Sparkle & Smile

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Healthy Home

Controlling Earwigs in Your Home and Garden

Earwigs are among the most readily recognized insect plants in home gardens.  Although they can devastate seedling vegetables, annual flowers, maturing soft fruit or corn silks, they also have a beneficial role by feeding on aphids and other insects.

Earwigs are a concern in your garden if you are growing vegetables, herbaceous flowering plants, sweet corn, or plants with soft fruits like strawberries and apricots.  They are not a concern if your garden is primarily lawn, trees and woody ornamentals or native plants.

Nocturnal in habit, earwigs feed at night and hide during the day in dark, cool, moist places in the yard or within flowers or vegetables.

Control earwigs by reducing outdoor hiding places.  Eliminate dense undergrowth of vines, ground cover and weeds around vegetable and flower gardens.

Prune away fruit tree suckers.

Remove leaves, boards, boxes, trash, and other debris from planting areas.

Move flower pots and other garden objects that can harbor earwigs.

Check plastic or organic mulches and remove them to limit earwig numbers.

Reduce earwigs by trapping them with rolled newspaper, bamboo tubes, or short pieces of hose.  Place these traps on the soil near plants just before dark, and shake accumulated earwigs out into a pail of soapy water in the morning.

A low-sided can (a tuna fish can) filled with oil and a drop of bacon grease, fish, or vegetable oil also makes a good trap.

Mix together a small amount of dish soap and water in a spray bottle and spray the earwigs.  They do not like soapy water.
Daily trapping will reduce earwig populations to tolerable levels.

Inside the home.  Earwigs may seek refuge indoors when conditions outside are too dry, hot, or cold. 

Sweep or vacuum up invading earwigs.

Seal up cracks or other entry points.

Remove debris from gutters and around entryways.

Keep water and moisture away from structures.

Replace white outdoor lights with yellow ones which are less attractive to earwigs.

Spray them with a mixture of dish soap and water.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services wants to know how you manage earwigs.  Share your comments with us!  For more information on healthy green cleaning and green living, please log on to or

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