Updated: April 30, 2023

Earwigs are insects that have long, slender bodies with pincers at the end of their abdomen. They are nocturnal creatures that feed on decaying organic matter, plants, and other insects. Earwigs are known for their alarming appearance and their tendency to hide in crevices and cracks around homes. On the other hand, chili powder is a spice made from dried chili peppers that is commonly used in cooking to add flavor and heat. But can chili powder repel earwigs? In this article, we will explore the possible benefits of using chili powder for earwig control.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs belong to the order Dermaptera, which means “skin wings.” They are characterized by their elongated bodies and pincers that protrude from their abdominal segments. Earwigs are typically brown or black in color and range in size from 5 to 25 millimeters. They have two pairs of wings, but they rarely fly.

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that prefer damp environments. They can be found under rocks and logs, in garden beds, and in cracks and crevices around homes. Earwigs feed on a variety of materials including dead insects, decaying plant material, and live plants.

Uses of Chili Powder

Chili powder is a common spice used in many cuisines around the world. It is made from dried chili peppers that have been ground into a fine powder. Chili powder adds flavor and heat to dishes such as chili con carne, curries, and stews.

In addition to culinary uses, chili powder has been used for medicinal purposes. It contains capsaicin, which has been found to have pain-relieving properties. Capsaicin is also used in topical creams for muscle pain relief.

Chili powder has also been used as a pest control method. The capsaicin in chili powder is thought to repel insects such as ants, aphids, and mites.

Can Chili Powder Repel Earwigs?

There is limited scientific evidence to support the claim that chili powder can repel earwigs. However, some studies have shown that capsaicin can repel other insects such as mosquitoes and cockroaches.

Theories suggest that earwigs may avoid areas where chili powder has been applied due to its strong scent or taste. Additionally, the abrasive texture of the powder may discourage earwigs from crawling over it.

Personal anecdotes suggest mixed results when using chili powder for earwig control. Some people report success in repelling earwigs while others report no effect.

How to Use Chili Powder for Earwig Control

To use chili powder for earwig control, sprinkle a thin layer of the spice around areas where earwigs are present such as garden beds or cracks around doors and windows. Reapply as needed after rainfall or watering.

It is important to note that chili powder can irritate skin and eyes. Wear gloves when applying it and avoid inhaling it.

There are also alternative methods for earwig control such as using diatomaceous earth or sticky traps.


In conclusion, while there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of chili powder for earwig control, personal anecdotes suggest it may be effective for some individuals. When using chili powder or any other pest control method, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and others from potential harm.

Have you tried using chili powder for earwig control? Share your experiences in the comments below!