Updated: February 12, 2023

Earwigs are small insects that are commonly found in gardens and homes. Although they are not harmful to humans, they can cause damage to plants and crops. Therefore, controlling their population is important for gardeners and farmers alike. In recent years, natural repellents have gained popularity as a safer and eco-friendlier alternative to chemical pesticides. One such potential repellent is balsam fir.

The Science Behind Balsam Fir

Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) is a type of evergreen tree that is native to North America. It is known for its pleasant scent and is often used in Christmas decorations. However, balsam fir may also have insect repelling properties. According to a study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, balsam fir contains chemical compounds that are toxic to some insects, including earwigs.

Earwig Behaviour and Habitat

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that feed on plants, insects, and decaying organic matter. They are attracted to moist environments and are commonly found in gardens, under rocks, and in compost piles. Earwigs can cause damage to plants by feeding on leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Testing Balsam Fir’s Repelling Properties on Earwigs

To test balsam fir’s repelling properties on earwigs, a study was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia. In the study, balsam fir essential oil was applied to filter paper discs and placed in a petri dish with earwigs. The results showed that balsam fir significantly reduced the number of earwigs compared to the control group.

Practical Applications of Using Balsam Fir as an Earwig Repellent

Balsam fir can be used as an earwig repellent in gardens and homes. One way to use it is to place balsam fir branches or essential oil near plants or areas where earwigs are commonly found. Balsam fir can also be used in homemade insect repellent sprays.

It is important to note that balsam fir should be used with caution as it can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people. Additionally, it may not be effective against all species of earwigs.

Using balsam fir as an earwig repellent is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. It also has the added benefit of providing a pleasant scent to the surrounding environment.


In conclusion, balsam fir may have insect repelling properties that make it an effective natural alternative to chemical pesticides for controlling earwigs. However, further research is needed to determine its effectiveness against other insect species and its long-term effects on plants and the environment. Using balsam fir as an earwig repellent can be a safe and effective way to control their population while also providing a pleasant scent to your garden or home.