Earwigs may be beneficial to have around your garden, but inside the home is a big NOPE. These ‘pincher bugs’ are certainly not welcome in the home, so how can you keep them out? One of the best ways is by using sprays that deter or eliminate earwigs.
Some of the best earwig repellent sprays out there include
- Mighty Mint – which uses peppermint, rosemary, and geraniol to protect plants
- Wondercide – which utilizes cedarwood oil and can cover up to 400 sqft
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) sprays and essential oils that confuse an earwigs sense of smell
Below, we’ll go over the 10 best earwigs sprays that are sure to keep these menacing pests from coming back!
What To Look For In An Earwig Spray
Sprays are an easy way to repel or eliminate problem pests like earwigs inside and outside the home.
Earwig spray can be used in several different ways including setting a barrier around your home’s foundation, spraying directly on plants to protect them, and spraying the insects directly to eliminate them.
Earwigs like to hang out in moist areas. Inside the home, this means your basement, garage, laundry room, and beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. Outdoors, this means in your garden, in landscaping mulch, and beneath your potted plants and welcome mat.
When searching for an effective spray to keep earwigs away, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a few key things:
- Ingredients: The first choice you’ll want to make is whether you want to eliminate or repel.
An article in the Southwestern Entomologist Journal suggests looking for ingredients like permethrin, deltamethrin, bifenthrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin for elimination spray.
For repelling, we recommend looking for things like peppermint, cedar, geraniol, lemon, and vinegar.
- Moisture: Because most of the areas you’ll be spraying will be moist, you’ll want to look for a spray that is resistant to moisture. You don’t want to purchase a spray that isn’t going to work around water.
- Frequency: It’s always recommended to read the product’s label before use. This can give you an idea of how frequently you’ll have to apply your earwig spray. The frequency of application can also give you an idea of how harsh the spray is. The more frequently you have to reapply, the less harsh the ingredients are, and vice versa.
- Target Area: Depending on your specific situation, you may be having problems with earwigs indoors, outdoors, in your garden, or your landscape. Be sure to get a spray that matches your situation. For example, sprays that target outdoor areas are typically not meant to be used indoors.
Now that you know what you should be looking for in an earwig spray, let’s check out the 10 BEST earwig sprays so you can keep these crawling pests away for good!
NOTE: Always follow the directions on the label of any product you use to control insects.
Mighty Mint Spray
Mighty Mint is one of the more popular and natural brands of pesticides on the market. They put their ingredients right on the front of the label so that you know exactly what you are buying.
The three main ingredients in Mighty Mint Plant Protection Peppermint Spray are peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and geraniol.
Peppermint has been proven effective at repelling a wide range of insects. According to Cornell University, menthol is the main compound in peppermint that produces its repellent effect on insects.
Rosemary oil and geraniol contain repellent compounds of their own which have been effective at repelling insects like earwigs.
Mighty Mint Spray is a good choice to use when earwigs are damaging your houseplants or garden plants. It is meant to be used directly on plants and can be sprayed right on their leaves.
Earwig damage to house plants and vegetable crops will look like jagged holes in the leaves. It’s been described as appearing similar to slug and snail damage, without the snail trail. Earwigs will sometimes target soft fruits as well such as apricots and peaches.
It’s suggested to reapply your Mighty Mint spray every 7-10 days initially. Once your earwig problem is resolved, you can apply it every 2-3 weeks for prevention.
Wondercide spray is another natural-based spray that you can use to both prevent and eliminate earwigs.
Wondercide’s Natural Products Indoor Pest Control Spray checks off a lot of boxes for homeowners:
- For indoor/outdoor use
- Natural ingredients
- Made in the USA
- Transparent ingredients
Wondercide uses ingredients like cedarwood oil, peppermint oil, and sesame oil, along with a few other ingredients to help the product stick to surfaces (sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant).
Wondercide is a great option for homeowners who are having problems with earwigs inside the home. This spray can be used on surfaces, bedding, furniture, cabinets, and flooring.
For earwigs, you can target the areas beneath your kitchen and bathroom sink, around windows and doors, the areas beneath your houseplant pots, and other damp areas. You can spray this in small cracks and crevices as well if you suspect earwigs are getting inside that way.
You can use this spray as needed and a 32 oz bottle will treat up to 400 square feet. It’s recommended to spray twice a week for active earwig problems. For preventative maintenance, spray in damp areas once a month to keep earwigs away.
Ortho Home Defense Spray
Ortho is a trusted name in pest control and is one of the leading brands for homeowners with bug problems.
The main ingredient in Ortho’s Home Defense For Indoor & Perimeter Spray is bifenthrin. As we mentioned before, this compound is a very effective earwig repellent and eliminator.
This product comes with a wand for easy application and can be used indoors and around the outside perimeter of your home, providing your house with complete protection inside and out.
One thing that differs between Ortho and some of the natural-based sprays is that you will want to remove everyone (including pets) from the house during application until the spray dries. After it dries, everyone can re-enter the treated areas.
Ortho Home Defense spray offers 12 months of protection from a single application indoors, but many reviews say this is only under perfect conditions and usually lasts less time.
Outdoor applications around the foundation of your home and garage are expected to last 3 months before you need to reapply the product. Heavy rains or adverse conditions can shorten this timeframe.
Always read the directions on the label for proper use and application.
Eco Defense Spray
Eco Defense spray is a product similar to Mighty Mint and Wondercide, using natural ingredients to control, repel, and eliminate earwigs.
The main ingredients in Eco Defense USDA Biobased Pest Control Spray are peppermint oil and geranium oil, along with the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). The repellent effects come from the compounds citronellol and geraniol, both of which repel insects like earwigs.
The reviews on this product are mixed, some saying it worked great to repel their pest problem while others said it was not very effective. However, Eco Defense does offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.
This natural pest spray is recommended to use ‘as needed and can be used both indoors and outdoors. This is a great choice if you have an active earwig problem and can see the little invaders and know exactly where they are hiding!
The Eco Defense spray is meant to be used on surfaces, so it is not a good choice to use to protect your indoor and outdoor plants.
Another natural insect spray that is effective against earwigs is Ecologic. They use the power of cornmint oil and lemongrass oil to both deter and eliminate problem pests like earwigs.
- Cornmint is part of the mint family, similar to peppermint, and uses the power of menthol to repel and eliminate creepy crawlers like earwigs.
- According to Cornell University, Citral is the main compound in lemongrass oil that has insect repelling properties.
Ecologic’s HG Home Insect Control Spray comes in a 64 oz container with a sprayer that gets connected to the top for easy application. This product can be used both indoors and outdoors.
It’s recommended to use this product only on surfaces, so Ecologic is a good choice if you are trying to repel earwigs from certain areas or doing spot treatments of specific earwigs you see in and around the house.
You can spray this on areas like your window frames, door frames, and cracks and crevices on the outside of your house to keep earwigs from entering. Indoors, it’s recommended to spray along baseboards and areas beneath your sink.
Mighty Mint Yard Spray
We talked about a Mighty Mint product earlier, their Mighty Mint Peppermint spray that can be used on plants. The Mighty Mint Yard Spray is a little different in that it is meant to be used as a perimeter spray around your home and lawn.
Mighty Mint’s Yard Spray has the same active ingredients as their other spray – peppermint and geraniol. However, the concentration of the peppermint and geraniol is slightly higher in their yard spray.
Their 32 oz spray is good for covering up to 6,000 square feet. Similar to their other spray, this must be applied often, about once a week, to be continually effective at repelling pests like earwigs.
The spray bottle comes with a nozzle that you connect your hose to for easier application. You don’t have to wear out your fingers continually spraying around your lawn!
Mighty Mint Yard Spray is a good choice for someone looking to prevent earwigs from coming inside their home. It’s also great to keep these creepy crawlers off your porch and patio.
This isn’t a good choice for someone looking for indoor protection as this product is meant to be used outdoors.
Essential Oil Spray
Essential oils are oils that are derived from plants and have a multitude of uses. One of the recently-discovered uses of essential oils is as a pest repellent.
Certain scents and smells given off by the oils are offensive or overwhelming to some critters like ants, cockroaches, spiders, and earwigs. Essential oils can even deter mammals like raccoons, deer, and skunks!
But, back to earwigs…
You can use certain essential oils to repel earwigs from your home. Some of the most effective essential oils against earwigs include:
To make an essential oil spray, take some essential oil such as Handcraft Eucalyptus Essential oil. Add 10-15 drops of your essential oil for every cup of water and place the mixture into a spray bottle.
Spray along the outside of your home in places where you think (or have seen) earwigs are getting inside. As with any natural spray, you’ll have to reapply often, about once a week, to keep the scent strong and the earwigs OUT.
You can read more about the scents that earwigs hate here. Even though they are just bugs, earwigs have a very sensitive sense of smell that they use to find food. You can use that fact to your advantage by using essential oils to repel them!
BioAdvanced Vegetable Garden Insecticide Spray
We’ve gone over a lot of sprays so far that cover different areas of your home and lawn. BioAdvanced is the first product we will cover that can be used directly on your vegetable plants.
BioAdvanced Vegetable Garden Insecticide comes in a 32 oz bottle and works similarly to Mighty Mint’s Yard Spray in that you can hook your hose up to the nozzle to spray.
BioAdvanced is more similar to Ortho Home Defense than to some of the more natural sprays on our list. It can cover up to 5,000 square feet and eliminates pests like earwigs on contact.
This product is meant to be used on vegetables, lawns, flowers, shrubs, trees, and around the outside of the home. It is good for someone who is having problems with earwigs eating their garden plants.
As always, be sure to read the directions on the label for proper application and for exactly what fruits and vegetables you can use this spray on.
Natria Neem Oil Spray
Natria neem oil spray uses the power of neem oil to repel and eliminate pests like earwigs. This spray is similar to BioAdvanced in that you can spray your garden plants with it.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), neem oil is found naturally in the seeds of neem trees and has been used for a long time to control pests.
Natria Neem Oil Spray comes in a 24 oz bottle that is ready to use. They recommend using it in the spring, summer, and fall as soon as you notice earwigs creeping on your plants. It’s recommended to use this product every 7-14 days to keep earwigs off your prized plants.
Natria neem oil spray is a good choice for someone who is looking to protect their garden and house plants. As always, be sure to read the directions on the label for proper application.
DIY Scent-Based Sprays
Do-it-yourself (DIY) sprays are great for the person that’s willing to put the time into making their concoction to naturally repel pesky earwigs.
But really, it doesn’t take too long to make one of these sprays and they can be effective at repelling and eliminating earwigs without breaking the bank.
You have a few options when it comes to repelling earwigs with scent-based sprays:
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon may be sweet, but it’s a scent that earwigs do NOT enjoy. You can use cinnamon powder and add 1 tbsp of cinnamon to 1 cup of water and place the mixture in a spray bottle.
Spray around your door and window frames and anywhere else outdoors where you think earwigs may be sneaking inside.
- Vinegar: Vinegar has an extremely strong, acidic smell that irritates an earwig’s sense of smell. Mix 1 part vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle and use it outdoors around your home to keep earwigs away.
For either scent, you can add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture to help it stick to surfaces outside. You’ll need to reapply the scent once a week to keep the smell strong and so that it continues to repel earwigs from your home.
Keeping Earwigs Away Naturally Without Sprays
We’ve talked a lot about using sprays to repel and eliminate earwigs inside and outside of the home. But you probably don’t want to continue spraying week after week to keep these pesky bugs away.
Sprays are great to treat an immediate earwig problem, but if you want to keep these pests away for good, you’ll want to invest some time into eliminating attractants.
Eliminate Damp Areas
Earwigs love moisture and are far more likely to come into your home if you have a leaky faucet, humid laundry room, or damp basement.
While it’s impossible to eliminate all dampness within the house, using a dehumidifier and wiping down your tub or shower after use can help eliminate some of an earwig’s favorite hangout spots.
Fix leaky faucets immediately.
Areas beneath your potted plants are another favorite spot for earwigs. If you can, move your plants outside when it gets warm. If they must remain indoors, water them over a tub to let the excess moisture drain, then place them on water-resistant rubber mats.
Keep your shrubs and trees trimmed to eliminate shade near your home’s foundation. Shaded areas will retain moisture longer than sunny locations.
Try to keep mulch at least 3 feet away from your home. Mulch is another landscaping item that will retain moisture and give earwigs a reason to stick around.
Eliminate Food Sources
Earwigs are omnivores and will eat dead insects as readily as your healthy indoor plants. To keep earwigs out of your home you’ll want to eliminate both of these attractants.
Use a vacuum to sweep up dead insects from your windowsills and near your doorways. Pick up fallen leaves and flowers from your houseplants.
Outdoors, try to keep your gutters clean of dead leaves and rake any leaf litter in your yard. Use a broom to sweep your porches and patios of leaf litter.
Seal All Entry Points
Probably the most important step in keeping earwigs away for good is to seal the entry point where they are getting inside.
Earwigs can fit through extremely tiny spaces, so it may not be possible to find every single location.
Nonetheless, look for tiny cracks and imperfections in your home’s foundation, siding, fascia, window screens, and door screens. Replace the screens and use caulking or putty to seal cracks.
That’s A Wrap!
It’s been quite the journey, hasn’t it? Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what earwigs are attracted to and how to use sprays to keep them out of your home and garden.
Let’s do a quick recap of each spray so you’ll have a better idea of which spray is best for your specific situation.
Best Sprays For Surfaces:
- Wondercide Natural Products Indoor Pest Control Spray
- Eco Defense USDA Biobased Pest Control Spray
- Ecologic HG Home Insect Control
Best Perimeter Sprays:
- Mighty Mint Yard Spray
- Ortho Home Defense For Indoor & Perimeter Spray
- Essential Oil Spray
- DIY Scent-Based Spray
Best Sprays For Your Plants:
- Mighty Mint Plant Protection Peppermint Spray
- BioAdvanced Vegetable Garden Insecticide Spray
- Natria Neem Oil Spray for Plants Pest Control
You should choose a spray that is geared toward your specific situation. Using a spray meant for surfaces will not do well when used on plants or as a perimeter spray.
In addition to using sprays to keep earwigs away, you’ll want to put a little time into eliminating damp areas in your home, eliminating food sources, and sealing all entry points to keep those pesky earwigs away for good!
If your earwig problem is turning into an infestation, you can always reach out to a professional to get control of the situation. Our Nationwide Pest Control Finder can get you in contact with a professional near you!
Colvin, B., & Cranshaw, W. (2010). Comparison of Over-the-Counter Insecticides for managing the European Earwig, Forficula auricularia L. (Dermaptera: Forficulidae). Southwestern Entomologist, 35(1), 69-74.
Logan, D. P., Maher, B. J., & Connolly, P. G. (2011, January 08). Increased number of earwigs (Forficula auricularia) in kiwifruit orchards are associated with fewer broadspectrum sprays. New Zealand Plant Protection, 64, 49-54. https://nzpps.org/_journal/index.php/nzpp/article/view/5955
Malagnoux, L., Capowiez, Y., & Rault, M. (2015, May 12). Impact of insecticide exposure on the predation activity of the European earwig Forficula auricularia. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22, 14116-14126. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-015-4520-9
Orpet, R. J., Crowder, D. W., & Jones, V. P. (2019, June 25). Biology and Management of European Earwig in Orchards and Vineyards. Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 10(1). https://academic.oup.com/jipm/article/10/1/21/5514231?login=true
Peusens, G., & Gobin, B. (2008). Side effects of pesticides on the European earwig Forficula auricularia L. (Dermaptera: Forficulidae). Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms, 35, 40-43.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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