Earwigs are scary-looking pests that do not harm humans or pets but do leave behind a foul smell when crushed. Earwigs can also feed on young plants in and around your home. Learn about our recommended methods for keeping these "pincher bugs" out of your home, controlling the ones that may already be there, and protecting your landscape plants outside.
Practice Exclusion to Keep Earwigs Out
Earwigs sometimes seek shelter inside of a home when conditions are no longer favorable outside. By maintaining a lawn and landscaped area free of excess mulch and thatch, you can reduce the likelihood of earwigs finding a safe route into your home. Eliminate piles of wood or brick that are attractive to earwigs to reduce their harborage options near your home.
You can make the areas around your home less attractive as earwig shelters by eliminating excess moisture. Maintain a working drainage system for the area and water for longer periods of time but less frequently. This method will provide your turf's roots with the water they need while reducing the time the surface stays damp.
Seal any possible points of insect entry into the structure to add further control. Openings around utility pipes or vents should be sealed, along with any cracks or gaps that you might find around the home's foundation.
Learn more of our recommended methods for keeping earwigs away in the first place with our Earwigs Prevention Guide.
Apply Professional-Grade Insecticides to Control Earwigs
Apply a perimeter treatment of a residual insecticide that is labeled for earwig control to keep crawling earwigs from finding their way inside your home. In most cases you will be applying a spray around three feet out from the foundation and three feet up the wall.
Always be sure to wear appropriate PPE when mixing or applying any insecticide. This should include chemical-resistant gloves, shirts with long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes with socks. Refer to each product label for full PPE usage and safety instructions.
Consider an insecticide containing the active ingredients deltamethrin or bifenthrin for earwig treatment around your home. These popular and effective active ingredients will provide quick knockdown against earwigs already present around your home as well as leaving a strong residual effect for ongoing control--usually between 30 and 90 days of coverage.
Earwigs that find their way inside a home usually do so in search of shelter and moisture during unfavorable weather conditions. If you have spotted earwigs inside your home, you can safely assume that they are hiding in a place that is covered, dark, and that holds moisture. Treat these areas with one of the recommended products below for the best results.
When applying a spray insecticide indoors, be sure to treat the following areas where earwigs like to hide:
- Windowsills and door frames
- Cracks and crevices that can provide entry or shelter
- Along baseboards
Placing insect glue boards in out-of-the-way spots around your home can also help determine if earwigs are present and if your treatments have been successful.
Granular baits using the same recommended active ingredients can be effective for controlling earwigs in turf and landscaped areas around your home or business. Avoid using granular bait in the same area as a residual insecticide spray. That would deter earwigs from consuming the bait. Check the label on your granular insecticide before using to confirm usage rates and watering recommendations for the most effective treatment.
Products needed for Step 2
Treat the Area with All-Natural Pest Control Products
For an alternative non-chemical means of controlling earwigs and other crawling pests found around your lawn, try regular applications of natural bug sprays. Natural oils are often the main active ingredient in these products, making them suitable for use in a wide range of areas, both inside and outdoors.
Follow the labeled instructions for applying these products, as you would with any pesticide. Repeat applications may be required for complete earwig control.