Updated: February 17, 2023

Earwigs are one of the most common household pests that many people encounter. These small, brown insects with pincers on their tails can be found in dark, damp areas such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. While there are several methods to repel insects from your home, many people swear by using baby powder to keep them at bay. But does baby powder really repel earwigs? We explore the science behind baby powder as an insect repellent and whether it is effective against earwigs.

Earwigs 101

Earwigs belong to the order Dermaptera and are characterized by their elongated bodies and forceps-like appendages located at the end of their abdomen. They are nocturnal creatures and prefer dark, moist environments. In households, earwigs can be found in areas such as basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and other damp areas.

Baby Powder as an Insect Repellent

Baby powder has been used for decades as a household remedy for repelling insects. The effectiveness of baby powder as an insect repellent lies in its ability to absorb moisture. Insects require moisture to survive, and baby powder absorbs this moisture, effectively drying out the insects and making it difficult for them to survive. Additionally, baby powder contains talc or cornstarch, which can create a barrier between the insect and its food source.

The Science Behind Earwig Behavior

Earwigs are notoriously difficult to repel due to their behavior and habits. They are attracted to moist environments, making it difficult to completely eliminate their presence in households. Additionally, earwigs have a unique grooming behavior that can render traditional insect repellents ineffective. Earwigs clean themselves regularly and can remove any residue left by traditional insect repellents, making them less effective over time.

Can Baby Powder Repel Earwigs?

While there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that baby powder can repel earwigs, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be effective in some instances. However, it is important to note that using baby powder as an earwig repellent may have limitations. For example, if the infestation is severe or if the powder is not applied properly or in sufficient quantities, it may not be effective.

Alternative Methods for Repelling Earwigs

If using baby powder as an earwig repellent does not work for you or if you prefer alternative methods for repelling insects from your home, there are several other options available. Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can be used to kill and repel insects without harmful chemicals. Additionally, sealing cracks and crevices in your home can help to prevent earwigs from entering in the first place.


While baby powder may be effective at repelling some insects from your home due to its ability to absorb moisture and create a barrier between the insect and its food source, there is no conclusive evidence that it is effective at repelling earwigs specifically. If you are dealing with an earwig infestation in your home, it may be best to explore alternative methods for repelling these pesky insects.