Updated: March 29, 2023

Earwigs are small insects that are often found in gardens and homes. They have a distinctive appearance with long bodies and pincers on their abdomen. Although they do not pose a significant threat to humans, they can be quite troublesome as they can damage plants and vegetables in the garden. In addition, they can also find their way inside homes and become a nuisance. Peppermint oil is a natural insect repellent that has gained popularity in recent years. In this article, we will explore whether peppermint oil is effective in repelling earwigs.

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant. It is a highly concentrated essential oil that has a strong minty scent. Peppermint oil contains various compounds such as menthol, menthone, and limonene that give it its unique properties.

Peppermint oil has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and culinary purposes. It was first discovered in ancient Egypt and has since been used as a natural remedy for various ailments such as digestive issues, headaches, and respiratory problems. Peppermint oil is also widely used in the food industry to add flavor to food and beverages.

Earwigs: The Unwelcome Guests

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that are commonly found in gardens and damp areas such as basements and bathrooms. They are attracted to moisture and can enter homes through cracks and crevices. Earwigs are known for their elongated bodies and pincers on their abdomen, which they use for defense.

Although earwigs do not pose a significant health risk to humans, they can cause damage to plants in the garden. They feed on leaves, flowers, and fruits, which can stunt plant growth or even kill the plant. In addition, earwigs can also find their way into homes and become a nuisance.

Traditional methods of repelling earwigs include using pesticides or traps. However, these methods can be harmful to the environment and may not be effective in the long run.

Can Peppermint Oil Repel Earwigs?

Scientific studies have shown that peppermint oil has insecticidal properties that make it an effective natural repellent for various insects including earwigs. Peppermint oil contains compounds such as menthol and limonene that have been found to repel insects.

A study conducted by researchers at Iowa State University found that peppermint oil was effective in repelling earwigs. The study showed that earwigs were less likely to enter traps baited with peppermint oil compared to traps without peppermint oil.

Compared to traditional methods such as pesticides or traps, peppermint oil is a safer and more eco-friendly alternative for repelling earwigs.

How to Use Peppermint Oil as an Earwig Repellent

There are several ways to use peppermint oil as an earwig repellent:

  1. Spray: Mix 10-15 drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around areas where earwigs are commonly found such as gardens, basements, and bathrooms.
  2. Cotton balls: Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around the house or garden. This will help repel earwigs and other insects.
  3. Candles: Burn peppermint-scented candles around the house or garden to repel earwigs.

It is important to use caution when using peppermint oil as it can be toxic if ingested in large amounts. Pregnant women should also avoid using peppermint oil as it may cause uterine contractions.


Peppermint oil is an effective natural repellent for earwigs. It has insecticidal properties that make it an eco-friendly and safe alternative to traditional methods of pest control. By using peppermint oil, you can protect your garden and home from these unwanted guests without harming the environment.

Natural remedies such as peppermint oil offer a sustainable solution to pest control while reducing the use of harmful chemicals. By incorporating natural remedies into our daily lives, we can create a healthier environment for ourselves and future generations.