Updated: June 10, 2023

Earwigs are a common household pest that can be found in gardens, basements, and other damp areas. They are known for their distinctive appearance, which includes a pair of pincers on their abdomens. Many people wonder if there is a way to repel earwigs from their homes without resorting to harsh chemicals. One popular remedy is the use of ammonia. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of ammonia as a repellant for earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They have long, slender bodies and are typically brown or black in color. One of the most distinctive features of earwigs is the pair of pincers on their abdomens. These pincers are used for defense and mating purposes.

Earwigs are nocturnal creatures and prefer to hide during the day. They are often found in dark, damp areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and gardens. They feed on plants, insects, and other small creatures.

What is Ammonia?

Ammonia is a colorless gas with a distinct odor. It is composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms and has a chemical formula of NH3. Ammonia is commonly used in household cleaning products and as a fertilizer for plants.

Ammonia is highly toxic to humans and animals when ingested or inhaled in large amounts. It can cause respiratory problems and irritation of the skin and eyes.

Does Ammonia Repel Earwigs?

Previous studies have shown that ammonia can be an effective repellent for insects such as cockroaches and ants. However, there is limited research on the effectiveness of ammonia as a repellent for earwigs.

To test the effectiveness of ammonia on earwigs, an experiment was conducted. A small dish was filled with ammonia and placed in an area known to be inhabited by earwigs. After 24 hours, the dish was checked for any earwig activity.

The results of the experiment were inconclusive. While there was some evidence that the earwigs had avoided the area around the dish, it was unclear if this was due to the presence of ammonia or simply because they had found another place to hide.

Other Natural Remedies for Repelling Earwigs

If ammonia is not effective in repelling earwigs, there are several other natural remedies that may be worth trying:

  • Essential oils: Certain essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil have been shown to repel insects including earwigs.
  • Diatomaceous earth: This natural substance is made from fossilized diatoms and can be sprinkled around areas where earwigs are known to hide.
  • Cedar oil: Cedar oil has natural insecticidal properties and can be used to repel earwigs.


In conclusion, while ammonia may be effective in repelling some insects, there is limited evidence to suggest that it is an effective repellent for earwigs. There are several other natural remedies that may be worth trying if you are struggling with an earwig infestation.

If you do decide to use ammonia or any other type of insect repellent, it is important to use caution and follow all safety instructions carefully. If you have any concerns about using these products, it is best to consult with a pest control professional.

Further research should be conducted to determine the effectiveness of ammonia as a repellent for earwigs. Specifically, larger scale experiments could be conducted over a longer period of time to determine whether or not ammonia is an effective long-term solution for controlling earwig infestations.