Updated: April 1, 2023

Earwigs are a common garden pest that can cause damage to plants and flowers. Many gardeners are on the lookout for effective ways to repel these pesky insects without resorting to harmful chemicals. One natural solution that has gained popularity in recent years is Ylang Ylang. In this article, we will explore whether or not Ylang Ylang can effectively repel earwigs.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are small insects that belong to the order Dermaptera. They have long, slender bodies and pincers at the end of their abdomen. Earwigs are typically brown or black in color and can grow up to one inch in length. They are most commonly found in damp areas such as under rocks, logs, and debris.

Physical Characteristics

Earwigs have a distinctive appearance that makes them easy to identify. They have two pairs of wings, although only the hind wings are functional for flying. Their pincers, or forceps, are used for defense and mating purposes. Male earwigs have curved pincers while females have straight ones.

Behavior and Habitat

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that feed on a variety of plants and insects. They are attracted to moist environments and can often be found hiding in dark crevices during the day. Earwigs are most active at night when they come out to feed.

What is Ylang Ylang?

Ylang Ylang is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Its scientific name is Cananga odorata and it belongs to the Annonaceae family. The tree produces fragrant yellow flowers that are used in perfumes, aromatherapy, and insect repellents.


The essential oil extracted from Ylang Ylang flowers has a sweet floral scent that is commonly used in aromatherapy. It is known for its calming properties and is often used to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition to its fragrance, Ylang Ylang oil has been shown to have antimicrobial and insecticidal properties.

Common Uses

In addition to its use in aromatherapy, Ylang Ylang oil is also used as a natural insect repellent. It has been shown to repel a variety of insects including mosquitoes, ants, and cockroaches.

Can Ylang Ylang Repel Earwigs?

Several scientific studies have tested the effectiveness of Ylang Ylang as an insect repellent. One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that Ylang Ylang oil was effective at repelling mosquitoes for up to 90 minutes after application. Another study published in Parasitology Research found that a mixture of Ylang Ylang and coconut oil was effective at repelling head lice.

While there is no scientific evidence specifically testing whether or not Ylang Ylang can repel earwigs, many gardeners have reported success using it as an insect repellent. Anecdotal evidence suggests that spraying a mixture of water and Ylang Ylang oil around the perimeter of the garden can help keep earwigs away.

It’s important to note that using Ylang Ylang as an insect repellent may not be effective in all cases. Some insects may be more resistant to its effects than others. Additionally, using too much essential oil can be harmful to plants and may cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.

How to Use Ylang Ylang to Repel Earwigs

If you’re interested in trying out Ylang Ylang as a natural insect repellent, here’s how you can make your own DIY spray:

  1. Add 10-15 drops of pure Ylang Ylang oil to a spray bottle filled with water
  2. Shake well before use
  3. Spray around the perimeter of your garden or on plants as needed

Be sure to test a small area first before applying the spray more broadly. It’s also important to reapply the spray every few days or after rain to maintain its effectiveness.


In conclusion, while there is no specific scientific evidence testing whether or not Ylang Ylang can effectively repel earwigs, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be worth trying as an alternative to chemical insecticides. As with any natural remedy, it may not work for everyone or in all situations, but it’s certainly worth experimenting with if you’re looking for a non-toxic way to keep pests out of your garden.