Updated: February 24, 2023

If you’ve ever had an earwig infestation, you know how frustrating it can be. These small, dark insects with pincers on their tails can wreak havoc in your garden, and even find their way into your home. While there are many chemical insecticides available on the market, some people prefer to use natural remedies to repel earwigs. One such remedy is tea tree oil. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not tea tree oil is an effective repellent for earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are small insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They are typically brown or black in color and have long, slender bodies that can range from 5-25mm in length. One of their most distinctive features is the pair of pincers on their tails, which they use for defense and to catch prey.

Earwigs are nocturnal creatures that hide in dark, damp places during the day and come out at night to feed. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of things, including other insects, plants, and decaying matter.

While earwigs aren’t harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance when they invade homes and gardens in large numbers. They can cause damage to plants by feeding on leaves and flowers, and can also enter homes through cracks and crevices.

Tea Tree Oil as a Repellent

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is derived from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), which is native to Australia. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, and is now commonly used as an ingredient in skin care products and household cleaners.

Tea tree oil is believed to have insecticidal properties that make it an effective repellent for a variety of insects, including ants, mosquitoes, and flies. When applied to surfaces or sprayed directly on insects, it can help to repel them and prevent them from entering your home or garden.

Studies on Tea Tree Oil and Earwigs

While there haven’t been many studies specifically on the effectiveness of tea tree oil in repelling earwigs, there is some evidence to suggest that it may be an effective natural remedy. One study conducted in 2008 found that tea tree oil was effective in repelling several different types of insects, including cockroaches and silverfish.

Another study conducted in 2015 found that tea tree oil was effective in killing off earwig eggs when applied directly to them. While this study didn’t specifically test tea tree oil as a repellent for adult earwigs, it does suggest that it may be effective in controlling their populations by preventing new eggs from hatching.

Other Natural Repellents for Earwigs

In addition to tea tree oil, there are several other natural remedies that have been used to repel earwigs. Some people have had success using diatomaceous earth, which is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. When sprinkled around plants or on surfaces where earwigs are likely to crawl, it can help to dehydrate and kill them.

Boric acid is another natural remedy that has been used to control earwig populations. When applied as a powder or spray, it can kill off adult earwigs and prevent new eggs from hatching.


While more research is needed to conclusively determine whether or not tea tree oil is an effective repellent for earwigs, there is some evidence to suggest that it may be a useful natural remedy for controlling their populations. However, it’s important to remember that no single remedy will work for everyone or every situation. If you’re dealing with an earwig infestation, it’s best to try a variety of different methods until you find one that works for you.