Skip to main content

Protecting Your Garden From an Earwig Infestation: Tips and Tricks


Earwigs are creepy-looking little buggers. These insects like to eat your plants and invade your home. 

Although they aren’t pretty, earwigs in small numbers can actually benefit your garden. In larger numbers, they are pests that feed on your plants and cause destruction.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent an earwig infestation in your home or garden.

Here’s a look at the best ways to keep earwigs at bay.

What Are Earwigs?

Earwigs are small blackish-brown insects and have a set of pincers at one end of their body. They can be found in damp areas like your garden where they love to eat insects and plants.

Typically, earwigs are harmless to humans, but they can become a real nuisance when they appear in large numbers to infest your garden or your home.

Earwig control methods are necessary to keep these pests from multiplying and infesting your space.

Earwigs and Plant Damage

A few earwigs aren’t usually a problem. In fact, they can be helpful in controlling other insects. 

An infestation is another story and can be detrimental to your plants. These pests are omnivores with voracious appetites.

They are attracted to young plants and seedlings and can destroy these plants with their feeding habits. Signs of an infestation include:

  • Holes in the leaves of your plants
  • Chewed or destroyed flowers
  • Missing foliage

It’s a good idea to take action to control an infestation before it leads to significant damage to your plants. Methods such as trapping or insecticides can control earwigs and protect your plants.

Signs of Earwig Damage

An earwig infestation can lead to significant plant damage. Some signs to look for include:

  • Leaves that appear jagged or full of holes
  • Ragged plants with partially eaten leaves
  • Scattering of earwig excrement
  • Damage that appears after rainy weather due to earwigs seeking shelter
  • Earwigs under pots of damaged plants
  • Damage that is similar to that of snails or slugs

How to Prevent Earwigs

Prevention is often the best defense for any type of pest invasion. It’s good to know you can do something to prevent these pests from invading your spaces.

Fill in Crevices or Cracks

Take a look at your home to see if there are areas where pests may be able to enter. This could be through cracks in the foundation, holes in your window screens, or gaps in your windows.

Fill in any crevices or cracks to prevent bugs from entering.

Repair Leaky Pipes and Drains

Earwigs like to invade moist areas. You can prevent this by removing the temptation. If you notice any dripping pipes or leaky drains, repair them to avoid attracting earwigs.

Gardening Tips

Earwigs prefer damp and shady areas so it’s a good idea to cut back overgrown limbs and bushes. Although mulch can be good for your garden, it can also be a hiding spot for insects like earwigs.

Be sure to keep mulch away from your home’s foundation. The same is true for  piles of leaves or debris. These are all safe havens havens for earwigs.

Clean Out Gutters and Drainpipes

Clogged gutters can present problems for any homeowner, but they’re prime real estate for earwigs. Gutters and drains are moist environments where earwigs flourish.

Although drain areas are essential for dealing with rain run-off, be sure they are pointing away from your home’s foundation.

When Earwigs Are Inside Your Home

Earwigs are typically found outdoors, crawling in moist areas of your landscape. They are nocturnal and hide in cracks and crevices, under logs, and in mulch during the day.

They are attracted to light, so it’s not unusual to find them on your deck or porch on warm evenings. When they do enter your home, it’s usually due to weather changes.

During dry spells, they can venture inside to moist environments, like the bathroom, laundry, or kitchen area. Although they can get into your home, an indoor infestation isn’t common.

They much prefer the outdoors where they have plenty of food sources like your plants and flowers. If they’re eating more than their fair share, it’s time to evict them.

Earwig Pest Control 

Earwigs aren’t a threat to people, and they can be helpful in small numbers for eating aphids, which are garden predators. But too many earwigs in your garden at once can seriously damage your plants and vegetables.

If they make their way into your home, you definitely need some professional assistance to get rid of them. A pest control specialist understands earwigs and how to eradicate their nests to keep them from returning.

What Kills Earwigs

If you do have a bug infestation in your yard or garden, you want to get rid of them before they cause too much damage. There are a few different methods that work to get rid of earwigs.


Outdoor pesticides contain a variety of chemicals that can kill earwigs. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals could also damage your plants.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to call professional pest services to be sure you’re ridding your yard or home of pests in the most efficient and safest way.


Traps for earwigs can vary from using wet cardboard to attract them or a sticky barrier to stop them from traveling up your plants. Bright lights near traps can also deter them.

Once you trap them, place them in soapy water to kill them.

Natural Methods

If you’re hesitant to use pesticides, you can try more natural methods with organic substances like boric acid or diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle in your garden or wherever earwigs are present. 

These substances can be toxic, so be careful using these chemicals around kids or pets. For best results, consult professional pest control services.

Dealing With an Earwig Infestation

Earwigs are strange-looking little creatures that are fine in small numbers but can do some serious damage if an earwig infestation takes place. If you’re noticing signs of insect damage on your plants, a pest control pro can investigate and recommend the best solution.

Since 2003, All ‘U” Need Pest Control has provided family and pet-friendly pest control solutions for Florida homeowners. 

Connect with us today to discuss your pest control needs.

‹‹ Previous Post All Posts Next Post ››