Earwigs eating plants is a common problem in most gardens. They live mainly on decaying leaves but will also appreciate the living plants as their meal.

Earwigs Eating Plants

If earwigs are making you feel worried or concerned, we have all the right tips and methods to control earwigs in the garden. Keep on reading to find out what you need to do. 

How To Stop Earwigs From Eating Garden Plants?

To stop earwigs from eating garden plants, you may use some soapy water solution to help, you can also use Diatomaceous Earth solution, in addition to oil pit traps, or even place some earwig repellent plants, and even create some newspaper traps.

Do you wish to know how to stop earwig-eating plants? You may choose homemade and commercial pest control methods to eliminate earwigs. 

– Soapy Water

Earwigs are different from aphids-eating plants. Plus, they are not identical to mites-eating plants. Yet, like mites and aphids, you can trap earwigs with soapy water. This homemade solution works magically to trap, and kill earwigs.

Mix ten parts of water in a bowl with one-part of liquid dishwashing soap. Ensure that the soapy water mixes well and becomes foamy. Or else, the solution will be pretty useless. You can spray the soapy solution on the earwigs using a sprayer. Alternatively, knock down the earwig in the container holding the liquid detergent mixed with water.

Soapy Water as a Trap

Earwigs have tinier pores in their skin. They use these pores for breathing. When the sprayed soapy water touches their skin, it blocks the pores. Also, soapy water will lower the surface tension of the pores. As a result, their breathing ability reduces considerably. It will, eventually, kill earwigs to save your garden plants.

– Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth earwigs are a standard solution to eliminate earwigs and many other pests. You need to find the Diatomaceous Earth in a finely powdered formation, or else, you can create the powdered dust home from the large blocks of Diatomaceous Earth.

Once you have the powdered dust, sprinkle it over the mulch, garden soil, and leaves. It dehydrates the earwigs to kill them eventually, becuase they will have no more moisture in their body. Diatomaceous Earth will cause scratches over the earwig skin, after which it would dehydrate the pest by blocking the pores.

– Oil Pit Traps

Oil traps are a combination of vegetable or olive oil and soy sauce, you should note that the mixture remedies are ones that would repel earwigs as fast as possible. As you need to combine both the oil and soy sauce equally, and if you use one part of soy sauce, mix one part of vegetable oil.

Oil Pit Traps

You then need to store the oil in a container and punch a hole in the lid. It will trap earwigs. As earwigs are attracted to the soy sauce flavor, they swarm into the oil pit trap. The oil will stop them from escaping when they enter the oil container. 

This way, you can get rid of the earwigs quickly. Using the pit trap, ensure that kids and pets don’t touch it. It can cause skin irritation.

– Use Earwig-repelling Plants

Plants that repel earwigs will safeguard your plants from these notorious garden pests. These repellant plants are natural ways to prevent earwigs from entering the garden.

Usually, these repelling plants have a strong fragrance that keeps the earwigs miles away. These repellants work perfectly if you want to know how to get rid of earwigs naturally.

You can choose wormwood, bay leaves, garlic, and peppermint. You can use them as companion plants in the garden to deter earwigs. Alternatively, you may create pest-repelling concoctions with the extracts of these spicy plants.

Moreover, you may use alyssum, fennel, and calendula to kill earwigs. These plants attract tachinid flies. These flies are the natural predator of earwigs. You may quickly control earwig infestation by planting these herbs and flowers in your garden.


– Creating Newspaper Trap

Another homemade solution to prevent earwigs is to apply a newspaper trap, you will only need a few pieces of old newspaper rolls for it. Fold the newspaper rolls with enough space in-between their rolls. You would then have to spread the folded newspaper rolls in different places in the garden.

As the folds are adequately loose, earwigs will enter into it, be patient and wait overnight, as in the morning, collect the folded newspaper.

After that, you must soak these newspapers in soapy water to guarantee that they are dead and gone. It will reduce the surface tension of the earwig skin pored. After a while, it will kill the pests. It is one of the most affordable ways to kill earwigs.

How To Know Earwigs Are Eating Plants?

To know that earwigs are eating your plants, you can identify through the bite marks that would leave on the leaves, which are circular in shape. Furthermore, you would spot them during the night through inspection, and this would be a sign to identify.

– Bite Marks

You will find many smaller holes as you inspect the earwig damage on the plants and leaves. Plus, you will see these tinier holes in the middle of the foliage and leaves. These pests don’t attack the edges of the leaves.

Bite Marks from Earwigs

Earwig damage is easy to identify because of their eating styles in eating, through the bit marks that they leave.

– Night Time Inspection

You won’t find any presence of the slime trail on the earwig-eaten leaves. Only slugs will leave a slime trail while eating the leaves. And for final assurance, inspect the garden two hours after dusk. As you light up the garden with a torch and inspect the foliage, you should find earwigs happily eating the foliage.

Earwigs are nocturnal, however, you will soon spot them in the garden, as they eat dead and living plants their leaves happily. When earwigs eat plants, they will leave behind their marks. The leaves are mostly cut from the centers with harshness.

As described, earwigs only eat the plants at night because of their nocturnal behavior. As the night advances, these pests will approach faster to your plants.

And with the first ray of the sun, they will quickly disappear from the garden. So, you will rarely notice their presence in the garden. The only way to find earwig infestation in the garden is to check the damaged leaves and plants.

It is vital because earwigs are fast eaters and can eat up a large garden within a few nights. So, you must act fast be identifying their attacks. Then you may proceed to stop them from eating the veggies, flowers, and perennial foliage.

How To Keep Earwigs Out of House?

To keep earwigs out of your house, you should keep your house thoroughly, so that they don’t have a chance to come. You can always place some repellent plants that they would revolt from, and lastly, make sure you prune the dead leaves.

Instead of killing earwigs with different commercial methods, you can stop them from entering homes. Although these pests aren’t harmful to human health, they are indeed a nuisance in our eyes. So, it would help if you prevented their entrance into your home.

– Cleaning the House

You should keep your garden neat and clean. A tidy garden will not allow the earwigs to live on the soil.

Cleaning the House

Often, these pests start living on the moist mulch and, from there, move into the home. So, you should remove too moist mulches from the garden. Plus, make the garden drier. You can stop overwatering to lower the moisture in the garden soil.

– Place Repellent Plants

Moreover, you should not plant ivy and hedge on the garden wall. The ivies and hedges will shelter the earwig. If your garden has too many hedges, earwigs will find shelter during the daytime. At night, they will come out to feast on the dead and living leaves. 

– Pruning Dead Leaves

Finally, you must remove the dead leaves from the garden to eliminate the pest’s food source. If the infestation is too harsh, you must choose commercial earwigs control methods.


Earwig-eating plants will wreak havoc in the nursery and garden at home and the commercial landscape. The good news is you can prevent their attack with homemade solutions.

  • Earwigs will eat soft fruits and berries mostly. Thus, you should think twice before planting soft fruits and berries in the garden. Even if you have berries, ensure they remain free from earwig attacks.
  • Alcohol will work as a wetting agent and surfactant to control earwig infestation. As the alcohol touches the pest’s skin, it will tear apart the waxy coat of the pest. It kills the earwig instantly. You may use rubbing alcohol to control this infestation.
  • Birds and toads are natural predators of earwigs. Thus, you may keep a few toads that will eradicate the garden earwig forever.

Earwigs can eat the leaves and seedlings of plants quickly. So, you must find ways to stop them to safeguard your garden. In doing so, you must follow our suggestions.

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