Updated: March 2, 2023

Earwigs are insects that are commonly found in gardens and homes. They are known for their pincers on the end of their abdomen, which they use for defense and prey capture. However, there are many misconceptions about these insects, including the myth that fire repels them.

In this article, we will explore whether or not fire repels earwigs and discuss the reality of earwig behavior.

The Myth of Fire Repelling Earwigs

The myth of fire repelling earwigs has been around for many years. It is believed that if you light a fire near an earwig infestation, the earwigs will run away from the heat and flames.

However, this is not true. In fact, using fire to control earwig infestations can be dangerous and potentially harmful. Earwigs are not attracted to or repelled by fire, and using this method can cause damage to your property and put you at risk of injury.

Origins of the Myth

The origin of the myth is unclear, but it may have come from observations of earwigs seeking shelter in warm, dark places like cracks in rocks or under tree bark. However, this behavior is not related to fire or heat.

Harmful Effects of the Myth

Believing in the myth of fire repelling earwigs can lead to dangerous and ineffective methods of insect control. It can also cause unnecessary harm to the environment and wildlife. It is important to seek accurate information and avoid harmful myths when dealing with pest control.

The Reality of Earwig Behavior

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that are attracted to moist environments. They feed on plants, other insects, and organic matter. They are not attracted to heat or flames and will not be repelled by a fire.

In fact, earwigs have been known to crawl into fires accidentally, which can cause them harm or death. Therefore, using fire as a method of control for earwig infestations is not only ineffective but also potentially harmful.

Other Methods for Controlling Earwig Infestations

There are many effective methods for controlling earwig infestations that do not involve fire. These include:

  • Using sticky traps to capture earwigs
  • Placing rolled-up newspaper or cardboard tubes in infested areas as a hiding spot for earwigs
  • Using insecticides specifically designed for earwig control

It is important to properly identify the insect before attempting any type of control method. Some insects may look similar to earwigs but require different types of treatment.

Additionally, preventing earwig infestations in the first place is key. This can be achieved by reducing moisture levels in and around your home or garden and removing any potential hiding spots for earwigs.


In conclusion, the myth of fire repelling earwigs is not true and can be harmful if used as a control method. Understanding the behavior of earwigs and using effective control methods like traps or insecticides can help manage infestations without causing harm to yourself or the environment.

It is important to seek accurate information and avoid harmful myths when dealing with pest control to ensure safe and effective solutions for all involved.