Updated: January 13, 2023

Earwigs are one of the most common garden pests that can cause significant damage to plants and flowers. These insects, also known as pincher bugs or earwig bugs, have a distinctive appearance with their elongated bodies and pincers on their tails. They are nocturnal creatures that hide during the day and come out to feed at night. In this article, we will explore whether citrus can repel earwigs and provide an in-depth analysis of this natural remedy.

Earwigs and their habits

Earwigs are typically found in damp and dark areas such as under rocks, logs, and mulch. They feed on decaying plant material, insects, and sometimes young seedlings. Earwigs are attracted to moist environments, which is why they are often found in gardens and flower beds.

Citrus as a potential repellent

Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges contain natural compounds that can repel earwigs. The strong smell of citrus is believed to be the main deterrent for these pests. Citrus peels can be used as a natural remedy to keep earwigs away from plants and flowers.

Scientific research on the effectiveness of citrus

Several scientific studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of using citrus as a natural repellent for earwigs. A study conducted by researchers from the University of California found that citrus oil was effective in repelling earwigs. Another study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that citrus-based repellents were effective in reducing earwig populations.

However, it is important to note that there are limitations to these studies. The effectiveness of citrus may vary depending on the species of earwig and environmental factors.

Other natural remedies for controlling earwigs

There are several other natural remedies for controlling earwigs, including diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and garlic spray. Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance made from fossilized algae that can dehydrate insects. Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and has insecticidal properties. Garlic spray is made by blending garlic cloves with water and can repel a variety of pests.

Compared to these remedies, citrus is relatively easy to obtain and use. Citrus peels can be placed around plants or boiled in water to create a spray.


In conclusion, citrus can potentially repel earwigs due to its strong scent. Scientific studies have shown that citrus-based repellents can be effective in reducing earwig populations. However, it is important to note that there may be limitations to its effectiveness depending on the species of earwig and environmental factors.

Using natural remedies for pest control is important for maintaining a healthy garden ecosystem. Citrus is just one option for controlling earwig infestations naturally. Other natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and garlic spray should also be considered depending on individual circumstances.

Overall, using natural remedies for pest control not only benefits the environment but also helps reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.