Updated: January 17, 2023

Earwigs are small insects with pincers or forceps-like appendages on their abdomens. They are considered pests because they can damage plants in gardens and greenhouses, and they can also invade homes. While there are various methods used to control earwig infestations, natural remedies are becoming more popular. One such remedy is sweet basil, an herb commonly used in cooking.

Earwigs and Pest Control

There are several methods used to control earwig infestations. One of the most common approaches is chemical insecticides. However, these can be harmful to humans and pets, as well as the environment. Other methods include trapping, handpicking, and using sticky traps. While these options may be effective, they can also be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

The Popularity of Natural Remedies

As people become more environmentally conscious, natural remedies are gaining popularity for pest control. These remedies are often safer for humans and pets, and they do not harm the environment. One such remedy is sweet basil.

Sweet Basil as a Natural Repellent

Sweet basil has properties that make it a potential earwig repellent. The herb contains essential oils such as eugenol, linalool, and citronellol, which are known to repel insects. Sweet basil also has a strong scent that can mask the scent of other plants that earwigs might be attracted to.

Using Sweet Basil to Repel Earwigs

To use sweet basil as an earwig repellent, you can plant it around the perimeter of your garden or greenhouse. You can also crush the leaves and scatter them around the area where you want to repel earwigs. Another option is to make a spray by boiling sweet basil leaves in water and then straining the mixture into a spray bottle. This spray can be used on plants or around doorways and windowsills to repel earwigs.

Scientific Evidence

While there have been some studies done on the effectiveness of sweet basil as an earwig repellent, research in this area is limited. One study found that sweet basil oil was effective at repelling mosquitoes, but there is little research specifically focused on earwigs.

Limitations and Gaps in the Research

Without more research focused specifically on earwigs, it is difficult to say definitively how effective sweet basil is as a repellent for this pest. Additionally, the effectiveness of sweet basil may vary depending on factors such as climate, soil conditions, and other environmental factors.

Other Benefits of Sweet Basil

In addition to its potential as an earwig repellent, sweet basil has other benefits. The herb is commonly used in cooking and adds flavor to many dishes. It also has medicinal properties and has been used for centuries to treat various ailments.


While the scientific evidence supporting the use of sweet basil as an earwig repellent is limited, it is worth trying this natural remedy if you are dealing with an earwig infestation. Sweet basil is safe for humans and pets, and it has other benefits beyond its potential as a pest repellent. So next time you’re out in the garden or cooking up a storm in the kitchen, consider adding some sweet basil to your arsenal against pests!