What Attracts Earwigs: Know Your Enemy

Learn what can attract earwigs to your home and garden and how to repel them.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 14, 2023
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If there’s one insect that most people don’t like to see in their home, it’s earwigs. These insects have an unusual appearance with pincers and come with different myths. Some people believe that earwigs can enter the body through the ears and get to the brain.

You might be wondering what attracts earwigs when you notice them in your home. We detail all you need to know about what attracts earwigs in your house and how you can prevent an infestation.

When Do Earwigs Become Active?

Earwigs Trusted Source Earwigs - The Australian Museum Earwig australian.museum are usually active in the late spring and early summer.

Earwigs have a life cycle similar to many insects since their mating season is in the fall. But they don’t lay their eggs shortly after mating. Instead, the female will wait until springtime to lay her eggs. They lay their eggs in batches of up to 50, and the young offspring will become adults in late May or early June.

If you notice many earwigs in your home or yard at this time, it means that an earwig nest hatched somewhere close. Earwigs can bite Trusted Source Earwig Bite: In Your Ear, Symptoms, and Images Earwigs can bite people, but they rarely do. Instead, they’re more likely to pinch your skin and hold on tight. Here’s what to do if you get pinched. www.healthline.com , but they don’t cause any serious damage.

It’s important to get rid of them so that the cycle does not repeat itself. This is where our guide to what attracts and repels earwigs naturally comes in.

What Attracts Earwigs to Your House

When you understand the behavior of earwigs in your home or yard, you can easily figure out how to get them out of your house and prevent a future infestation. Simply, earwigs are looking for leaves, flowers, fruits, mold, and even other insects. But what attracts earwigs outside and inside your home?


What Attracts Earwigs: Know Your Enemy
A wet environment is ideal for earwigs because it helps to keep their bodies’ temperature regulated. Standing water also attracts other small creatures that earwigs can feed on.

When you have moisture in and around your home, you can end up attracting earwigs to it. There are many reasons why the soil around your home can become moist, from the shaded areas that can’t get dry after the rain to the broken or obstructed gutters that cause water to flow in your home.

Especially during the rainy season, earwigs will be heavily attracted to your house when there’s a lot of moisture around it. When there’s a lot of ground around holding rainwater, you can expect to notice these pinchers.

Rotting wood and leaves

When looking at what attracts earwigs outside your home, rotting wood is always a likely possibility. Keep in mind that moisture conditions usually cause wood to rot, and this attracts a lot of bugs and wild animals that feed on this wood.

With holes in the wood and leaves, earwigs and other insects will be attracted to your yard.

If you have many trees around your home, woodpiles, construction materials, or firewood, then you will attract earwigs. These are all locations for earwigs to lay their eggs.

Further, having leaf litter in your yard can attract earwigs since they like moisture and shade. So, it’s a good idea to clean up during the fall months.


Earwigs and moths are attracted to light, too, so they might intentionally enter your home when they see you have many lights on. These insects can become annoying during summer evenings when they gather on your patio or porch when you have the lights on. To get rid of them, use the best moth traps.

Aside from the outdoor lights, indoor lights are very attractive at night. If you leave your windows or doors open when you have earwigs in your yard and surroundings, they will most likely sneak into your home.

Plants and flowers

What Attracts Earwigs: Know Your Enemy
Earwigs are omnivorous, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter. Flowers and other plant life also offer shelter from the elements and predators for earwigs.

If you have a green thumb, you’ll most likely attract earwigs to your home, indoors and outdoors. Earwigs feed on vegetation and even some smaller insects that feed on plants and flowers. A flower or garden bed is attractive to earwigs, and when outside is too cold or wet for them, they can come into your home to eat your plants.

Keep in mind that while earwigs might like moisture, they also stay away from oversaturated soil. They can get into your home through cracks in the exterior walls or foundation and stay in your flowerbed.

How to Prevent Earwig Infestation

Once you know what attracts earwigs in your house, you can move on to learning how to repel and prevent them. This can prevent an earwig infestation and keep the pesky insects out. Some ways to stop earwigs from coming into your house include the following.

Eliminate moisture

As mentioned earlier, the high moisture content will strongly attract earwigs and even lead to an infestation in and outside your home.

Aside from the outdoor area, places like the basement, under the sink, or even the bathroom can be damp. This will attract earwigs.

You can prevent this by getting rid of moisture in and around your home. Place dehumidifiers and fans around your home to dry the areas that have a high moisture concentration. By keeping your home dry, you can make your house inhospitable for these pesky earwigs.

Seal cracks


You should secure the entries that an earwig can use to sneak into your home if you want to keep them out. Not only they but also spiders can infest your house by going through holes or cracks. Use the best outdoor spider sprays and fix any gaps and cracks in the doors and windows. Ensure you close the windows and doors tightly, too, especially at night.

Add an extra layer of protection to your window or door by caulking the windowsills Trusted Source Caulking | Department of Energy Caulking can reduce heating and cooling costs and improve comfort in your home. www.energy.gov and putting a cloth under your doors. There might also be some cracks in your wall that earwigs can sneak through, and you should seal them too.


A good way to get rid of the earwigs in your home is to do a thorough cleaning. Vacuuming helps you not only clean your house but also to suck up any earwigs, other insects, or even dust mites that you might have hiding in the carpet or different corners. Use the best dust mite vacuums to get rid of them.

Ensure you vacuum the carpet and rugs, corners in your home, places where you have plants, and rooms with moisture like the bathroom or basement.

While vacuuming, it’s important to look out for any earwig eggs and stop further population. Use a vacuum to suck up the eggs and throw them away from your home.

Keep your garden clean

As mentioned earlier, plants and vegetation are what attract earwigs. So, you should remove rotten plants and foliage to prevent earwigs from making a home in your garden and flowerbeds.

Also, pruning your vegetation is a good way to keep the earwigs away. Tend to your crops regularly and ensure proper aeration. Also, you can use natural insecticides to keep the earwigs out of your gardens. Some plants like peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella can repel earwigs. You can plant them in your garden to keep earwigs away.

Create protective barrier

Finally, you can create a protective barrier. Pest traps are an excellent choice for keeping them and other crawling insects away. Arrange Catchmaster 72MAX with bait around the perimeter of your garden or yard. BioCare Earwig Trap is another excellent choice for trapping earwigs, plus, it is reusable.

You can also purchase Wondercide to prevent earwigs from entering your home. Spray common entry points and the perimeter of your home with it. This will repel them from entering the building.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what attracts and repels earwigs, you don’t need to panic whenever you see them. Earwigs might like your yard or home, but you will still need to get rid of them, so they don’t damage your plants and infest your home. Take the time to protect your home from earwigs using the knowledge of what attracts them, and you can avoid the hassle of an infestation.


Earwigs - The Australian Museum
Earwig Bite: In Your Ear, Symptoms, and Images
Earwigs can bite people, but they rarely do. Instead, they’re more likely to pinch your skin and hold on tight. Here’s what to do if you get pinched.
Caulking | Department of Energy
Caulking can reduce heating and cooling costs and improve comfort in your home.
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