Well-tended flowers and vegetables are a joy, but it’s all too common to find earwigs and other household pests among your plants, chewing holes in the leaves and damaging your crops. When earwigs, silverfish, cockroaches, and other creepy-crawlies invade your property, it’s crucial to have a plan to deal with them. Understanding how to get rid of earwigs in the garden helps you keep the upper hand against the insect invaders.
This guide shows you how to get rid of earwigs naturally and maintain a happy and healthy home. In this article, we help you find out how to keep earwigs away with DIY approaches and household items.
You also learn how to kill earwigs and other pests if they manage to make it into your yard. These methods make it easy to control earwigs, and they also do a number on centipede problems and other infestations.
- How to Keep Earwigs Away
- Getting Rid of Earwigs Naturally
- Control Plant Growth
- Fix Leaky Hoses or Spigots
- Make Your Home a Bird Haven
- Discourage Earwigs with Petroleum Jelly
- Treat Your Plants with Cayenne and Essential Oil
- How to Get Rid of Earwigs in the Garden
- How to Kill Earwigs
How to Keep Earwigs Away
An earwig or centipede infestation can mean ruin for your crops, and tackling the issue after the critters have made themselves at home can be time-consuming.
It’s preferable to stop the problem before it begins and keep the earwig and centipede population out of there in the first place. Any plan for how to get rid of earwigs in the garden starts with looking at ways to prevent them from entering.
Getting Rid of Earwigs Naturally
This section provides you with ways to protect yourself from invasions by earwigs, millipedes, house centipedes, and other pesky arthropods. You get methods of earwig, cockroach, and centipede control that stop infestations before they begin. Our preventative measures help you halt insect encroachments and keep your yard looking fantastic.
Control Plant Growth
Earwigs get into crops when plants grow near areas that already contain household pests. Hedges, for example, are ideal havens for earwigs, silverfish, and even termites. The dark, moist conditions draw the insects, and when you plant a tasty vegetable or flower near the hedge, the critters take the opportunity to start chowing down.
Remove the temptation, and you remove a potential earwig, cockroach, and centipede problem. Leave a healthy amount of space between your vegetables or flowers and hedges or walls.
For extra protection, plant a row of plants and flowers that bugs dislike between your tasty plants and the insect hideouts. The insects can’t stand daffodils and other similar flowers, so make sure their least-favorite plants are the only things they can sense with their antennae.
Fix Leaky Hoses or Spigots
Your walls, baseboards, and hedges aren’t the only areas that become insect hiding spots. Bugs gravitate to any place that offers them moisture and a little darkness. Hoses create those sorts of damp areas in dirt or mulch if you don’t maintain them properly, and leaky spigots create earwig homes in wall crevices if you don’t keep them leak-free.
A little basic maintenance takes care of most issues. Replace gaskets in your hose and spigot regularly, and if you have a hose that has a leak but still has a little life left in it, apply a tube patch to keep it going a little longer. Hoses aren’t that expensive, though, so you might be better off picking up a new one at your local home center.
Make Your Home a Bird Haven
Often, the best way to get rid of centipedes and silverfish is just flying around, waiting for you to invite them to stay. Birds are natural exterminators and one of the best organic ways to resolve your earwig issues. They love the sorts of insects that nosh on veggies and are happy to gobble up your pest problem.
Plant a few bird-friendly trees and shrubs around your yard to bring the birds flocking to your home. Oak, cedar, chokecherry, and similar trees provide birds with shelter and a food source to supplement their diet.
Discourage Earwigs with Petroleum Jelly
Earwigs can’t eat your plants’ leaves if they can’t reach them. The bugs get to the leaves by clambering up the stalks, so a little petroleum jelly in the right spot can stop the earwigs and send them packing before they can even get going.
Don the gloves. Dip a cotton swab or piece of material in the petroleum jelly and spread a thick layer onto the base of any vulnerable plants. Repeat the process whenever the jelly begins to wear off or get too dirty.
Treat Your Plants with Cayenne and Essential Oil
Centipedes, millipedes, and earwigs in the United States and other regions are sensitive to smells, and some odors bother them so much that it drives them away. Essential oils and cayenne pepper both repel earwigs and similar household pests, which makes them ideal ingredients in a DIY earwig and centipede repellent spray.
Combine the cayenne, dish soap, and peppermint or tea tree oil in a spray bottle and fill it with warm water. Spray the leaves and stalks of any plants you want to protect. Repeat the treatment every few days or after a rain shower.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs in the Garden
Preventative measures are crucial to your plants’ success, but earwigs and similar bugs are persistent and might slip in despite your efforts. Sooner or later, you encounter an infestation that requires a more forceful approach.
How to Kill Earwigs
This portion of the guide looks at ways to kill earwigs and other pests. We give you options for organic earwig control and solutions that involve tougher insect killers like boric acid. With these tips, your flowers and veggies thrive and remain bug-free.
Make an Earwig Trap with Light and Soapy Water
Earwigs are attracted to light and can’t resist heading toward it, so use this trait to your benefit. It’s a snap to create these soapy water earwig traps, and they won’t pose a potential hazard to you or your pets.
Add your soap and water to a shallow bucket, and place the bucket near the plants earwigs like to eat. Place a weatherproof lamp next to the bucket, and shine the light on the soapy water’s surface overnight. The earwigs won’t be able to resist the light; they then drown in the water.
Dry Out the Earwigs with Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth contains sharp, microscopic shells that act as natural dehumidifiers. The shells cut into the carapaces of insects like earwigs and then dry out the bugs. This makes diatomaceous earth an ideal tool for pest control.
Care and repeated application of diatomaceous earth knocks out the worst termite, roach, earwig, or centipede population. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth anywhere the insects like to travel, especially at garden entry points.
Place a helping around the plants, too. Using diatomaceous earth is useful if you keep applying it; sprinkle a fresh layer every few days or after rainfalls or high winds.
Hit the Earwigs with Rubbing Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is like insect kryptonite. It eats through their waxy outer layer and kills them right then and there, with no messing around. Take care of your earwig issue with a good rubbing alcohol spray down. It’ll knock out your invaders in a hurry.
Fill up your spray bottle with a mixture of half rubbing alcohol and half water. Wear gloves to avoid getting the spray on your hands, and spray down any infestations.
The earwigs and other critters die in no time at all. Wipe down the leaves and stalks with a damp cloth to remove the dead bugs.
Make Sticky Traps for the Earwigs
It’s easy to build a sticky trap to capture the insects that would otherwise make your plants miserable. Duct tape and cardboard are all it takes to make those pesky creatures wish they’d found a different garden to visit for lunch.
Cut long strips of cardboard, and cover one side with strips of two-sided duct tape. Place the traps sticky-side up around your plants, and use stakes to secure them in place. Replace the traps when they fill up or become clogged with dirt.
Sprinkle Boric Acid
If your other earwig removal solutions don’t take care of your issue, boric acid is always standing by, waiting to save the day. This natural insecticide is a tough customer and readily takes on earwigs, bed bugs, silverfish, cockroaches, and any other hungry insect it encounters.
Put on gloves and sprinkle boric acid in any trouble spots, as well as any areas you suspect of being earwig hiding places. Boric acid is dangerous if ingested by pets or humans, so only place it in areas your loved ones and furry friends can’t reach. This treatment is an ideal solution for those looking for how to get rid of earwigs in potted plants, too.
We hope you had a fascinating experience reviewing our earwig prevention and removal tips. Our crops and flowers give us bounty and pride, but hungry insects such as centipedes and earwigs love them as well.
Our guide to earwig control gives you the home defense tools that help you stop earwigs from making your plants their personal café and shows you the best ways to gain the upper hand.
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