Earwigs: How to Get Rid of Earwigs or “Pincher Bugs”


Earwigs, also known as Pincher Bugs are peculiar looking bugs. They have pinchers, hence the name, that stick out of the abdomen at their rear. Although they can look scary they don’t actually do anything. Earwigs are not poisonous and don’t carry harmful bacteria.

However, that doesn’t mean you want to welcome them into your home. They are generally attracted to the light on your porch and will attempt to move into your home when the temperature increases. They prefer to be in damp cool areas.

How to Get Rid of Earwigs

How to Get Rid of Earwigs

In other words, they become a nuisance and you need to seek the help of a reputable pest control expert to eliminate the issue.

As they prefer to be active at night earwigs tend to congregate in the same place, a nest can consist of 1,000s of earwigs. They will eat any dead or decaying plant and even dead animal matter. However, as the population grows they’ll start to feed on live plants. That’s why you need to get rid of them early on.


Laying pieces of bamboo between your plants creates a trap for the earwigs. They will crawl into the tubes in the early morning, enabling you to pick up the bamboo and slide the earwigs out. To eliminate them simply tip them into a bucket of soapy water.

Petroleum Jelly

Putting this around your plants stops the earwigs from getting to the plants. You will need to replenish it regularly.

Oil Pits

Another great homemade technique for eliminating them is to put an equal amount of soy sauce and olive oil in one container. Put a lid on the container and put holes in the lid, the holes need to be big enough for the earwigs to get through.

Put the container in the soil so that only the lid is visible. The earwigs will be attracted to the soy source while the oil coats them and stops them from being able to get out of the box.


You may be surprised to discover that alcohol is capable of penetrating the body of an earwig. As soon as it comes into contact with the inner part of their body it will kill them. Rubbing alcohol is a good choice for this.

You can spray it onto earwigs or create a barrier with it, the unsuspecting earwigs will walk straight through it, sealing their own fate.

Diatomaceous Earth

This fossilized substance exists n abundance across the Earth’s crust and is full of tiny sharp particles. It presents no danger to children or pets but will cut the exoskeleton of any insect. It is then absorbed by the pest and will dehydrate them, effectively killing them.

Earwigs are beneficial in a garden but they will multiply and you don’t want them in your home. That’s why it’s essential to understand the best techniques to eliminate them and use these methods to resolve the issue.

Of course, it’s always worth getting a little professional help.