How To Get Rid of Earwigs in Your Garden - Backyard Boss
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How To Get Rid of Earwigs in Your Garden

Earwigs don’t just exist in your nightmares; they’re in your garden, as well. They chew holes in the foliage of your favorite plants and eat up all the ripe fruits and veggies, not to mention flowers in full bloom. While earwigs are normally considered beneficial bugs, it’s important to remove them if damage is excessive.

Fortunately, we’ve rounded up all the best tips and tricks to get rid of earwigs in your garden. From DIY solutions to store-bought alternatives, there are plenty of different methods to choose from. And if you’re looking for a quick solution, you’ll be able to try more than one at once.

Identify the Earwigs

Close up image of earwig on twig
Image credits: sankax via openverse

Before you start treating your garden for a specific type of pest, it’s crucial to confirm what you’re dealing with. Fortunately, earwigs are pretty easy to spot.

Earwigs are attracted to humid and warm climates, as well as vegetation, so it’s no secret that they love gardens. That being said, they help to control other pests, so if you spot one or two it’s not a big deal. If they start to chew up your leaves and cause too much destruction in your garden, it’s time to take action.

You’ll know you have earwigs by their appearance: they’re about 3/4 of an inch in length with long reddish-brown bodies and pincers on their back end. They’re quite quick and they usually gather in dark, moist places such as log piles or beneath rocks. You’ll also likely spot plenty of holes in your plants, and they particularly like flowers, lettuce, celery, and fruits.

If you’ve got other pests such as cabbage worms or ants, we’ve got guides for handling those as well!

Materials You Will Need to Get Rid of Earwigs

Bucket, soil, gloves, and tools for gardening
Image credits: Melinda Young Stuart via openverse

Since there are numerous different ways to get rid of earwigs, there are lots of different materials you’ll need–many of which you likely already have at home. Below, we’ll share the breakdown of what you’ll need for each option, and later we’ll delve into how you can execute each.

Option 1: DIY Traps

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Small dishes

Option 2: Diatomaceous Earth

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Gloves

Option 3: DIY Sprays

  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

Option 4: Sticky Traps

  • Sticky tape
  • Petroleum jelly

Option 5: Pesticides

  • Pesticides labeled for earwig control

A Guide on How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your Garden

Option 1: DIY Traps

One of the easiest ways to rid your garden of earwigs is DIY traps. They require common household ingredients and minimal effort to set up, though they effectively capture and kill the bugs.

To put the traps together, simply mix equal parts olive oil (or vegetable oil) and soy sauce into a shallow bowl (whether you’d like to use something disposable or reusable is up to you). You can opt to put only olive oil in the bowls, but the mixture will attract the bugs better.

Then, place the bowls around your garden and yard in the evening. The bugs should crawl into the bowls and drown. Collect them in the morning, disposing of the bugs.

Option 2: Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth
Image credits: Helin Loik-Tomson via Canva

Diatomaceous earth has many uses, but it is commonly used to combat garden pests. To use, simply sprinkle the mineral around your plants and on common gathering areas such as wood piles. The sharp powder will penetrate the shells of the bugs and dehydrate them, causing them to die. It is also a natural, organic option, but it is ineffective when wet so it’s important to reapply.

Option 3: DIY Sprays

Pesticide spray
Image credits: fbxx via Canva

If DIY solutions interest you, a homemade bug-killing spray is definitely the way to go. And the best part? They’re made up of regular household supplies! To create the solution, mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 32 ounces of water. You can stop there and mist onto your plants daily using a spray bottle, or you can add 1 teaspoon of cayenne and garlic for more powerful effects.

Option 4: Sticky Traps

Sticky tape for garden pests
Image credits: fantareis via Pixabay

When it comes to sticky traps, there are a couple of different options. You can use either sticky tape or petroleum jelly, though both will do the trick. Simply spread or lay the material around the stems of your plants and the earwigs will avoid them. Otherwise, they will get stuck and become trapped.

Option 5: Pesticides

Garden sprayer
Image credits: HappyNati via Canva

If the other methods in our list don’t do the trick, pesticides that specifically target earwigs will. The best pesticides for earwigs are sevin, malathion, and pyrethrins. To use, follow the package directions. Most options will suggest that users simply mist onto plants and crops, reapplying every 7 days and pairing with other pest control methods.

In Summary

While many of these methods require upkeep to keep earwig infestations at bay, they are effective. Plus, they require affordable and common ingredients, making them a hassle free option. That being said, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to get rid of every single earwig you see–only if they become a nuisance should you begin to treat them!

Have you tried any of these solutions to earwigs in your garden? Let us know your experience below!