Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are insects that are commonly found in gardens and yards. They are known for their pincers, which they use for defense and capturing prey. However, not much is known about their diet. In this article, we will explore what earwigs feed on and how it affects our gardens.

What Do Earwigs Eat?

Earwigs are omnivorous insects, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists of a variety of foods, including:


Earwigs feed on a variety of plants, including flowers, fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. They are known to feed on the leaves and petals of plants, causing damage to them.


Earwigs are also known to feed on other insects. They prey on aphids, mites, caterpillars, and other small insects.

Organic Matter

Earwigs are scavengers and will feed on decaying organic matter. They will eat dead insects, plant material, and even feces.

How Do Earwigs Affect Our Gardens?

Earwigs can be both beneficial and harmful to our gardens. On one hand, they help control the population of other insects in the garden by preying on them. This helps to reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

On the other hand, earwigs can cause damage to our plants by feeding on them. They can eat holes in leaves and petals, causing them to wilt or die. This damage can be especially severe in young or newly planted seedlings.

How Can We Control Earwig Populations?

There are several ways to control earwig populations in our gardens:

Remove Hiding Places

Earwigs like dark, moist places to hide during the day. By removing these hiding places from your garden, you can reduce the number of earwigs. This can be done by clearing away debris, such as leaves and grass clippings, and trimming back overgrown plants.

Use Traps

Earwig traps can be used to capture and remove earwigs from your garden. These traps are designed to attract earwigs with a food source, such as fish oil or bacon grease. Once the earwigs enter the trap, they are unable to escape.

Use Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators, such as birds or predatory insects, into your garden can help control the population of earwigs.

Use Chemical Pesticides

Chemical pesticides can also be used to control earwig populations. However, these should be used as a last resort, as they can harm other beneficial insects in your garden.


Do earwigs bite humans?

While earwigs have pincers, they are not harmful to humans. Earwigs do not bite or sting humans and are generally considered harmless.

Can earwigs fly?

No, earwigs cannot fly. They have wings, but they are not strong enough for flight.

Are earwigs nocturnal?

Yes, earwigs are nocturnal insects. They are active at night and hide during the day.

Do earwigs live in colonies?

No, earwigs do not live in colonies. They are solitary insects that prefer to live alone.

Are earwigs attracted to light?

No, earwigs are not attracted to light like some other insects. They prefer dark, moist places to hide during the day.

In conclusion, understanding what earwigs eat is important for controlling their populations in our gardens. By removing hiding places and using traps or natural predators, we can reduce the number of earwigs in our gardens and prevent damage to our plants.