Earwigs (also known as pincher bugs) normally prefer to feast on decomposing plants or wet leaves. However, at certain times of the year, they may find your home desirable and decide to invade! Here are 8 natural ways to get rid of earwigs.
8 Natural Ways to get rid of Earwigs
Earwigs are flexible bugs with pincers (forceps) located on the hind end of the abdomen. They’re not particularly dangerous, but if they pinch you, it can hurt. The earwig uses the forceps (pincers) to hold prey as well as to spar with other earwigs, or to hold their potential mate.
They are attracted by moisture, decaying vegetation (aka dying household plants!), etc. Earwigs are active during the night, as opposed to during the day and outdoors they’re frequently found in cracks, under logs, rocks, mulch, and in flowerbeds.
It has been said that they got their name because they like to crawl into the ears of people while they sleep, but this is an unfounded myth. If you have seen a number of earwigs, there are several things you can do:
1. Remove any excess Moisture- wetness or dampness around pipes
2. Alleviate excessive humidity in basements or cellars, which attracts the earwigs, providing an excellent area to reproduce.
3. Adjust the outdoor lights to shine away from the house rather than directly onto patios and decks. Earwigs are attracted to lighting and will often find a comfy spot under chair/seat cushions, floor mats, welcome mats, etc.
4. Be sure that gutters and drain spouts drain AWAY from the home, rather than near the foundation. Consider installing a drain spout extender to keep water away from the foundation.
5. Remove any decaying plant matter around the house, flower beds, indoor household plants, etc.
6. Plant Pest-repelling herbs around the home such as anise, buckwheat, cosmos, dill, fennel, or tansy. Be aware that some herbs such as MINT actually attract them.
If you’ve spotted them in the house you can make a simple trap:
DIY Earwig Household Trap
You’ll need a shallow tin can, such as cat food cans, jar covers, etc. Fill them with about half an inch of any type of vegetable oil (corn, canola, soybean, etc). The oil works as an attractant, the earwigs climb in, but then drown because they are unable to crawl back out. Place the traps anywhere you’ve seen earwigs (such as laundry rooms, under the sink, etc)
Garden Trap Idea
Roll a newspaper into a “tube” or use the cardboard center from a roll of paper towels. Place it along the base of your plants (in the evening). In the morning, tap the tube into a bucket to dump out the earwigs that have collected. This works fairly well with household plants as well.
Earwig Natural Predators Include:
Toads, Frogs, small reptiles (lizards), birds, and spiders. If you have these natural predators around your house, they’ll help eradicate the earwig issue (outside) and around your garage.
To prevent earwigs from coming inside your home, sprinkle diatomaceous earth along potential entry points (the edges of doors), forcing them to trek through it in order to enter your home. The diatomaceous earth works by drying out their exoskeleton, killing them; but it’s perfectly safe to use around pets.
Caulk or use weather stripping to seal around all possible entry points (windows, doors, pipes, foundation cracks, etc).
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