Are earwigs raiding your gardens and homes again? Get rid of earwigs with essential oils, a natural and subtle way to eliminate them for good.
Scientifically known as Forficula auricularia, earwigs are dark brown bugs that inhibit warm and humid climate. They feed on decaying organic matter, plant leaves, fruits, wood, and other insects such as grubs, aphids, and army-worms. Earwigs are also commonly known as Pincher Bugs. These pestering little bugs can cause a lot of damage to your gardens. The good news is that all you need to get rid of earwigs are the essential oils you already have at home.
How to Identify Earwigs?
It is vital to identify an earwig attack at the right time, but as they are nocturnal, agile, and usually hide during the day, it becomes slightly tricky.
In terms of physical appearances, earwigs are reddish-brown and are usually 5-25 mm in size. These insects have appendages that look like forceps on their tail ends. Their scary pincers attached to their abdomen are the reason they are famous as pincher bugs.
Female earwigs lay an estimated 40-50 eggs in protected underground holes—these eggs hatch after seven days. Within ten weeks, the nymphs from the eggs shed their skin and become a full adult earwig.
But since you will rarely find earwigs roaming around in broad daylight, it is crucial to notice the following signs of earwig damage in your garden:
- Flowers, vegetables, and especially leaves will become jagged and full of holes.
- You might observe scattered earwig excrement, which is black.
- The rains force earwigs to climb up plants and trees and seek dry shelter. So, keep a close watch in the rainy season.
- The underside of a pot containing any decaying or damaged plant may become the breeding ground for earwigs.
What Do Earwigs Eat?
Pincher bugs are omnivorous. And therefore, they have an extensive list of choosing their meals. Earwigs consume other insects such as aphids, grubs, army-worms, larvae, and the eggs of various other insects. Thus, in a way, earwigs help the gardeners by eating the pests in your garden.
However, when they increase in number, the earwigs start to feast on the living plant matters as well, such as fruits, vegetables, flowers.
When it comes to human beings, the earwigs are surely a mix between scary and nasty, but nothing more than that. They possess no actual threat to humans. Even their sharp-looking pincers are not powerful enough to cause any real damage to human beings.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs with Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the most natural and most effective method to get rid of earwigs.
What You Need
- Lavender essential oil, or
- Clove oil, or
- Any citrus oil, or
- A gallon of water
- A spray bottle
What to Do
Mix half an ounce of your chosen essential oil in a gallon of water. You can use this mixture to spray in and around your garage, basement, and the foundation of your house. You can choose any of the above essential oil based on your preference, fragrance, or availability.
If you suspect that the pincher bugs may have made themselves comfortable inside your home, you can use the following oils:
- Cedar oil
- Peppermint oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Citronella oil
Another beneficial oil that can repel earwigs quickly is the Neem oil. Neem oil is extracted from the Neem trees in India and has been used by Indians for centuries. Neem oil contains anti-bacterial properties and cures many skin problems such as acne breakouts, scars, dry and wrinkled skin, stimulated collagen production, etc.
To repel the earwigs, you can mix a teaspoon of Neem oil with 8 ounces of warm water and spray it in the following areas:
- Damp and moist areas/mounds
- Dead and decaying organic plant matter
- Points from where the earwigs can enter your house
- Windows and doors
- Crevices and cracks along the baseboards