What Are Earwigs Attracted To?

What Are Earwigs Attracted To? Earwigs are often considered pests, but they’re quite helpful to gardens. They are tiny insects with long, curved forceps-like pincers at the rear of their abdomens.

Moisture and darker, damp places draw in earwigs. They hide in damp soil, under fallen leaves, and in crevices and cracks. This article will explain why earwigs are so successful and investigate why they are attracted to particular places.


What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects. They can be spotted by their two pincers, or “cerci“, on their abdomens. Earwigs are small. Depending on the species, they range from 5-15mm in length. They have brown/black and flattened bodies. Plus, they have short antennae and six legs and wings.

There are around 2000 species of earwigs, which are divided into two families: Forficulidae and Anisolabididae. Even though they look intimidating, earwigs don’t cause harm to humans or transmit diseases. However, if an infestation occurs, it can become a nuisance. So, identifying and controlling them is important.


Earwigs live in many places, such as woodpiles, rocks, stones, plant debris, leaf litter, and compost heaps. They may even be found around human-made things like stumps, fences, and sheds. Crawl spaces, basements, and garages are not out of the question. Earwigs enjoy moist environments but can survive in places with over 50% humidity.

Some prefer to stay high in vegetation, like shrubs or trees, while others hide low.

Earwigs are nocturnal. During the day, they hide away from heat and light. They don’t usually build nests, but look for small shelters to protect them from the weather. These shelters can also reproduce and overwinter, depending on where they are.

Earwig Diet

Earwigs have a diet that includes both plants and animals! They love humid areas and feed on dead bugs, fungi, plants, and small animals like aphids. They may even try to get into your home to find food scraps. So, it’s important to keep them away. Let’s look more closely at what earwigs eat!

Preferred Food Sources

Earwigs eat many things! They like plants, like decaying fruits and vegetables, as well as pollen, nectar, and moist organic material. They’re attracted to light at night and may try to find food nearby. They’ll even eat other insects, dead animals, spider webs, and fungi!

Earwigs also love places with high humidity because they need moisture to survive.

Feeding Habits

Earwigs are omnivores and opportunistic scavengers. They eat various things – fruits, vegetables, flowers, small bugs, decaying matter, fungi, algae and other plant material. If food sources are scarce, they may even resort to cannibalism. Studies in laboratories have shown them to feed on eggs from other insects and care for the young of their species. This adaptability makes earwigs an extremely pesky pest.

Earwig Attractants

Earwigs are tiny, segmented bugs. They love wet, shady areas plus certain lures. These pests can be a problem in yards and homes. Here, we’ll learn what attracts earwigs and how to stop them from entering your space.


Earwigs can be found around the globe – in Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia! They love moisture and darkness, so they often hide in mulch, compost piles, under stones, garden furniture, discarded boards, and wood. These spots provide humidity and darkness for them to stay active all year.

Plus, earwigs are attracted to places with plenty of food, such as decaying leaves and plants or small bugs like aphids. Also, areas with standing water or too much moisture from bad drainage or overwatering in gardens are attractive to them.

Dark Spaces

Earwigs are drawn to moist, shadowy spots. Woodpiles, leaf litter, compost heaps and gardens are their ultimate habitats. Earwigs can also be spotted under mulch in gardens and flowerpots and in dark corners of basements and garages with water close by. They may even take shelter in outside stored piles of clothes or furniture. Plus, they can enter homes through air conditioners or other vents.

Organic Material

Organic material is a big draw to earwigs. Dead and decaying stuff like leaves, compost, logs, etc. provide dark, moist shelters with food. Plus, organic material can have toxins that attract them.

Earwigs can eat fruits and veg in the garden. To stop that, remove any food they’ve touched.

Mulch retains moisture, making it an attractive home for earwigs. To avoid this, clear out old damp leaves before running fresh wood-chips through the area in spring.

Earwig Prevention

Earwigs can be pesky, even though they’re small and harmless. To stop them from taking over your home or garden, it’s key to know what attracts them. Food, shelter, and moisture are their faves. Eliminate these things and you can keep them away. Let’s look closer at these three factors:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Moisture

Eliminate Moisture Sources

Moisture is crucial for an earwig’s survival. To stop an infestation, make your home dry. Here’s what to do:

  • Check plumbing and fix any leaks.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts regularly.
  • Eliminate any sources of standing water on your land.
  • For better drainage, ensure flower beds and other vegetation are 3ft away from the house’s foundation.
  • Seal off any small openings, cracks, or vents around windows and doors with a good caulk or weatherstripping material.

Keep Areas Clean and Dry

To stop earwigs, clean and keep areas dry. Earwigs love moister places like under rocks and leaves, so removing these will help. Check for standing water around your house. Seal off any leaky windows and pipes. Make sure your yard is free of debris, and keep outdoor areas dry and aerated by watering in the day.

Put a screen around open windows or vents near the ground level to stop intruders. Clean and dry environments will reduce chances of an infestation in your home or garden.

Seal Cracks and Crevices

Check your home and property for cracks or crevices that earwigs might enter. Inspect the siding, windows, doors, and screens. Look at walls near gardens, porches, decks and patios too.

Seal any entry points with silicone caulk. Fix any broken screens. This is a great way to keep earwigs out.

Earwig Control

Earwigs are small, nocturnal insects found in homes and gardens. They don’t harm people, but they can be bothersome. They can also damage plants and crops.

To keep them away from your home and garden, it’s important to understand what attracts them and how to control them. In this article, we’ll discuss what draws them to a place and how to manage them.


Trap-it up! Traps are a fantastic earwig control method – no harm to plants or other natural elements in the garden. Try sticky traps, wet newspapers, or containers filled with water or veggie oil.

  • Sticky Traps: Place near damp areas like drains or aircon units and check regularly.
  • Wet Newspapers: Wrap moistened newspapers tightly, tie it with twine or wire, and place near seen earwigs.
  • Containers: Fill small containers with oil or water. Place around damp areas, check daily for trapped earwigs, and dispose away from garden.


Insecticides are great for controlling earwigs. Baits, sprays, fogging, granules and dusts are all available. Baits can reduce the population of mature insects. Sprays and dusts provide contact control. Granules can offer food sources and contact kill. Fogging treatments are used outdoors or indoors as a last resort.

Pyrethrum or pyrethroid are often used against earwigs. Other chemicals that may be present in the formulations include:

  • Carbaryl
  • Bifenthrin
  • Permethrin
  • Cyfluthrin
  • Naled

These chemicals affect the insect’s nervous system, causing paralysis or death soon after contact.

Natural Repellents

To repel or discourage earwigs, create an environment unsuitable for them. Here are some tips:

  • Remove potential sources of food and water. Earwigs like moisture and scavenge areas with succulent plants, fruits and vegetables, damp wood, and other debris. Keep things dry and get rid of them.
  • Put firewood away from your home. Earwigs like it near your home. Keep it dry and far away.
  • Change your landscaping practices. If you have a garden, don’t trim the grass short. Earwigs prefer lush grass. Mulch bare soil instead of adding stones. This provides hiding spots during the day.
  • Apply natural repellents. If you still have an infestation, use garlic oil spray or diatomaceous earth (DE). DE consists of tiny fossilized algae-like particles. These penetrate the exoskeleton of the insect, drying it out, leading to death by dehydration