Updated: March 11, 2023

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that prefer humid environments. They are commonly found in gardens, under rocks or debris, and in dark, moist areas such as basements or bathrooms. Earwigs feed on decaying plant matter and insects, making them beneficial for gardeners in small quantities. However, when their populations grow too large, they can cause damage to plants and become a nuisance in the home.

Earwigs have a long, slender body with two pairs of wings and distinctive pincers on their tails. They are typically brown or black in color and range in size from 5-25mm.

Black Pepper as a Repellent

Black pepper is a natural substance that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It contains a compound called piperine, which has been shown to have insecticidal properties. When used as a repellent, black pepper works by irritating the senses of insects such as earwigs, causing them to avoid the area.

Several scientific studies have confirmed the effectiveness of black pepper as an insect repellent. One study found that black pepper oil was effective at repelling mosquitoes for up to two hours. Another study found that piperine was toxic to several species of insects, including cockroaches and ants.

How to Use Black Pepper to Repel Earwigs

Using black pepper to repel earwigs is simple and requires only a few household items. Here’s how:

1. Grind fresh black pepper using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
2. Sprinkle the ground black pepper around areas where earwigs are present or likely to be present.
3. Repeat as necessary every few days or after rain.

It’s important to note that while black pepper is generally safe for humans and pets, it can cause irritation if it gets into your eyes or nose. Be sure to wear gloves and avoid inhaling the pepper while applying it.

Other Natural Earwig Repellents

There are several other natural remedies for repelling earwigs, including diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and garlic spray. While these remedies may be effective, they can also be more difficult to use than black pepper.

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized algae that works by dehydrating insects. Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and has insecticidal properties. Garlic spray is made by steeping garlic cloves in water and spraying the solution around areas where earwigs are present.


In conclusion, black pepper can be an effective method for repelling earwigs from your home or garden. Its natural insecticidal properties make it a safe alternative to chemical pesticides. However, it’s important to remember that prevention is key when it comes to controlling earwig populations. Keeping your home clean and dry, removing debris from your yard, and sealing cracks and crevices can all help prevent earwig infestations before they start.