How to Kill Earwigs With Household Products


Earwigs may seem menacing with their long bodies and sharp pincers, but they don't harm humans, at least not directly. An earwig will bite if handled, but the bites don't break the skin and are only mildly painful. The real problem is the damage earwigs do to gardens. Earwigs munch on corn silk, potatoes, flowers and shrubs, leaving frayed plants. They may also infest homes, especially in the winter. Earwigs feed at night and hide during the day. To control them, place traps at their hiding places and dispose of them in the morning.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • 3 tbsp. dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum
  • Damp paper towel
  • Vegetable oil
  • Shallow bowl or lid
  • Moisten a rolled newspaper slightly and set it where you've noticed earwigs. In the morning, shake the earwigs trapped in the newspaper into a bucket of warm, soapy water to kill them.

  • Mix 3 tbsp. dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on earwigs to kill them. Vacuum the dead earwigs or pick them up with a damp paper towel.

  • Pour vegetable oil into a shallow container with straight sides and set it in the garden where you've found earwigs. The earwigs fall in the container and drown. Clean the container out frequently and discard dead earwigs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove dead brush from your yard and avoid overwatering. Damp, mossy areas are especially attractive to earwigs.
  • Use pesticides carefully, following all directions.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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