Want to learn more about Treatment - treat earwigs

Get individual care schedule and reminders for your plant with our app Planta. Never kill a plant again!

Planta on the app storePlanta on google play

Earwigs, recognizable by their rear pincers, pose issues for gardens and homes alike. Gardeners are particularly worried about their voracious appetite for plants, which leads to notable damage. They are indiscriminate feeders, often causing harm to foliage and creating unmistakable holes. Although generally harmless indoors, earwigs can infiltrate areas with high humidity. Achieving a balance between indoor and outdoor harmony involves adjusting habitats and implementing controls.


Earwigs, belonging to the order Dermaptera, possess distinct characteristics that aid in their identification. The key signature are the pair of forceps-like cerci at the end of their abdomen, which they use for various purposes. Earwigs make their presence known through these pincers. However, since they hide during the daytime, gardeners tend to only see the damages they've caused and not the actual insects.The impact they have on plants should not be underestimated, as they are capable of causing notable harm when they increase in numbers.

  • Earwigs primarily damage the leaves, flowers, buds, and even fruits of your plants, resulting in irregular holes where they have fed.

  • They often leave a trail of feces where they've been feeding

  • They can be found in crevices in, and around, your plant. But also in the soil or under the pot - they tend to like finding places to hide

Earwigs dahlia



The quickest and simplest approach involves manual removal of earwigs by hand. Be thorough, examining concealed areas like plant crevices and pot corners. Promote adequate air circulation among your plants and prevent overcrowding.

Additional Measures for Earwig Control

  • Reduce Moisture: Earwigs are attracted to damp and humid environments. Minimize excess moisture in your garden or indoor spaces by ensuring proper drainage and aim for watering your plant in the mornings.

  • Remove Hiding Spots: Earwigs seek out dark, tight spaces during the day. Clear debris, mulch, and other hiding spots near plants. Regularly tidy up garden areas to eliminate potential shelters.

  • Barriers: Create barriers around plants using diatomaceous earth. This substances can deter earwigs from reaching your plants.

  • Traps: Set up simple traps by placing damp, rolled-up newspaper or cardboard near plants overnight. In the morning, shake out and dispose of the trapped earwigs.

  • Attract Beneficial Predators: Encourage natural predators of earwigs, such as birds, toads, and ground beetles, by creating habitats that attract these creatures to your garden.

  • Set Up Traps: Place small containers filled with mixtures of vegetable oil, soy sauce or a mixture of water and dish soap in your garden. Earwigs are attracted to these and will get trapped when they climb in.

  • Use Insecticides: If infestations are severe, consider using natural or chemical insecticides labeled for earwig control. Apply them according to the instructions and be cautious to avoid harming beneficial insects.

  • Nighttime Removal: Since earwigs are most active at night, you can handpick them using a flashlight during the evening hours when they emerge.

  • Cultural Practices: Practice good garden hygiene by removing dead plant material, fallen leaves, and other organic debris that could provide hiding places for earwigs.

Earwig feeding damage tomato


While it's nearly impossible to completely eliminate all earwigs from your garden, you can take steps to reduce their populations and minimize their impact on your plants. Earwigs are common garden pests that can feed on both living and decaying plant material, as well as on other insects.


ARE MY PLANTS AT RISK? If you keep your plants indoors all year round, earwigs shouldn’t be a problem for you. However, if you have plants outside at any point, you run the risk of getting them on your plant or bringing them in on the pot. Because they’re not picky about what types of plants they feed on, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on all of your outdoor plants for damage.

HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE Earwigs usually live up to a year. Males tend to die during winter.

WHAT DO THEY EAT? Earwigs are omnivorous insects that feed on plants, insects, and decaying matter. They are opportunistic predators and scavengers, benefiting by controlling some pests. While they eat various plants, their preference varies based on moisture and other factors. They are a very common problem for gardeners who keeps Dahlias, Roses and vegetable plants.