Lynn has been a professional organic farmer for the last 35 years and runs a 210-acre farm in Western Colorado with her husband.
4 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Earwigs
There's nothing more frustrating than to have your garden growing beautifully and then to have a pest invasion take out your prized plants. Pests can really plague a garden, and eliminating them is key to getting a good crop. I've been a professional organic farmer for 35 years and have lots of experience getting rid of notorious garden pests safely and naturally.
Pincher bugs, as we called them when we were kids, are mean little bugs that have pinchers on the ends of their rears that will grab your finger and not let go. They will eat your lettuce, corn silks, and the flowers in your garden. Here are my four favorite ways to eliminate earwigs naturally.
1. Earwig Trap
Earwigs like dark, tight places to hide during the day. If you lay some corrugated cardboard out in the garden where you've seen earwig damage, the earwigs will climb inside the cardboard to hide during the day. Then all you have to do is collect the cardboard in the evening and dispose of it.
2. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth is ground-up fossilized seashells. The powder will work its way into the joints of the earwigs and cause them to dehydrate and die. So you want to sprinkle it around where the earwigs will cross the path to get to your plants.
3. Garlic-Oil Spray
This easy-to-make spray is all-natural and cheap to produce. As a bonus, it can also used for control over aphids, cabbage loopers, June bugs, leafhoppers, squash bugs, and whitefly.
- Mince one bulb of garlic and soak it in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for 24 hours.
- Mix one pint of water with 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
- Add the garlic mix to the water and the soap.
- Mix thoroughly (without shaking).
- Strain out the garlic and place the remaining liquid in a jar for storage.
- To use, dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of the garlic-oil mix in 2 cups of water and spray on the endangered leaf surfaces once a week (reapply if it rains).
4. Sluggo® Plus
Sluggo® Plus is an organic-listed product that has iron phosphate and spinosad as the active ingredients. It comes in pellet form and is effective on earwigs. Just sprinkle it around the garden and the earwigs will think "ooh, dinner," and come and eat it. And that will be the end of the earwigs.
How to Figure Out What's Eating Your Plants
If you can't figure out what's eating your plants, go out at night with a flashlight and take a look at your garden. The garden is a whole other world at night, and lots of pests will come out at night to eat.
So with a little bit of detective work and some natural ingredients, you can have a pest-free garden. May your garden be easy, fun, productive, and always organic.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Lynn Gillespie
Imogen French from Southwest England on August 13, 2021:
Thank you so much for these tips. We have a very productive organic veg garden, but the pests drive me mad! Earwigs like to make a mean of my sweet peppers, and it's rare to find one without an earwig hole in it. I will definitely try some of these ideas!