DIY Earwig Trap for Your Garden

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One of the things that bugs me (HAH!)  most about gardening is trying to outsmart the bugs without resorting to chemicals. Sometimes the bugs win but sometimes I win so I keep plugging away at my attempts at organic gardening. My least favorite garden pest is the earwig and having this DIY earwig trap out by my plants is an absolute must.

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What is an earwig? They are nasty, creeping looking bugs and I will give you more into below. Of course, learning how to make a homemade earwig trap is a great way to save money, right? Since a DIY earwig trap takes only pennies to make, you should definitely learn to make your own.

DIY earwig trap to get rid of earwigs without chemicals

What is an earwig?

So, what is an earwig? Wikipedia defines them as small elongated insect with a pair of terminal appendages that resemble pincers. They are also called pincer bugs. In other words, long, skinny, antennae on the head, pincers on the back end. You’ll know it if you see it.

You can get earwigs in the house if you have particularly damp areas but in my opinion, earwigs in the garden are a much bigger problem. Since they really love damp areas, the DIY earwig trap that I make is basically a tiny damp house for them to hide in until you can toss them in the trash.

By Charlesjsharp (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

By Charlesjsharp (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

If you have earwigs in the garden you can easily make your own homemade earwig trap with a few simple supplies you have laying around the house. Earwigs are mostly nocturnal and like to hide in small, moist crevices during the day. They are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants.

In order to trap these little buggers and get them out of your garden you need to give them a small, moist little crevice to hide in besides your leafy lettuce plants! If making your own earwig traps doesn’t solve your problems, try diatomaceous earth in the garden instead.

How to Make an Earwig Trap 1

Supplies for your Homemade Earwig Traps

  • Newspaper
  • water bottle
  • scissors
  • duct tap, elastic bands or some other means of securing your earwig trap.

How to Make an Earwig Trap

DIY Earwig Trap Directions

Cut a section of newspaper into 4 pieces. You want the ‘edge’ on one side and the paper fanned out a bit on the other as shown in the picture above.

Spray the paper lightly with water. You want your earwig trap damp but not actually WET.

Now, just loosely roll your newspaper up. You want plenty of nooks and crannies in there. I rolled a few of the papers individually, then rolled them all up together, sort of folding it over on itself. You want the width to be about as big as that of a garden hose.

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How to Make an Earwig Trap

Now, Get Rid of Earwigs in the Garden!

Next you just need to put your earwig trap out into the garden. Since earwigs are most active at night you should put your damp earwig trap at the base of your plant around dusk. In the morning just take your earwig traps and throw them into a plastic bag and tie it up tight before throwing them in the trash.

If you are feeling humane you can let your new friends go in an area far, FAR away from your garden but I am not particularly sympathetic to my garden pests!

How to Make an Earwig Trap 4

Remember, choosing eco friendly garden ideas like this homemade earwig trap will minimize the carbon footprint of your garden. The fewer pesticides we use, the more bee friendly our yard is!

So, do you have a problem with earwigs in the garden? How do YOU get rid of them?




  1. Katherine says
    Great article. I just spotted one on my windshield last night when I dropped my daughter off at her house. She has just started a garden. I am definitely showing her this article AND the picture.
    • I will be making more soon because they are hard to get rid of when they really start gaining in numbers!

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