Updated: March 26, 2023

Earwigs are a common garden insect known for their elongated bodies and pincers. Despite their creepy appearance, earwigs are generally harmless to humans and plants. However, they can quickly become a nuisance when they invade homes and gardens in large numbers. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of bar soap as a potential earwig repellent.

Common myths about earwigs

Before we delve into the effectiveness of bar soap as an earwig repellent, it’s essential to address some common myths about these insects. One of the most popular myths is that earwigs crawl into people’s ears while they sleep. This myth is entirely false as earwigs prefer damp environments, such as under rocks and logs, and are not attracted to human ears.

Earwigs behavior and habits

To understand why earwigs may be attracted to certain areas, it’s essential to know their behavior and habits. Earwigs prefer dark, damp environments and are nocturnal insects. They feed on both plant matter and small insects, making them beneficial in gardens as they can help control pests such as aphids.

Earwigs preferred environment

Earwigs prefer to live in moist areas, making mulched garden beds, piles of leaves or wood, and damp basements ideal habitats for them. They also tend to hide under rocks or in cracks in walls during the day.

Earwig diet and feeding habits

Earwigs are omnivores and feed on both plant material and small insects. They are particularly fond of tender new plant growth but will also eat decaying vegetation.

Bar soap as a potential earwig repellent

Bar soap has been touted as a natural remedy for repelling various pests, including earwigs. The science behind this claim is that the fatty acids in soap can disrupt an insect’s cell membranes, causing them to dehydrate and die.

The science behind bar soap and its properties

Soap works by disrupting the cell membranes of insects, causing them to lose water through osmosis. Soap also contains surfactants that help break down the waxy outer layer of an insect’s exoskeleton, further exacerbating dehydration.

Does bar soap repel earwigs?

While some people claim that rubbing bar soap along door frames or windowsills can repel earwigs, there is little scientific research to support this claim. Furthermore, even if soap does repel earwigs initially, it is unlikely to provide long-term control over an infestation.

Other methods to control earwigs

If you’re struggling with an earwig infestation in your home or garden, there are several other methods you can try.

Natural remedies

One natural remedy for controlling earwigs is diatomaceous earth. This powder contains microscopic particles that puncture the exoskeletons of insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home or garden beds as a natural barrier against earwigs.

Another natural remedy is to place rolled-up newspapers or cardboard tubes in areas where earwigs are prevalent. Earwigs will crawl into these traps during the night and can then be disposed of in the morning.

Chemical control options

If natural remedies fail to control an earwig infestation, there are several chemical control options available. Insecticides containing pyrethrins or carbaryl can effectively kill earwigs when applied directly to their hiding places.


While bar soap may have some insecticidal properties that could potentially repel earwigs, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim fully. Therefore, if you’re struggling with an earwig infestation, it’s best to use a combination of natural remedies and chemical control options for effective management.

There is little scientific evidence to support the claim that bar soap can effectively repel earwigs.

To effectively control an earwig infestation in your home or garden, it’s best to take preventative measures such as removing damp debris from your yard and sealing up cracks in walls or foundations. Additionally, using a combination of natural remedies like diatomaceous earth and chemical control options can help keep these pests at bay.