Earwigs are often seen after extended periods of wet weather. Although earwigs are outdoor pests, they often wander indoors by accident. These insects are not harmful and do not bite or sting humans, or feed on clothing fabric. However, heavy infestations of earwigs can become a nuisance for the homeowner. Homemade remedies are often effective in eliminating earwigs inside the home.

Earwigs are accidental invaders of homes.


Earwigs are brown insects that have pincers, which are used as weapons. These pests are generally 5/8 inches in length, have light brown legs and a red head. Earwigs typically live outdoors in damp areas such as in mulch, under firewood and beneath piles of dead leaves. During the fall, earwigs may wander indoors seeking shelter from the cool weather. Most earwigs find their way inside our homes underneath baseboards, window sills and door jambs. If frightened or disturbed, earwigs emit a foul odor. Earwigs often chew holes in flowers or plants, including vegetables.

Indoor Trap

According to Oregon State University, earwigs are attracted to fish oil. If you have heavy earwig infestations inside your home, you can make a homemade trap for them using fish oil. Fill shallow containers with an abundance of fish oil and place them around your home. Be sure to place the traps in areas of entry, such as around doors and windows or baseboards.

Outdoor Traps

If your garden plants, flowers or vegetables are being eaten by earwigs, you can trap them in the same way outdoors. Fill shallow containers with fish oil and place them near infested plants. Bury the containers in the soil, so that the sides are completely covered in dirt. You can also trap earwigs by placing damp paper rolled up near your infested plants. In the morning, collect the paper and throw away all trapped earwigs.

Cultural Control

Earwigs love damp places, so keeping your yard and garden free from plant debris can help reduce infestations. Reduce outdoor lighting such as porch lights, to keep earwigs from being drawn to the light and entering your home. Repair all leaky faucets or dripping water hoses outdoors, as the moisture attracts earwigs.