Updated: May 1, 2023

Earwigs are a common pest that can be found in gardens, homes, and other areas. These insects have a reputation for being unsightly and damaging to plants, leading many homeowners to search for effective ways to repel them. One such method that has gained popularity is the use of garlic as a repellant. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of garlic as an earwig repellant and provide tips on how to use it effectively.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They are easily recognizable by their elongated bodies, pincers at the end of their abdomen, and wings folded underneath their wing covers. Earwigs are nocturnal and prefer dark, damp environments such as under rocks, logs, and in mulch beds. They are also commonly found in gardens where they feed on plant material.

Garlic as a Repellant

Garlic has long been known for its pungent aroma and its ability to repel insects. In recent years, it has gained popularity as a natural way to repel earwigs. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that create an unpleasant odor for insects such as earwigs. When garlic is crushed or minced, these sulfur compounds are released, creating a potent smell that can keep earwigs away.

Scientific studies have shown that garlic can be an effective earwig repellant. A study conducted by the University of California found that garlic oil sprays were effective in reducing earwig populations in gardens. Additionally, many gardeners have reported success in using garlic to ward off earwigs.

How to Use Garlic to Repel Earwigs

There are several ways to use garlic to repel earwigs. One simple method is to plant garlic in your garden. Earwigs will avoid areas with a strong garlic odor, so planting garlic near vulnerable plants can help keep them away.

Another method is to create a garlic spray. To make a garlic spray, crush several cloves of garlic and steep them in hot water for several hours. Strain the mixture and add it to a spray bottle along with some dish soap. Spray this mixture on plants or surfaces where earwigs are present.

Other Natural Earwig Repellants

While garlic is an effective earwig repellant, there are other natural methods that can be used as well. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized algae that can be sprinkled around plants or other areas where earwigs are present. This powder is abrasive and can damage the exoskeleton of insects like earwigs.

Nematodes are another natural method for controlling earwig populations. These microscopic worms can be added to soil and will feed on earwig larvae.


In conclusion, garlic can be an effective way to repel earwigs from your home or garden. Its strong odor is unpleasant for these pests and can keep them away from vulnerable plants or structures. Additionally, using natural methods like garlic can be safer for the environment and less harmful than chemical pesticides. Give garlic a try and see if it works for you!