Keeping earwigs out

Just to start off- I am terrified of these things. It was not a pleasant surprise while I was moth watching to shine a light on these on the outside of my window. They looked like they were trying to get in!

I have had a problem with earwigs getting into my room for a few years now and wondering what the best way is to keep them out because I hate having to wake my mum up at 12:30 and getting her to come get it out. I have read a few articles online and most just say to kill them which I do not want to do. Even worse I can’t gather the will to go close enough to them with a catch cup & take it outside like that.

I found this - Earwigs - There seem to be lots of pest control sites that also might be able to offer some help. There is also a trick about putting bed posts in oil or water (for control of blood sucking bugs that climb up at night), but I don’t know what it does to the bed posts!
EDIT I have only read about this in regards to ‘Kissing bugs’ (Triatoma sp.). Unless you are in this region of the US (, or Central/South America, they are not a concern.


I have had success with beer/yeast traps, but these are mainly used for outdoors in the garden for slugs and snail prevention. My place has alot of earwigs and over a couple of nights the beer trap will fill up with dozens and dozens of earwigs and a few slugs aswell. I use a recipe I found online, 1 cup water/cheap beer, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp flour. Then you simply place it into a small jar the garden slightly buried so they can fall into the trap. But as previously stated, since your situation is indoors this may not be suitable for you, just a free suggestion though!


It is a bit unusual to have earwigs coming indoors, as they are really an outdoor creature.

I would say, make sure that there are no small narrow gaps around the edge of your window where insects might be able to get in, especially if there are plants that are growing outside right next to your window.

Another possibility is, if you have plants in your room, plants that spend some of the year outside, you may accidentally bring earwigs into your room with those plants.

Also I wanted to say that earwigs may look scary, but they can’t hurt you at all, and they don’t want to. They also really want nothing whatsoever to do with your ears.


As I have found out the hard way, phobias are not always “Rational”, in the sense that facts alone can get rid of the fear. If @account120 is genuinely phobic, it can take a lot of work to overcome that. Just for what it’s worth!


Earwigs aren’t pest, they are quite useful actually. They don’t come indoors on their own. Make sure you don’t drag them in via plants, as susanhewitt said. Seal off cracks in and under the windowsill, and, if the building you live in is not a solid brick/stone building as are common in Europe but one those wooden frame structures common in North America, you may want to check the edge of the flooring for cracks or gaps too.

As for phobic reations, my suggestion would be to read as much as you can about these animals. Do NOT however read up on them on pest control sites because their take will not help you, as they have a hidden agenda (keep potential customers antsy to sell their services/products). Go for research articles and gardening sites instead. I would recommend European sites because earwigs are seen as beneficial and you find tips on how to ATTRACT them rather than get rid of them. Use those tips to create a more attractive environment for them outdoors.

I can understand phobias because as a child I used to panic at the sight of anything with more than 6 legs (spiders, centipedes etc.) and earwigs as well because of the cerci, they were terrifying to me. It was really bad. Today I actively go in search for spiders to photograph them and find them absolutely fascinating and some (jumping spiders for instance) even cute. What did I do? Convince myself all on my own that those were animals, and since I adored animals, there was no valid reason not to want to protect and love them too. Well, love is perhaps a big word. Developing an active interest for them, though, helped. Granted, it takes time. One has to be consistent in training oneself. It won’t happen overnight.

A magnifying glass to observe them, in general finding out more about them and their role in the grand scheme of things, how they live, went a long way to make me shed my fears. I still won’t cuddle spiders or earwigs, but then I don’t cuddle bees or caterpillars either, do I.

Don’t give up, the fact that you don’t want to kill them is a perfect stepping stone. Build on it.

PS: If at first you can’t bring yourself to get even near enough to use a magnifying glass, save up for a pair of Pentax Papilio binoculars. They aren’t overly expensive, though. They have a wonderful feature that will come in handy for all your naturalist endeavours: they also focus close, down to 50 cm. They’re not called Papilio (butterfly) for nothing. Go check them out. I highly recommend them, they’re small and lightweight and ever so useful.
Here’s a review:


My bedroom is in a walk-out basement, and I always have earwigs in the summer. This year is particularly bad - maybe because we’ve been having nonstop rain this summer??

Semi-effective advice - I vacuum up the ones I see with a portable vacuum and then empty it outside. It’s helps keep the numbers down. Doesn’t eliminate them, but at least they’re not everywhere. I’m guessing the emptying would be the hard part - maybe leave the vacuum under a covered porch or other dry place, on the theory that they will have left under their own power by morning.

Unsolicited advice - ignore if you’re not in the market. I had a spider phobia all my life, which got problematic 7 years ago when I started mothing at night. I dealt with it by taking photos - from far, far away. Gradually I became able to look at the photos on my laptop. Then taking closer photos, etc. It took about 4-5 years, but it was relatively painless, and quite effective.

Re water under bedposts - if you nest containers under each leg, then you can put water in the outer one, while the inner one keeps the bedpost dry.


Where are you that you are blessed with rain? We’ve had none in the Canadian prairies!
Excellent solution to the bedpost problem. I’ve only read about the process, but didn’t understand how it actually worked. Thanks.


recently, I took a photo of an earwig that had one wing open, which I found really fascinating ( Then I researched a bit and it is even more fascinating than I thought. So maybe it helps you overcome the phobia to read this.


That is one of the most amazing photos I have seen on iNat!

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Yes, I’ve done this kind of thing too. I use the hand vacuum with the longer crevice attachment.

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Yes, a friend in Oregon said that they haven’t had any rain in over 40 days. I seriously wish we could ship our rain out west.

I’m in upstate New York, where until a couple days ago we’ve been having rain (lots and lots and lots of rain), thunderstorms, and damaging winds almost every day since the beginning of June. We’ve now had 3 days in a row of sun, with only a couple bursts of heavy rain, and it feels so good! (Makes my tomato plants happy, too.)


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