Updated: May 3, 2023

Earwigs are a common household and garden pest that can be difficult to control. These small insects have a distinctive appearance with pincers at the end of their abdomen. While they may look intimidating, earwigs are not dangerous to humans but can be detrimental to gardens and plants. There are many commercial insecticides available to control earwig populations, but some people prefer natural remedies. One such remedy is neroli oil, but does it work? Let’s find out.

What is Neroli?

Neroli is an essential oil extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, Citrus aurantium. It has a sweet and floral scent with hints of citrus and is commonly used in aromatherapy and skincare products. Neroli oil contains compounds such as linalool, limonene, and geraniol, which are known for their antifungal, antibacterial, and insecticidal properties.

Earwigs and Their Behavior

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that are attracted to moist environments such as under rocks, logs, and mulch. They feed on decaying organic matter, other insects, and plants. Earwigs have a reputation for damaging crops and gardens by eating leaves, flowers, and fruit. They can also enter homes in search of food or shelter.

Neroli and Its Effectiveness Against Earwigs

There is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of neroli oil against earwigs. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can repel these pests. Neroli oil is believed to work by disrupting the pheromones that earwigs use to communicate with each other or as a signal for mating. When these signals are disrupted, earwigs become disorientated and may leave the area.

In one study conducted in 2017, researchers tested the effectiveness of essential oils against the European earwig. They found that neroli oil was effective at repelling earwigs when applied directly to them or used in a diffuser in an enclosed space.

Other Natural Remedies for Earwig Control

Other natural remedies for controlling earwig populations include diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and garlic spray. Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from fossilized algae that can be sprinkled around plants to deter earwigs. Neem oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree and has insecticidal properties. Garlic spray is made by soaking chopped garlic in water overnight and then straining it before use.

While these natural remedies may be effective to some degree, they may not be as potent as commercial insecticides or may require frequent reapplication.


In conclusion, while there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of neroli oil against earwigs, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that it can repel them. Additionally, neroli oil has many other beneficial properties that make it a popular choice for aromatherapy and skincare products. However, it may not be as effective as commercial insecticides or other natural remedies like diatomaceous earth or neem oil.

If you’re looking for a natural solution for controlling earwig populations in your garden or home, neroli oil may be worth trying. Just remember to use it safely and according to instructions.