Pest Away Tips

9 Natural Scents to Repel Earwigs from Your Garden and Home

Gardening enthusiasts are no strangers to pests that can wreak havoc on their gardens and precious plants. Pests pose a significant threat, not only to the garden but also to the outdoor environment.

From beetles to caterpillars, garden pests can significantly reduce the plant’s health and appearance, ultimately leading to their death if left unchecked. One such garden pest that gardeners dread is the earwig.

Understanding earwigs is critical in effectively controlling and preventing them from destroying your garden.

Understanding Earwigs

Earwigs belong to the insect order Dermaptera and are characterized by their elongated bodies and pinchers at the end of their abdomen. These pinchers typically look intimidating and give off the impression that they can inflict harm.

However, earwigs use them to protect themselves from predators and not to harm people. Earwigs’ eyes are easily recognizable, featuring an elongated shape that is much like that of a teardrop.

Earwigs can range in size from a few millimeters up to three centimeters long, with their bodies varying in color, ranging from dark brown to light red-brown. They prefer dark, secluded environments, such as crevices, cracks, and small spaces in the garden.

Earwigs are commonly nocturnal, and they spend most of their time hiding and foraging.

Preferred Living Conditions

Earwigs prefer to live in moist areas, such as under mulch or decaying vegetation. They also seek out organic matter, such as dead plants or decomposing leaves, for food.

Earwigs are commonly found in garden beds, hanging baskets, plant containers, and tree trunks. They prefer environments with a somewhat stable temperature range and are susceptible to freezing temperatures, which prompts them to seek shelter.

Reproduction Habits

Earwigs mate outside during warm weather when the soil temperature is at least 18 degrees Celsius. The female earwig may lay up to 80 eggs in burrows in the soil, where they remain until they hatch into nymphs.

The nymphs go through a series of moults over the next few months, shedding their skin as they grow. Earwigs can take up to a year to become mature adults.

Harm Caused by Infestations

Earwigs can cause considerable damage to garden plants by eating away at the plant leaves. They prefer to eat newer foliage, which can stunt plant growth and make them look unattractive.

Earwigs can also cause significant harm to the root system of the plant. They burrow into the soil and feed on the roots, leading to a decline in the plant’s overall health.

Earwigs can also be a severe pest in homes as they seek shelter from cold weather. They tend to congregate in areas such as basements, garages, and kitchens.

While they are not considered harmful to humans, they are a potential nuisance, and some people may be allergic to earwig secretions.

Controlling Earwig Infestations

Effective earwig control involves keeping your garden clean and free from organic matter and debris. This includes cleaning up and disposing of weeds, dead leaves, branches, and other debris that can provide a hospitable environment for earwigs.

Additionally, earwigs can be attracted to outdoor lighting, so switch off any outdoor lights at night as they may draw earwigs to the area. Several products on the market can provide effective means of controlling earwigs.

These products include insecticidal sprays containing pyrethroids and insecticidal baits. Sprays should be applied directly to the areas where earwigs reside, while baits are placed in areas where earwigs are known to congregate.

Sticky traps also offer an alternative approach to earwig control, as they are effective in trapping earwigs as they enter the trap.

Final Thoughts

Understanding earwigs and their preferred living conditions is crucial to effectively controlling infestations in your garden and outdoor environment. Keep your garden clean and free from organic matter to help prevent earwig infestations from taking hold.

Additionally, employing other control measures such as insecticidal sprays, baits, and sticky traps can help reduce populations significantly. Remember, prevention is better than cure, so it’s essential to take early, proactive measures to prevent earwig infestations before they cause significant plant damage.

Earwig infestations can be an annoying and frustrating problem for homeowners, especially during the summer months when they are most active. Infestations can quickly become overwhelming, causing damage to both indoor and outdoor environments.

This section explores the possible causes of earwig infestations and how homeowners can use scents to keep them at bay.

Causes of Earwig Infestations

Earwigs thrive in moist environments and are attracted to properties that provide them with suitable nesting and hiding places. They are often found in areas with high levels of decaying organic materials such as compost heaps, leaf piles, and dense foliage.

In residential areas, potted plants and container gardens can attract earwigs. The insects can hide between the soil and the container, making it difficult to detect and control them.

Homeowners can limit earwig habitat by reducing wet material around their property. Some of the areas to consider include the removal of leaves and dead plant materials that have accumulated around the home’s foundation.

A storage shed should be kept clean and dry by removing any damp or moist items such as wet shoes or garden hoses. The same goes for gutters and roof overhangs, which may become clogged with debris or stagnant water.

Earwigs are also attracted to light. Artificial lighting, especially those that are too bright, can draw the insects towards homes.

Homeowners should avoid using outdoor lighting during the night or switch to amber or yellow lights that are less attractive to earwigs. The temperature also affects their activity, and in hotter months, earwigs tend to seek shelter in cool, damp areas around the house.

Using Scents to Repel Earwigs

Many homeowners are hesitant to use chemical solutions to control insects such as earwigs, preferring natural alternatives. One of the most effective natural alternatives to consider is using scents that can repel earwigs from the environment.

Using scents as a solution has several advantages, including being safe, noninvasive, and environmentally friendly. The general principle of using strong scents to repel earwigs is to create a barrier that the insects cannot penetrate.

Strong smells often deter earwigs and other insects from entering certain areas. Common natural scents that can repel earwigs include cedarwood, peppermint, lavender, and citrus.

To create a barrier, homeowners can either place these plants or essential oils around their property or use sprays or diffusers. However, it’s vital to note that different scents will work better for different people.

Some homeowners may find the smell of peppermint too strong and prefer to use lavender instead. It’s important to experiment and find scents that are accessible and that homeowners find pleasing.

The accessibility of the scent is essential. For example, planting cedar or lavender plants around the garden areas may be an effective way of keeping earwigs at bay since the strong scent will be in the environment 24/7.

On the other hand, some people may not have the time or resources to maintain a garden, so using essential oils or natural sprays may be more convenient. In conclusion, earwig infestations can be problematic for homeowners.

It’s essential to understand the possible causes and take steps to eliminate them. Reducing moisture around the property and limiting access to nesting sites can contribute to diminishing the earwig population around the home.

Natural remedies, such as using scents can help to repel earwigs without harming the environment. Homeowners should experiment with different scents to find a solution that works best for their specific environment.

Using scents to repel earwigs is an excellent natural alternative to harsh chemicals. Numerous scents repel earwigs, and homeowners should carefully consider which scent will work best for them.

This section examines nine specific scents that can repel earwigs, their effectiveness, and how to use them.

Scents That Repel Earwigs

1. Eucalyptus oil:

Eucalyptus oil has a strong, fresh smell that is similar to mint.

Its strong scent can effectively repel earwigs from living around the area. Homeowners can add a few drops to cotton balls and distribute them around the affected area.

2. Peppermint oil:

Peppermint oil is a potent scent that can irritate insects and cause them to flee.

It can be applied to a cotton ball and placed in areas where earwigs are known to inhabit. 3.


Lemons have a strong, acidic smell that repels earwigs. Households can cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice around entry points.

Lemon peels can also be used instead of essential oils to repel earwigs. 4.


Cinnamon sticks can be placed at entry points or around garden beds and pots to repel earwigs. It has a strong smell that they are sensitive to and can effectively deter earwigs.

5. Basil:

Basil plants have a unique smell that can repel earwigs while still providing a visual feature in the garden.

They can be placed in pots around the garden for effective results. 6.

Lavender oil:

Lavender oil has a soothing and calming scent and can help repel earwigs. It can be applied to cotton balls and placed in affected areas.

7. Clove oil:

Clove oil has a strong, pungent smell, and has been known to work effectively in repelling earwigs.

Mix a few drops of the oil with water, shake the bottle, and spray the affected area. 8.

Rosemary oil:

Rosemary oils have a strong, fragrant scent that can repel earwigs. It can be placed in spritz bottles and sprayed in the garden or diluted with water and applied to cotton balls.

9. White vinegar:

White vinegar has a strong, acidic smell that can mask other scents and irritate earwigs.

It can be mixed with water and sprayed in affected areas.

How to Use Scents to Repel Earwigs

Various methods are available for homeowners to use when applying scents to repel earwigs. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to consider each method before deciding.

1. Fresh plants:

Using fresh plants is an affordable and effective way of repelling earwigs.

Homeowners can purchase and plant various herbs such as basil, rosemary, and mint to provide not only a visual feature but an effective barrier against earwigs. 2.

Cotton balls with essential oils:

Essential oils can be applied to cotton balls, which can be placed in areas where earwigs are likely to be found. These can be refreshed every few days to ensure the scent remains potent.

3. Juice/sprays:

Homeowners can extract the juice of scents such as lemon and apply them directly to entry points or areas where earwigs are visible.

Sprays can also be made by diluting essential oils with water and spraying the affected area. When choosing a method, homeowners should consider the accessibility of the scent.

For example, if they have outdoor space and time to maintain herbs, then fresh plants are a great option. Using essential oils on cotton balls may be more practical for indoor applications.

Homeowners should also consider their personal preferences concerning scent strength and fragrance profile. In conclusion, repelling earwigs using the appropriate scent is an effective and natural way of keeping the insects away from your property.

Nine scents have been identified, each with unique strengths and applications. It’s essential to choose the appropriate scent and method to ensure the best results.

By using natural scents, homeowners can keep their homes and gardens free from harsh chemicals while still effectively repelling earwigs. Earwigs have long been a significant problem for gardeners and homeowners.

These insects can cause significant damage to plants and property and can be a general nuisance. Fortunately, homeowners can rely on natural scents to repel earwigs from homes and gardens.

Recap of Earwig Problem and Importance of Using Natural Scents

Earwig infestations can be a challenging problem to manage, with chemical solutions being readily available but not always the most suitable option. Homeowners who wish to avoid using harsh chemicals to repel earwigs can turn to natural scents for a safer and healthier approach.

These scents work by masking favorable scents for earwigs and confusing their sense of smell, creating a barrier that they cannot penetrate. Using natural scents ensures that homeowners can enjoy a pest-free environment without exposing themselves or the environment to harmful chemicals.

Final Suggestions for Managing Earwigs

While natural scents can be an effective long-term solution for managing earwigs, they are not the only means available. Here are additional suggestions for managing earwigs:


Clearing Debris: Earwigs thrive in damp, dark places. Homeowners can limit their habitat by clearing debris and keeping areas dry.

2. Traps: Sticky traps can be placed in areas where earwigs are often seen, such as entry points or the garden.

These traps prevent the insects from moving further into the house or garden, giving homeowners time to act. 3.

Professional Help: Earwigs can be notoriously difficult to manage, and sometimes, professional help is needed. Homeowners should not hesitate to seek professional assistance if they feel overwhelmed with the situation.

4. Regular Checks: Earwigs breed quickly and can cause significant damage within a short time.

Homeowners should check for signs of the insects regularly and act immediately if they notice any signs of infestation. 5.

Humidity Control: As containment measures, homeowners can control humidity by using dehumidifiers or by opening windows for ventilation to keep the environment dry and uncomfortable for earwigs. In conclusion, earwigs are a common problem for homeowners, but they can be managed naturally without the use of harmful chemicals.

Natural scents such as eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, basil, lavender, clove, rosemary, and white vinegar can help homeowners keep their property free from the insects. Additionally, homeowners can engage in regular checks, clear debris, and use traps to manage earwig infestations.

By taking early steps and using natural solutions, homeowners can enjoy pest-free environments and avoid the use of harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment and human health. In summary, understanding and managing earwig infestations are critical for homeowners and gardeners.

Infestations can cause significant damage to gardens and homes, making prevention and management essential. By controlling moisture, using natural scents, and using traps, homeowners can manage earwig populations and ensure the environment is pest-free.

Natural scents, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender, offer a safe, noninvasive, and environmentally friendly way to repel earwigs from properties. Adopting these practices not only ensures a healthy environment, but it also promotes sustainable living practices that benefit both humans and the planet as a whole.

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