Updated: March 1, 2023

Earwigs are small insects that are commonly found in gardens and homes. They are often associated with being pests due to their presence in gardens and their tendency to invade homes. There are many misconceptions about earwigs, including the idea that eating certain foods can repel them. In this article, we will explore the truth behind this myth and other methods for dealing with earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They are characterized by their elongated bodies and pincers or forceps-like structures at the end of their abdomen. These structures are used for defense, mating, and capturing prey. Earwigs can range in size from 5 to 50 millimeters in length and can vary in color from brown to black.

Earwigs are nocturnal insects and can often be found hiding in dark, damp places during the day. They feed on a variety of plant and animal matter, including leaves, flowers, fruit, insects, and other small invertebrates.

Foods That are Said to Repel Earwigs

There are several common household items that are believed to repel earwigs, including garlic, onion, citrus fruits, and mint. It is thought that these foods produce a smell or taste that is unpleasant to earwigs and will keep them away.

Garlic and onion: These foods contain sulfur compounds that are believed to be repulsive to earwigs. Some people suggest placing garlic cloves or onion slices around areas where earwigs are present or using a garlic spray as a repellent.

Citrus fruits: The acidic nature of citrus fruits is thought to be unpleasant to earwigs. Some people suggest using citrus peels or a citrus spray as a repellent.

Mint: The strong smell of mint is believed to deter earwigs. Some people suggest planting mint around areas where earwigs are present or using a mint spray as a repellent.

Other common household items believed to repel earwigs include vinegar, cedar oil, and diatomaceous earth.

Do These Foods Actually Repel Earwigs?

While there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that these foods can repel earwigs, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. In fact, some studies have shown that earwigs may actually be attracted to some of these foods.

Personal experiences with using these foods as a repellent may vary. Some people may find that they are effective while others may not see any results.

Other Methods for Dealing with Earwigs

There are several other methods for dealing with earwigs that may be more effective than using food as a repellent.

Prevention measures: Keeping your home and garden clean and dry can go a long way in preventing earwig infestations. Removing debris from your yard and sealing cracks and crevices in your home can also help keep them out.

Traps and baits: There are several types of traps and baits available for catching earwigs. These include sticky traps, pitfall traps, and bait stations.

Chemical solutions: If all else fails, chemical pesticides may be necessary to control an earwig infestation. However, it is important to use these products safely and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


In conclusion, while there is some belief that certain foods can repel earwigs, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. Other methods for dealing with earwig infestations may be more effective, such as prevention measures, traps and baits, or chemical solutions. If you do choose to use food as a repellent, it is important to remember that personal experiences may vary and it may not be an effective solution for everyone.