Updated: February 16, 2023

Earwigs are a common problem for homeowners, especially during the warmer months. These small insects with pincers on their abdomens can be found in gardens, under rocks, and in damp areas around the home. They are known for their tendency to seek out dark, moist places and can become a nuisance when they invade homes. In this article, we will examine whether cedar is an effective repellent for earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are elongated insects that range in size from 5 to 25 mm in length. They have a distinctive pair of pincers on their abdomen that they use for defense and to capture prey. Earwigs are commonly found in gardens and around homes, especially in damp areas such as under rocks, mulch or debris. They are nocturnal and like to hide during the day.

Behavior of Earwigs

Earwigs are not harmful to humans, but they can be a nuisance when they invade homes. They feed on plants and insects and are attracted to moist areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Earwigs are also known to enter homes in search of food and shelter.

Cedar as a Repellent

Cedar has long been believed to have insect-repelling properties. The natural oils found in cedarwood act as a repellent against many types of insects, including earwigs. The scent of cedar is also believed to be unpleasant to insects, which helps to keep them away.

Chemical Properties of Cedar

Cedar contains natural compounds called “thujaplicins” which are toxic to insects. These compounds are present in the heartwood of cedar trees and act as a natural insecticide. When cedarwood is used as a repellent, these compounds are released into the air, creating an environment that is unpleasant for insects.

Using Cedar to Repel Earwigs

Cedar can be used in several ways to repel earwigs. One way is by placing cedar chips or shavings around the perimeter of your home or garden. Another way is by using cedar oil as a spray or diffuser indoors. This will create an environment that is unpleasant for earwigs and other insects.

Scientific Evidence

Several studies have examined the effectiveness of cedar against earwigs. One study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that cedar oil was effective at repelling earwigs for up to 24 hours. Another study published in the Journal of Pest Science found that cedar oil was effective at reducing the number of earwigs found in gardens.

Effectiveness of Cedar

While there is some scientific evidence supporting the use of cedar as an earwig repellent, it may not be effective in all cases. The effectiveness of cedar may also depend on the species of earwig and the severity of the infestation.

Other Natural Repellents

There are several other natural repellents that are believed to be effective against earwigs. These include diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and citrus oils. However, compared to cedar, these other repellents may not be as effective against earwigs.


In conclusion, cedar has been shown to be an effective repellent against earwigs. Its natural insecticidal properties make it an ideal choice for homeowners looking for a natural way to keep away these pests. However, its effectiveness may vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the species of earwig present. Homeowners should consider using cedar along with other natural repellents for maximum effectiveness against earwigs.