Updated: January 18, 2023

Earwigs are notorious for their destructive behavior in gardens and homes. They are known to eat plants, including flowers and vegetables, as well as cause damage to the structure of buildings. Given the potential harm earwigs can cause, many people seek natural remedies to repel them. One such remedy is white sage. In this article, we will explore whether white sage is an effective repellent for earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects that have elongated bodies with a pair of pincers (also known as forceps) at the end of their abdomen. They are found all over the world, but are most commonly found in temperate climates. Earwigs are primarily nocturnal and feed on a variety of things, including plants and other insects. While earwigs do not pose any direct harm to humans, they can cause significant damage to gardens and homes.

What is White Sage?

White sage (Salvia apiana) is a plant native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has been used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes by indigenous cultures for centuries. White sage has also gained popularity in recent years as a natural insect repellent.

Does White Sage Repel Insects in General?

Yes, white sage has been suggested to repel insects in general. The plant contains compounds called terpenes, which are believed to be responsible for its insect-repelling properties. Terpenes can be found in many plants and are often used in natural insect repellents.

Does White Sage Repel Earwigs?

There have been some studies conducted on white sage’s effectiveness as an earwig repellent. In one study, white sage was found to be moderately effective at repelling earwigs when compared to other natural repellents such as lavender and thyme. However, this study had limitations such as small sample size and limited testing conditions.

Another study found that white sage essential oil had some repellent effects on both adult and larvae earwigs. However, the researchers noted that more research is needed to determine the full extent of white sage’s effectiveness as an earwig repellent.

Other Natural Repellents for Earwigs

In addition to white sage, there are other natural repellents that have been suggested to repel earwigs. These include diatomaceous earth, cedar oil, and citrus oil. While these alternatives may be effective, they may not be as readily available or have the same cultural significance as white sage.

How to Use White Sage as an Earwig Repellent

To use white sage as an earwig repellent, you can burn it as incense or place dried leaves around your garden or home. It is important to note that burning white sage should only be done in a well-ventilated area and with caution.

When using white sage around plants, it is important not to place it too close to the stems or leaves as it may cause damage. Additionally, if using white sage indoors, be sure to keep it away from any flammable materials.


While there have been some studies conducted on white sage’s effectiveness as an earwig repellent, more research is needed to determine its full extent of effectiveness. However, given its traditional use and potential benefits for other insects, it may be worth considering as a natural alternative to chemical insecticides. As with any natural remedy, it is important to use caution when handling and using white sage around plants and homes.