Updated: June 10, 2023

Roses are beautiful flowers that can bring joy and color to any garden or landscape. Unfortunately, earwigs are attracted to roses and can cause damage to the delicate blooms. Earwigs are small insects that are brown or black in color and have pincers on their abdomen. They feed on plants and can cause significant damage to roses by eating the petals and leaves. In this article, we will explore ways to keep earwigs off your roses.

Understanding Earwigs

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that hide during the day and come out at night to feed. They prefer dark, damp places and can often be found under rocks, mulch, or in other sheltered areas. Earwigs are attracted to light, so outdoor lights can draw them to your garden.

Earwigs are not harmful to humans or pets but can cause damage to plants. They feed on the foliage, flowers, and buds of roses, leaving behind ragged edges and holes.

Preventing Earwig Infestations

Preventing earwig infestations is key to protecting your roses. Here are some tips for keeping earwigs away:

1. Remove Clutter

Earwigs love cluttered areas such as piles of leaves or debris. Remove any clutter from your garden area to eliminate potential hiding spots for earwigs.

2. Use Mulch Sparingly

While mulch is great for retaining moisture in the soil and suppressing weeds, it can also provide shelter for earwigs. Use mulch sparingly or use a type that earwigs do not like such as cedar or cypress.

3. Keep Garden Clean

Keep your garden clean by removing dead leaves or plant debris regularly. This will eliminate potential hiding spots for earwigs.

4. Use Yellow Lights

Earwigs are attracted to white or bright lights. Use yellow lights in your garden to reduce the likelihood of earwig infestations.

5. Set Traps

Set traps for earwigs using rolled-up newspaper or cardboard tubes. Place the traps around your garden in the evening and dispose of them in the morning.

Natural Remedies

If you prefer to use natural remedies, there are several options available for keeping earwigs off your roses.

1. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that is made from fossilized algae. It can be sprinkled around your roses to create a barrier that earwigs will not cross. Diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and pets but can be harmful if inhaled, so wear a mask when applying it.

2. Neem Oil

Neem oil is an organic insecticide that can be used to repel earwigs. Mix neem oil with water and spray it on your roses to keep earwigs away.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, and lemon can also be used to repel earwigs. Mix a few drops of essential oil with water and spray it on your roses.

Chemical Control

If natural remedies do not work, chemical control may be necessary. There are several chemical treatments available for controlling earwigs.

1. Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to control earwigs. It works by suffocating the insects and can be sprayed directly on your roses.

2. Pyrethrin

Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide that is derived from chrysanthemum flowers. It can be used to control earwigs and other garden pests.

3. Carbaryl

Carbaryl is a chemical insecticide that can be used to control earwigs. It works by interfering with the insect’s nervous system and can be sprayed directly on your roses.


Q: Are earwigs harmful to humans?

A: Earwigs are not harmful to humans or pets but can cause damage to plants.

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

A: Look for ragged edges or holes in the leaves and petals of your roses. You may also see earwigs hiding under rocks or debris in your garden.

Q: Are natural remedies effective for controlling earwigs?

A: Natural remedies can be effective for controlling earwigs, but they may not work as quickly as chemical treatments.

Q: Is it safe to use insecticides on my roses?

A: Insecticides can be safe if used according to the instructions on the label. Follow all safety precautions when applying insecticides and keep them away from children and pets.