Have earwigs in the garden? You aren’t the only one, trust me! One of the things that bug me (HAH!) most about gardening is trying to outsmart the bugs without resorting to chemicals.
My least favorite garden pest is the earwig and having this DIY earwig trap out by my plants is an absolute must. What is an earwig? They are nasty, creeping looking bugs and I will give you more info below.
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Of course, learning how to make a homemade earwig trap is a great way to save money, right? Since a DIY earwig traps takes only pennies to make, you should definitely learn to make your own.
What is an earwig?
So, what is an earwig? Wikipedia defines them as a 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.
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Like this homemade earwig trap? Try these garden tips, too:
- Natural Pest and Disease Control
- How to Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
- Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and The Sacrificial Parsley
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.
How do you get rid of earwigs?
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.
Methods for Killing Earwigs
- Use a mixture of dish soap and water if you want to avoid pesticides. Just squirt dish liquid in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Spray this directly on the earwig. It should kill them very quickly.
- Make an alcohol-based insecticide spray to kill earwigs. Mix 1/2 to 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Be careful spraying on plant leaves.
- Sprinkle boric acid powder to get rid of earwigs INSIDE YOUR HOME. Boric acid can kill your plants so don’t use it in the garden!
- Use this DIY earwig trap to kill earwigs in the garden
Are earwigs harmful?
Generally, earwigs are fairly harmless. They look intimidating but don’t really bite unless agitated.
I wouldn’t suggest picking them out of your garden with your bare fingers but don’t hide in fear from them either. In large numbers, however, they can do damage to your crops.
In small numbers, they are considered a beneficial insect so only worry about setting out earwig traps if you see a TON of them.
Supplies for your Homemade Earwig Traps
Making an earwig trap is easy enough. They are attracted to damp areas. All you need to do to make this DIY earwig trap is to get some newspaper wet, roll it up, and secure it loosely enough that they can still crawl inside of it.
Here is what you will need:
Earwig Trap Supplies
- Newspaper (this is a great way to use old newspapers! Make tons, give them to friends!)
- water bottle
- duct tape, elastic bands or some other means of securing your earwig trap.
DIY Earwig Trap Directions
Okay, now comes time for assembly! This will seriously only take you 5 minutes. Then you will have plenty of time to figure out how to keep snails out of the garden, too!
When you are done with your earwig trap, head over to my post about how to attract toads to the garden and build yourself a toad house. Then, the toad can help you get rid of earwigs, too!
- Cut a section of the 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.
Get Rid of Earwigs in the Garden with your Earwigs trap!
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!
Do you have a problem with earwigs in the garden? How do YOU get rid of them? Try earwig traps!
Make plenty so you can replace them daily as needed.
Make plenty so you can replace them daily as needed.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.