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How to get rid of earwigs

Got these creepy critters in your home? Read our best tips and methods for how to get rid of earwigs, from trapping them to solving home issues that might attract them.

Updated

earwigs in house

Key steps

  • Get rid of earwigs with boric acid or with a homemade spray of rubbing alcohol and water.
  • Create a trap with water and washing-up liquid or soy sauce and olive oil.
  • Seal cracks and holes to prevent earwig entry.
  • Treat any damp issues that might be luring earwigs into your home

Nobody wants to share their home with creepy crawlies like earwigs. If you've found earwigs in your house, don’t wig out – help is at hand. We’re here to give you step-by-step tips on how to get rid of earwigs that have made your home theirs. For tips on how to banish other creepy crawlies, read our articles on how to get rid of woodlice and how to get rid of ants.

Earwigs love damp conditions, so always deal with any leaks in your home to prevent them getting too comfortable. You can use our guide to how to deal with a water leak or call in a plumber for bigger jobs.

How to get rid of earwigs in your house: top tips and tricks

Read on to discover some easy steps you can take in learning how to get rid of earwigs in your house:

  1. If you are dealing with a mass infestation, you may be left with no other choice but to exterminate the earwigs. Here are a few methods you can try:
    • Make a mix of washing-up liquid and water. Spray this solution in any areas you spot earwigs as a homemade alternative to pesticides.
    • Another alternative is a spray made of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water.
    • If you’d like to learn how to get rid of earwigs naturally, try boric acid powder. Only use boric acid if it is out of the reach of children and pets. Sprinkle it around wood piles and in damp corners.
  2. Why not make an earwig trap? This way you can dispose of them easily. Here are a couple of homemade trap ideas:
    • Fill a bucket with four-parts warm water and one-part washing-up liquid, then stir it until it is foamy. Leave it outside with a light shining directly on it. Earwigs will be attracted to the glistening water and then drown in the mixture.
    • You can also make a trap of equal parts soy sauce and olive oil. Pour the liquids into a container. Cover the container with a lid and make small holes in the lid (around ¼ inch). Earwigs love the smell, head inside and can’t get out again!
  3. Vacuuming up a large colony of earwigs will help to clear up the area but may not deal with the source of the problem.
  4. Make sure that any cracks and holes into your home are sealed. Look for small gaps in brickwork, walls and door or window frames that these pests could use to enter your home, and seal them up.
  5. Treat any damp issues. This includes:
    • Use a dehumidifier to deal with excess damp in the air.
    • Fix leaking pipes, drains or faucets.

Before texting friends and family messages like, “there are earwigs in my house!”, try the methods above and save your house from an infestation and your social capital from being ruined.

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Originally published