Updated: March 8, 2023

Earwigs are a common household pest that can cause damage to plants and flowers in the garden. There are many ways to repel earwigs, including the use of natural remedies like cayenne pepper. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of cayenne pepper as a method for repelling earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are small, nocturnal insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They are characterized by their elongated bodies, pincers, and wings. Earwigs are often found in dark, damp places such as under rocks, in mulch, or in piles of leaves. They feed on a variety of plants and insects, making them a nuisance for gardeners.

Physical characteristics of earwigs

Earwigs have long, slender bodies that range from 5-25mm in length. They have two pairs of wings and pincers (called cerci) at the end of their abdomens. The pincers are used for defense and mating.

Habitats of earwigs

Earwigs are found all over the world, but they prefer warm, moist environments. They are commonly found in gardens, under rocks, and in piles of leaves.

Feeding habits of earwigs

Earwigs are omnivores and will eat both plants and insects. They are particularly fond of fruits and vegetables, making them a threat to farmers and gardeners.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a spice that is derived from dried chili peppers. It is commonly used in cooking to add heat and flavor to dishes. Cayenne pepper has also been used for its medicinal properties, including pain relief and digestive aid.

Overview of cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is a rich source of capsaicin, a compound that gives peppers their heat. Capsaicin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as pain-relieving effects.

Uses of cayenne pepper

In addition to its use in cooking, cayenne pepper has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is believed to aid digestion, relieve pain, and improve circulation.

Chemical composition of cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper contains several chemical compounds including capsaicinoids, carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamins A and C.

The Effect of Cayenne Pepper on Earwigs

Many people believe that cayenne pepper can be used to repel earwigs. There have been several studies conducted on the effectiveness of cayenne pepper as a method for repelling insects.

Research studies on the effect of cayenne pepper on earwigs

A study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University found that cayenne pepper was effective at repelling several species of insects including ants, mites, and aphids. However, the study did not specifically test the effects of cayenne pepper on earwigs.

Theories behind cayenne pepper repelling earwigs

It is believed that the strong scent and taste of cayenne pepper may be enough to repel earwigs from an area. Additionally, capsaicin has been shown to have insecticidal properties which may also contribute to its effectiveness as a repellent.

Effectiveness of cayenne pepper as a method for repelling earwigs

The effectiveness of cayenne pepper as a method for repelling earwigs has not been extensively studied. While some people swear by its effectiveness, others have reported little or no success in using it as a repellent.

Other Methods for Repelling Earwigs

In addition to using cayenne pepper, there are several other methods for repelling earwigs:

Natural methods for repelling earwigs

  • Planting garlic or other strong-smelling herbs near affected areas
  • Making traps with rolled-up newspaper or cardboard tubes filled with straw or hay
  • Using diatomaceous earth or other natural insecticides

Chemical methods for repelling earwigs

  • Spraying affected areas with insecticides containing pyrethrin or permethrin
  • Baiting with poisoned baits such as bran or oatmeal mixed with insecticide
  • Using sticky traps or glue boards to capture earwigs

Pros and cons of using different methods for repelling earwigs

  • Natural methods are generally safer for the environment and non-toxic to humans and pets but may be less effective than chemical methods.
  • Chemical methods may be more effective but can be harmful to beneficial insects and can pose risks to humans and pets if used improperly.
  • Sticky traps and glue boards can be effective but may also catch unintended targets such as birds or animals.


In conclusion, while there is some evidence to suggest that cayenne pepper may be effective at repelling earwigs, more research is needed before it can be considered a reliable method for controlling these pests. There are many other methods available for repelling earwigs, both natural and chemical-based. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each method before deciding which one is best suited for your needs.