions if necessary. If you still have earwig problems, contact Environmental Pest Control and sign up on our standard care plan that protects against earwigs year round!

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