We’ve all been there. You’re doing some yard work, and suddenly you bump against a flat surface. You see a bug crawl out but don’t quite see what it is – and suddenly you see more. Earwigs are one of the more alarming creatures in our gardens not only because of their gnarly appearance but because of their tendency to congregate together in large numbers, meaning you may see dozens at a time. One of the most commonly referenced “scary insects,” earwigs can even fly – It’s no wonder you might want to reduce their numbers. Read on to learn how to get rid of earwigs.

Understanding Earwigs

Earwigs, or pincher bugs, are nocturnal insects that are distant relatives of the cockroach and palmetto bug. These are foraging scavengers who, like roaches, take what they can get. Their senses tend to guide them towards decaying plant matter, but they will also tear through fresh veggies and plants if they decide to give it a taste. Their manner of eating is also said to be particularly messy, leaving gardens looking ruined in extreme cases.

These are insects that seek cool, damp places to occupy. Since they live and eat outdoors, you’re not likely to encounter them in your home outside the garage or basement, so the good news is you probably won’t have an infestation inside. You will commonly find them under rocks, between layers of siding, and in leaf piles. Since decaying leaves are a food source for them, they flock to these locations, which provide both food and shelter.

Like cockroaches, earwigs have wings and legs that evolved to push off behind them and propel them rapidly forward – These alarming creatures can run quite fast. Trying to squash all of them when you see them isn’t the best approach, so what can you do?

Some Home Remedies

While not all home remedies you may have heard about will be effective, some can certainly help get rid of earwigs in your home.

1) Rubbing alcohol and water – Mixing equal parts rubbing alcohol and water creates a spray that will kill earwigs on contact. You can spray this in areas where earwigs can be seen to directly attack their numbers.

2) Dish soap and water – Equally important as the above method, spraying soapy water will disturb and break down the pheromone trails earwigs use to find one another.

3) Light traps – Bright lights attract insects, as they use the light of the moon to navigate. By mixing dish soap and water in a bucket and shining a bright light into it, earwigs will congregate on the light and fall into the soapy water, where they will drown.

4) Oil and soy sauce traps – Mixing olive oil and soy sauce in a jar will create a trap that earwigs flock to. The scent of plant oils and fermentation will attract earwigs to the jar, which they will fall into and not be able to crawl out of, causing them to drown.

The Best Solution to Get Rid of Earwigs

How do you get rid of earwigs for sure? Pincher bugs are one of the many garden pests that a professional can eliminate for you. By tracking down habitats that earwigs may be occupying and shutting them down, you can again garden in peace without worrying about a dozen scary-looking pinchers running all over the place.