Updated: March 30, 2023

Earwigs are small insects that are often found in gardens, flowerbeds, and other outdoor areas. They are known for their pincer-like appendages, which they use for defense and to catch prey. Earwigs are attracted to certain environments and food sources, so understanding what these attractants are can help you control their population.

Environmental Attractants

Earwigs are attracted to dark, moist environments. They seek out cool, damp places to hide during the day and come out at night to feed. Some of the top environmental attractants for earwigs include:

1. Mulch

Earwigs love mulch because it provides a cool, moist environment for them to live in. If you have mulch in your garden or flowerbeds, you may be attracting earwigs without even realizing it.

2. Moisture

Earwigs thrive in moist environments, so if you have areas in your yard that are consistently damp, you may be attracting them. This could include areas with poor drainage or places where water accumulates after rain.

3. Clutter

Earwigs are also attracted to cluttered environments. They like to hide in piles of leaves, grass clippings, and other debris. If you have a lot of clutter in your yard, you may be creating an ideal habitat for earwigs.

Food Attractants

Earwigs are omnivores and will eat just about anything they can find. However, there are certain foods that they find particularly attractive. Some of the top food attractants for earwigs include:

1. Vegetation

Earwigs love to eat vegetation, especially fruits and vegetables. If you have a garden with ripe produce, you may be attracting earwigs.

2. Insects

Earwigs are also attracted to other insects. They will eat insects that are already dead or dying, but they will also prey on live insects.

3. Decaying Matter

Earwigs are attracted to decaying matter, including compost piles and piles of leaves. They will feed on the decomposing matter and may even lay their eggs in it.

How to Control Earwigs

If you want to control the earwig population in your yard, there are several steps you can take:

1. Remove Clutter

Start by removing any clutter from your yard. This includes piles of leaves, grass clippings, and other debris. Keep your yard clean and tidy to discourage earwigs from taking up residence.

2. Create a Dry Environment

Earwigs thrive in moist environments, so try to create a dry environment in your yard. Fix any drainage problems and avoid overwatering your plants.

3. Use Insecticides

If you have a serious earwig infestation, you may need to use insecticides to control them. Look for insecticides that are specifically designed for earwigs and follow the instructions carefully.


Q: Are earwigs harmful?

A: Earwigs are not harmful to humans. While they do have pincer-like appendages, they are not strong enough to cause any significant harm.

Q: Can earwigs fly?

A: No, earwigs cannot fly.

Q: Do earwigs bite?

A: Earwigs can bite, but they rarely do so. Their pincers are used for defense and catching prey, not biting humans.

Q: How do I keep earwigs out of my house?

A: Seal up any cracks or crevices where earwigs may be entering your home. Keep your home clean and dry to discourage them from taking up residence.