Updated: February 21, 2023

Earwigs are a common household pest that can be found in dark and damp areas of the home. They are known for their distinctive pincers on their abdomen and are often associated with damaging garden plants. Febreze is a popular household odor eliminator that is often used to refresh fabrics and remove unpleasant odors. In recent years, there has been speculation about whether Febreze can repel earwigs.

What is Febreze?

Febreze is a brand of odor eliminator that was first introduced in 1998 by Procter & Gamble. It is designed to eliminate unpleasant odors from fabrics, carpets, and other surfaces. Febreze works by trapping odor molecules in its patented formula and then releasing a fresh scent to mask the odor.

Febreze comes in a variety of forms, including fabric sprays, air fresheners, and car vent clips. It is available in a wide range of scents and is often used to refresh clothing, bedding, and upholstery.

Brief history of Febreze

The idea for Febreze was born in the 1980s when a Procter & Gamble researcher noticed that some fabrics were able to retain odors even after washing. He began experimenting with different formulas to eliminate these odors and eventually developed a product that became known as Febreze.

In 1996, Febreze was launched as a test product in Ohio markets. The product was an immediate success, and it was later rolled out nationwide in 1998.

How it works

Febreze works by using a molecule called cyclodextrin to trap odor molecules. Cyclodextrin is a type of sugar molecule that has a unique structure that allows it to capture and hold onto odor molecules.

When Febreze is sprayed onto a surface, the cyclodextrin molecules bind with the odor molecules, effectively neutralizing them. This allows Febreze to eliminate odors rather than just masking them with a fresh scent.

Common uses

Febreze is commonly used to eliminate odors from fabrics such as clothing, bedding, and upholstery. It can also be used to freshen up carpets, curtains, and other soft surfaces. Febreze is available in a range of scents, including lavender, citrus, and clean linen.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are small insects that are usually less than an inch long. They have a distinctive set of pincers on their abdomen that they use for defense and capturing prey. Earwigs are primarily nocturnal creatures and are often found in dark and damp places such as under rocks, logs, or in soil.

Physical description of earwigs

Earwigs have elongated bodies with two pairs of wings folded underneath their hard forewings or elytra. They have thread-like antennae and prominent mandibles or pincers on their abdomen. Their color varies from light brown to blackish-brown.

Habitat and behavior

Earwigs are found all over the world in temperate areas but are most abundant in tropical regions. They prefer damp habitats such as leaf litter or under stones or logs where they can hide during the day.

Earwigs feed on plants or other insects and may cause damage to garden plants when population densities are high. They are not harmful to humans but can give a pinch if they feel threatened.

Common issues with earwigs

The primary issue with earwigs is their presence in gardens where they can damage crops or ornamental plants. They may also invade homes looking for shelter or food if outdoor conditions become unfavorable.

Can Febreze Repel Earwigs?

The question of whether Febreze can repel earwigs has been the subject of much speculation online in recent years. Some people claim that spraying Febreze around windowsills or doorways can deter earwigs from entering the home.

Explanation of how Febreze might repel earwigs

The theory behind using Febreze as an earwig repellent is that the scent of the product may be unpleasant to the insects. Earwigs rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate food and detect predators, so it’s possible that the scent of Febreze could disrupt their normal behavior patterns.

Evidence for and against the effectiveness of Febreze against earwigs

There is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that Febreze can repel earwigs. While some people report success using Febreze as an insect repellent, it’s likely that any benefits are due to chance rather than actual efficacy.

In fact, some experts suggest that using Febreze as an insect repellent could actually attract pests rather than repelling them. This is because many insect pests are attracted to sweet or floral scents, which are common in many types of air fresheners including Febreze.

Other methods for repelling earwigs

If you’re looking for ways to keep earwigs out of your home or garden, there are several more effective options than using Febreze:

  1. Clean up debris: Earwigs love damp environments with plenty of hiding places. Keep your yard free from leaf litter, logs, and other debris where they can take shelter.
  2. Seal entry points: Seal any gaps around windowsills or doorways where earwigs might be able to enter your home.
  3. Use sticky traps: Sticky traps can be an effective way to catch earwigs before they have a chance to cause damage in your garden or home.
  4. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. It can be sprinkled around plants or other areas where earwigs are active to deter them from feeding on your crops.


In conclusion, while there is no evidence to support the use of Febreze as an insect repellent specifically for earwigs, it remains an effective odor eliminator for household use overall. However, there are several methods you can employ without relying on chemicals such as sticky traps or diatomaceous earth which will be more effective at deterring these pesky insects from invading your home or garden.