Dealing with Earwigs: How to Keep Them from Damaging Your Garden

As a master gardener, I’ve seen my fair share of insects that can wreak havoc on a garden. One insect in particular that seems to cause quite a bit of damage is the earwig. These small, brown insects with pincers on their backside are often found hiding in dark, damp areas of the garden and can quickly multiply if left unchecked.

Earwigs can be especially problematic for gardeners because they feed on a variety of plants and can cause significant damage to seedlings and young plants. However, there are steps you can take to keep them at bay and protect your garden.

In this article, we’ll explore some effective methods for dealing with earwigs so that you can keep your garden healthy and thriving throughout the growing season.

Identifying Earwigs And Their Behavior

Earwigs are a common garden pest that can wreak havoc on your plants. These insects are easy to identify due to their long, slender bodies and pincer-like appendages at the end of their abdomen. You may also notice their distinctive odor when you crush them.

One of the most notable behaviors of earwigs is their love for dark, damp places. They will often hide in small crevices and cracks during the day and come out at night to feed on plants.

Earwigs are especially attracted to moist soil, making wet areas of your garden particularly susceptible to infestation.

Another behavior of earwigs is their tendency to congregate in large numbers. This can be problematic as they can quickly overwhelm a plant or bed. Additionally, earwigs have been known to feed on not just leaves but also fruit and flowers, causing significant damage to your garden’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Creating An Unfriendly Environment For Earwigs

Earwigs can be a real pain for gardeners, as they tend to eat plants and cause damage. One way to combat this problem is by creating an unfriendly environment for earwigs. This means making it difficult for them to thrive in your garden.

First and foremost, make sure that your garden is not too damp or moist. Earwigs prefer wet environments, so keeping your soil dry can help deter them from taking up residence in your garden.

Additionally, be sure to remove any debris or clutter from your yard, as these areas provide ideal hiding spots for earwigs.

Another effective method of creating an unfriendly environment for earwigs is by using natural repellents. Some options include diatomaceous earth, cedar oil, and neem oil. These substances can be applied directly to the soil or sprayed on plants to repel earwigs and other pests.

Remember that prevention is key when it comes to dealing with earwigs. By implementing these strategies early on, you can create an environment that is inhospitable to these pesky insects and keep your garden looking healthy and vibrant all season long.

Natural Remedies For Earwig Control

When it comes to controlling earwigs, there are several natural remedies that can be used.

Firstly, you can use diatomaceous earth which is a powdery substance made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. It works by dehydrating and killing insects, including earwigs. Simply sprinkle the powder around plants and other areas where earwigs are commonly found.

Another natural remedy that has been effective in controlling earwigs is using vegetable oil traps. This method involves filling a small container with vegetable oil and placing it near plants where earwigs are present. The earwigs will be attracted to the oil and will eventually drown.

Lastly, planting certain herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and basil around your garden can help deter earwigs. These herbs have strong fragrances that repel earwigs and other insects. Additionally, they also have culinary uses which means you get the added benefit of having fresh herbs readily available for cooking.

Here are three simple steps to follow for using natural remedies for earwig control:

1. Apply diatomaceous earth around plants.

2. Set up vegetable oil traps near affected areas.

3. Plant rosemary, thyme, or basil around your garden.

By following these steps, you can effectively control the population of earwigs in your garden without resorting to harmful chemicals. Remember to monitor your plants regularly and adjust your methods accordingly as needed. With patience and persistence, you’ll be able to keep your garden free of pesky pests like earwigs!

Chemical Solutions For Severe Infestations

For severe infestations of earwigs, chemical solutions may be necessary. While these methods should always be a last resort, they can be effective in controlling the population and preventing further damage to your garden.

One option is using insecticidal sprays specifically designed for earwigs. These products contain chemicals that target the pests and kill them on contact. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and apply the spray at the right time, typically in the evening when earwigs are most active.

Another solution is using bait traps. These traps lure earwigs with a food source, such as rolled oats or fish oil, and then trap them inside. This method is more targeted than spraying and can help reduce harm to beneficial insects in your garden.

Remember, while chemical solutions can be effective, it’s important to use them responsibly and only as a last resort. Always wear protective gear when handling chemicals and dispose of any unused product properly.

With careful consideration and the right approach, you can successfully manage an earwig infestation without harming your garden or environment.

Prevention Tips For Future Earwig Problems

Now that we have discussed chemical solutions for severe earwig infestations, let’s turn our attention to prevention tips for future problems. Prevention is always the best course of action when it comes to gardening, and there are several simple steps you can take to keep earwigs from damaging your plants.

Firstly, remove any debris or clutter from your garden area. Earwigs love to hide in dark, damp places, so removing any potential hiding spots will help prevent them from taking up residence in your garden.

Additionally, try to avoid overwatering your plants, as this can create an ideal environment for earwigs and other pests.

Secondly, consider planting certain herbs and flowers that will repel earwigs naturally. These include calendula, lavender, and rosemary. Not only do these plants look beautiful in the garden, but they also release scents that are unpleasant to earwigs and will keep them away from your other plants.

Lastly, make sure to regularly inspect your garden for signs of earwig damage. If you catch an infestation early on, it will be much easier to control before it becomes a serious problem.

Remember: prevention is key when it comes to keeping your garden healthy and free from pests like earwigs!


So, my fellow gardeners, let us not be intimidated by the tiny but mighty earwig. Let us take control of our gardens and keep these pesky insects at bay.

By creating an unfriendly environment through simple techniques such as using mulch and removing debris, we can make it difficult for them to thrive.

However, if the infestation is severe, do not hesitate to use chemical solutions. Remember though, prevention is key.

Regularly inspect your plants and implement preventative measures such as reducing watering in the evening and ensuring proper drainage.

As master gardeners, we must always stay vigilant and adapt to any challenges that come our way. Together, we can ensure a thriving and beautiful garden free from earwig damage.