How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Potted Plants: Effective Strategies and Prevention Tips

How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Potted Plants?

To get rid of earwigs in potted plants, there are a few effective methods to consider.

First, you can create a trap by placing a bowl or bucket filled with soapy water next to a bright light at night, as earwigs are attracted to light.

Another trap option is to mix olive oil and soy sauce in a bowl, which will attract earwigs to the smell and cause them to drown when they fall into the bowl.

Additionally, sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth over areas where earwigs are seen can kill them on contact.

To prevent more earwigs from entering your home, it’s recommended to fix window screen holes and seal cracks and gaps with caulk.

Removing sources of excess moisture and clearing mulch and dead vegetation around the home can also help prevent earwigs from finding shelter and food.

In the garden, crumpling up wet newspaper and leaving it overnight can attract earwigs, which can then be disposed of the next day.

You can also place small cans filled with oil, such as fish oil, in the soil around the garden to attract and drown earwigs.

Key Points:

  • Create a trap with soapy water and a bright light at night to attract and drown earwigs.
  • Mix olive oil and soy sauce in a bowl to attract and drown earwigs.
  • Use food-grade diatomaceous earth to kill earwigs on contact.
  • Fix window screen holes and seal cracks and gaps with caulk to prevent earwigs from entering the home.
  • Remove sources of excess moisture and clear mulch and dead vegetation to prevent earwigs from finding shelter and food.
  • Crumple up wet newspaper overnight to attract earwigs and dispose of them the next day.


Did You Know?

1. The term “earwig” actually comes from the Old English word “ēarewicga,” which means “ear creature.” This is due to an old myth suggesting that earwigs crawl into people’s ears while they sleep, although this is entirely untrue.

2. Earwigs are one of the few insects that exhibit maternal care. The mother earwig is known to guard and protect her eggs until they hatch. She will also continue to look after her newborn nymphs until they are ready to venture out on their own.

3. Despite their name, earwigs do not pose any significant threat to humans. They are generally harmless to people and prefer to scavenge on decaying plant matter or feed on other insects rather than humans. So, your fear of earwigs crawling into your ears can be put to rest!

4. If you happen to find an earwig with only one pincer (forceps-like appendage at the end of their abdomen), don’t be alarmed. Earwigs can actually regenerate their lost pincers during their molting process.

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5. Earwigs are nocturnal creatures, mostly active during the night. They have a strong aversion to daylight and will usually seek shelter during the day, which is why they are commonly found hiding in dark and damp areas like potted plants.

Bright Light Trap

Earwigs have a knack for finding their way into our potted plants, and dealing with them can be a nuisance. Luckily, there are a few effective strategies to eradicate these pests. One method that has shown success involves using light as bait. Earwigs are naturally attracted to bright lights, so by strategically placing a bowl or bucket near a bright light source at night, you can create a trap for them. To ensure their demise, fill the container with soapy water. As the night progresses, these pesky critters will be lured by the light and eventually fall into the soapy water, resulting in their untimely demise.

Olive Oil And Soy Sauce Trap

Another simple yet effective trap that you can concoct involves using common household ingredients like olive oil and soy sauce. Mix equal parts of these two ingredients in a bowl and place it near your infested potted plants. The strong smell of this blend will attract the earwigs, luring them towards their imminent doom. As these insects approach the enticing scent, they will inadvertently fall into the bowl and get trapped. The mixture of olive oil and soy sauce is detrimental to their survival, causing them to perish within the confines of the bowl.

Diatomaceous Earth Treatment

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to dealing with earwigs, food-grade diatomaceous earth can be a great option. This natural powder is derived from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms known as diatoms. Sprinkling this powder over areas where earwigs are commonly seen or near your potted plants will effectively kill them on contact. The microscopic particles of diatomaceous earth attach to the exoskeleton of the earwigs, causing them to dehydrate and eventually meet their demise. However, it’s important to note that this method is only effective when the powder remains dry. So, to ensure its efficacy, it’s best to reapply the diatomaceous earth after rain or watering.

  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a natural and safe option for dealing with earwigs.
  • Sprinkle the powder over areas where earwigs are commonly seen or near potted plants.
  • The microscopic particles of diatomaceous earth attach to the earwigs’ exoskeleton, causing dehydration.
  • Reapply the powder after rain or watering for maximum effectiveness.

“The utilization of food-grade diatomaceous earth is an effective and natural way to control earwig infestations.”

Seal Cracks To Prevent Entry

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with earwigs. To prevent further infestations, it is essential to identify and seal any cracks or gaps in your windows, walls, and doors. These small crevices serve as entry points for the earwigs, allowing them easy access to your home and potted plants. Use caulk to seal up these openings, creating a barrier that prevents their entry. Additionally, check your window screens for any holes and repair or replace them as necessary. By fortifying your home and eliminating these inviting access points, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of future earwig invasions.

  • Identify and seal cracks or gaps in windows, walls, and doors.
  • Use caulk to create a barrier against earwig entry.
  • Check and repair/replace window screens.

“Prevention is key when dealing with earwigs.**”

Remove Moisture And Clear Vegetation

Earwigs are attracted to areas with excess moisture and abundant food sources. To make your home and potted plants less appealing to these unwanted guests, it is important to eliminate these enticing factors. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Remove any standing water or sources of excess moisture around your home.
  • Ensure that your potted plants are well drained and avoid overwatering, as moist soil can serve as a breeding ground for earwigs.
  • Clear any dead vegetation and mulch from your garden, as these provide ideal hiding spots and food sources for earwigs.
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By maintaining a tidy and dry environment, you can discourage these pests from finding shelter and sustenance.

Remember to always keep your surroundings tidy and free of damp conditions to discourage earwigs.

  • Remove standing water or sources of excess moisture
  • Ensure potted plants are well-drained
  • Avoid overwatering, as moist soil can attract earwigs
  • Clear dead vegetation and mulch from gardens

Wet Newspaper And Oil Can Traps

For those with gardens or larger outdoor areas, there are alternate strategies that can be implemented to battle against earwigs. One effective method involves using crumpled wet newspaper. Simply dampen a few sheets of newspaper, crumple them up, and strategically place them around the garden. Earwigs are attracted to the moisture in the newspaper, causing them to gather around it. To dispose of these trapped pests, carefully pick up the newspaper the following day and toss it into a bag or sealable container.

Another strategy is to place small cans filled with oil, such as fish oil, in the soil around the garden. The scent of the oil acts as bait, luring the earwigs into the cans. Once the cans are full, remove them from the soil and dispose of them properly to effectively eliminate these unwanted intruders from the outdoor space.

Dealing with earwigs in potted plants requires a multi-faceted approach. Implementing a combination of traps, such as bright light traps and olive oil and soy sauce traps, can help in controlling the infestation. Additionally, sealing cracks, eliminating excess moisture, and clearing dead vegetation are effective prevention methods. In the garden, employing wet newspaper traps and placing oil-filled cans can be beneficial in tackling earwig infestations. With persistence and the proper strategies in place, it is possible to reclaim potted plants and outdoor spaces from the bothersome presence of earwigs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the quickest way to get rid of earwigs?

One effective method to quickly get rid of earwigs is by vacuuming all areas where they are active. This helps to physically remove them and eliminate their presence. Additionally, using a soap and water solution can be helpful in killing and deterring earwigs from infesting your home. By applying this solution to areas where they are commonly found, you can disrupt their habitats and discourage their return. To further combat earwig infestations, it is important to eliminate excess moisture, as earwigs thrive in damp environments. Using a dehumidifier can help to reduce the moisture levels in your home, making it less appealing for earwigs to inhabit. Lastly, applying boric acid to infested cracks and crevices can be an effective way to target earwigs directly and prevent their reproduction.

What kills earwigs naturally?

One natural method to kill earwigs is the use of vinegar. By mixing equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, you can target earwigs directly and effectively eliminate them. The acidic nature of vinegar disrupts their respiratory system, causing them to suffocate and die. Additionally, neem oil is another organic solution that can be mixed with water and sprayed in areas where earwigs are present. Neem oil contains compounds that act as a natural insecticide, breaking down their exoskeleton and causing them to perish.

Does neem kill earwigs?

Neem, a natural insecticide derived from the neem tree, has shown promise in controlling earwigs. Its active ingredient, azadirachtin, disrupts the feeding and reproductive capabilities of these pests. When applied as a spray or directly onto infested areas, neem oil can help reduce the population of earwigs in an organic and environmentally friendly manner. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of neem oil may vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the specific conditions of the environment.

What do earwigs hate the most?

Earwigs hate the most the odors of specific essential oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and basil. These scents repel earwigs, making them a great natural deterrent. By diluting a few drops of these oils in water and distributing the mixture throughout your house, you can effectively keep earwigs away. The combination of these scents creates an environment that earwigs find unpleasant, discouraging their presence and giving your home some much-needed peace of mind.

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