Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs, also known as pincher bugs or earwig bugs, are a common household pest. They are attracted to warm and damp environments, making homes with high humidity levels and gardens with wet soil prime targets. Earwigs can be a nuisance when they invade homes, as they are known to damage plants and can even cause harm when they pinch humans with their pincers. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to keep earwigs at bay.

Identify the Source

Before you can start taking measures to control earwigs, it is important to identify the source of the infestation. Check for any areas of your home or garden that may have excess moisture, such as leaking pipes or standing water. These areas should be addressed to eliminate the source of attraction for earwigs.

Natural Deterrents

There are several natural deterrents that can help repel earwigs. One of the most effective methods is to create a barrier around your home or garden using diatomaceous earth. This powder is made from fossilized algae and is harmless to humans and pets but deadly to insects, including earwigs. Simply sprinkle the powder around the perimeter of your home or garden, paying special attention to areas where earwigs are likely to enter.

Another natural deterrent is cedar oil. This essential oil has been shown to repel a variety of insects, including earwigs. To use cedar oil as a deterrent, mix a few drops in a spray bottle filled with water and spray around your home or garden.

Chemical Solutions

If natural deterrents are not effective in controlling earwigs, chemical solutions may be necessary. Insecticides containing pyrethroids are highly effective in killing earwigs and can be found at most home improvement stores. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully when applying these insecticides, as they can be harmful to humans and pets if not used properly.


The best way to control earwigs is to prevent them from entering your home or garden in the first place. Keep your home and garden clean and dry, and eliminate any areas of standing water. Seal any cracks or gaps around doors, windows, and foundations to prevent earwigs from entering your home. In addition, avoid using outdoor lighting near doors and windows, as this can attract earwigs at night.


Q: Are earwigs dangerous?

A: While earwigs are not typically dangerous to humans, they can cause harm when they pinch with their pincers.

Q: How do I know if I have an earwig infestation?

A: Earwigs are most active at night and are attracted to damp environments. Look for signs of earwig activity around areas with excess moisture, such as bathrooms and basements.

Q: Can I use natural deterrents if I have pets?

A: Yes, natural deterrents such as diatomaceous earth and cedar oil are safe for pets when used properly.

Q: How often should I apply insecticide to control earwigs?

A: Follow the instructions on the insecticide label for application frequency. In general, insecticides should be applied every 7-14 days until the infestation is under control.