Updated: March 3, 2023

Earwigs are a common pest that can be found in gardens and homes. These small, brown insects are known for their pincers, which they use to defend themselves or capture prey. While earwigs aren’t harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance and cause damage to plants. Many people believe that cilantro can repel earwigs, but is there any truth to this claim?

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are members of the order Dermaptera and are related to cockroaches. They have long, slender bodies that are typically brown or black in color. The most distinctive feature of earwigs is their pincers, which are used for defense and mating. Earwigs are mostly active at night and prefer wet, cool environments. They are attracted to gardens and homes because of the moisture and shelter they provide.

Cilantro: A Natural Repellent?

Cilantro is an herb that is commonly used in cooking, but it may also have insect-repellent properties. Some studies have shown that cilantro contains chemical compounds that can repel certain insects, including earwigs. One study found that cilantro oil was effective at repelling houseflies and mosquitoes.

The chemical compounds responsible for cilantro’s insect-repellent properties include linalool, camphor, and alpha-pinene. These compounds are known to have a strong odor and taste that insects find unpleasant. Cilantro may also work as a physical barrier, making it difficult for earwigs to move through the plant.

Other Natural Earwig Repellents

In addition to cilantro, there are other natural remedies that are believed to repel earwigs. These include:

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Boric acid
  • Citrus sprays
  • Mint oil

While these remedies may be effective at repelling earwigs, they may also harm beneficial insects or plants if not used properly.

How to Use Cilantro to Repel Earwigs

If you want to use cilantro as an earwig repellent, there are a few things you can do:

  • Plant cilantro in your garden: Planting cilantro in your garden can help repel earwigs and other pests. Cilantro prefers cool, moist environments and can be planted in the spring or fall.
  • Create a spray: You can create a spray by steeping cilantro leaves in hot water and then straining the mixture. This spray can be applied directly to plants or around the perimeter of your home to repel earwigs.
  • Use as a barrier: You can also use cilantro as a physical barrier by planting it around the perimeter of your garden or home.


Cilantro may be an effective natural repellent for earwigs due to its chemical compounds and strong odor. While there is some scientific evidence to support this claim, more research is needed to fully understand cilantro’s insect-repellent properties. If you want to use cilantro as an earwig repellent, make sure to follow proper planting and application techniques for best results.