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How to Get Rid of Earwigs in a Bathroom?

Imagine trying to take a shower early in the morning. You turn off the water and reach for your soap when your hand comes away covered with a couple of earwigs. You try and rinse them off when you realize that the earwigs are all over the bathroom! 

These tiny pests are unpleasant to look at, leave a nasty smell behind, and are often difficult to get rid of.  

In this article, we’re going to walk you through a description of what earwigs look like, whether they are dangerous, what you need to know about them, and why they are in your bathroom. After that, we’ll take you through a list of ways to help you get rid of them; these include a few traps and repellents that are extremely helpful! 

What do Earwigs Look Like?

What do Earwigs Look Like

Earwigs are tiny insects that are typically no bigger than an inch long. They have long and flattened bodies, usually either brown or dark red. These insects have six legs and long antennae that span the length of half their bodies. Another notable feature of earwigs is that they have two pairs of wings; their hind wings are usually tucked under their front wings. It is also important to note that earwigs have a set of pincers near their rear end. These wings stick out from the back of their abdominal regions. 

What Should You Know About Earwigs?

Earwigs have existed on the earth for millions of years. If you happen to find one in your bathroom or anywhere else in your home, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you. Earwigs do not spread any form of bacteria. However, they spread as a species very quickly, much like bedbugs. The average female earwig can lay around 50 eggs at a time. These eggs hatch very quickly, usually within a week. This means that once there’s a massive population of earwigs in your bathroom, you’ll have a tough time trying to control the infestation once they’ve set up a home!

Another essential thing to keep in mind when it comes to earwigs is that they leave behind terrible smells, which is why you want to get rid of them as quickly as you can. The reason that their pheromones smell bad is to repel predators.

Earwigs are also nocturnal creatures, which means they come out at night for food. When using the bathroom at night, be careful! 

Are earwigs dangerous?

Why Are There Earwigs in My Bathroom?

No, earwigs are not harmful or dangerous to humans in any way. It’s important to note that even though their pincers might look a bit intimidating, they won’t poison or harm you in a way that sends you running to the emergency room. However, if you try and pick an earwig up with your fingers, it might react in self-defense and pierce your skin with the pincers. Its pincers might hurt a little, but they won’t break your skin or cause any bleeding.

Why Are There Earwigs in My Bathroom?

Here are some of the reasons why you might find earwigs in your bathroom. 

They are hunting for food

They are hunting for food

Even though the bathroom isn’t the first place you would think of as a food source, you’d be surprised! Earwigs aren’t picky eaters, and there’s a good chance that you might have dropped food crumbs on your bathroom floor after eating. You might also have a trashcan without a lid in the bathroom, and earwigs might go looking in there for some food. Additionally, earwigs eat plants, so a decorative plant in your bathroom is also a rich source of food for the earwigs. If your bathroom plant is dead or dying, you are likely to find more earwigs around it because they prefer to eat dying plants. 

Earwigs love moisture

Earwigs love moisture

Like cockroaches who love moisture, earwigs also love moist or damp places. As a result, the bathroom offers these insects plenty of water and wet areas to choose from. Suppose you suspect that there is an earwig infestation in your bathroom. In that case, chances are you will find several of these creatures under the sink, near the shower drain, and in your bathtub. 

They are hunting for shelter

Earwigs and cockroaches have more in common than you might think. Earwigs also infest people’s homes because they are searching for shelter. Therefore, a bathroom with several tiny dark crevices is the perfect place for these insects to hide. Insects like earwigs also tend to infest homes when the weather changes. When summer or winter begins, you are more likely to deal with insect infestations because they are seeking an environment with a more neutral temperature. 

Make sure that you check your bathroom cabinets and other hiding places for earwigs during the day because that is when these creatures are dormant. They also tend to take shelter in light fixtures. 

How Do Earwigs Get Into the Bathroom?

Since earwigs are smaller than other household pests, they get into bathrooms through cracks in the bathroom window. They also come through open windows or doors. In some cases, earwigs come in through cracks in the bathroom wall and leaking pipes. Depending on what your plumbing situation is like, earwigs might also come up through the drains in your sink or shower. 

Get Rid of Earwigs in the Bathroom Permanently?

Get Rid of Earwigs in the Bathroom Permanently

Dealing with an earwig infestation is highly annoying. Still, thankfully, several methods can help you get rid of these pests quickly. Many of the techniques we’re going to walk you through use things that you will already have lying around the house. Let’s take a closer look. 

Use water and rubbing alcohol

Use water and rubbing alcohol

Suppose you prefer to make cleaning products at home. In that case, chances are that you already have rubbing alcohol lying around. It’s easy to find in stores and works wonders when trying to get rid of earwigs. 

For this method, you will need: 

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water 
  • A spray bottle 

All you need to do is combine equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water in the spray bottle, roughly half a cup of each or more, depending on the size of your bottle. Next, spray the earwig-infested areas with the mixture. 

Since rubbing alcohol is much stronger than dish soap, it kills the earwigs instantly. 

Use water and dish soap

Use water and dish soap

Sometimes, the simplest remedies are often the most effective. Dish soap is a commonly used ingredient and one of the best ways to get rid of different types of insects, not just earwigs. 

For this method, you will need: 

  • A few drops of dish soap 
  • A cup of water 
  • A spray bottle 

Add the dish soap and water to the spray bottle and shake well to ensure that the water and soap are well combined. Once you’ve shaken the bottle, spray the soap-water mixture liberally in the darkest corners of your bathroom first, followed by other areas where you have noticed the earwigs lurking. 

If you’ve noticed the earwigs hiding in and around the various drains in your bathroom, make sure that you spray the mixture in those parts as well. Once you’ve sprayed enough of the soap in the drains, cover them with plastic and let them sit for a few hours. 

Please note that to make sure the dish soap and water mixture works in your favor, you might need to repeat the process a few times over a few days. This way, you will ensure that you get rid of all the earwigs. 

Use cooking oil and soy sauce

Use cooking oil and soy sauce

Since earwigs are always hiding in houses looking for food, it should not come as a surprise to you that anything edible brings them out of their hiding places. In this case, the method that we’re recommending involves soy sauce and oil. 

You will need: 

  • A small and shallow plastic container
  • A few tablespoons of soy sauce 
  • A few tablespoons of cooking oil

Since soy sauce is water-based, it will sink to the bottom of the container, and the oil will rise to the top. All you need to do is place these two ingredients in the plastic container, then keep them in the area where you find earwigs quite often. 

The earwigs will be drawn to the salty smell of the soy sauce. As they crawl into the container, they will get trapped in the oil. Since the oil is heavier than water and much stickier, it will adhere to the earwig’s wings eventually drowning the earwig in the oil. 

This method is cheap and effective. Suppose the earwigs have infested multiple areas in your bathroom. In that case, you might need to place many containers with oil and soy sauce all around. 

Use a vacuum cleaner

Use a vacuum cleaner

If none of the methods mentioned so far have worked for you, then we’d highly recommend that you try and vacuum your bathroom when it is dry. Earwigs multiply very quickly, so there’s a chance that you might not get rid of all of them in a single shot. Vacuuming them might be a lot more helpful. 

Use boric acid

While natural home remedies are safer for your health, there are times when chemical products do a much better job at killing pests. This method doesn’t involve combining products. 

All you need to do is purchase some boric acid from your local hardware store and then sprinkle it in all the corners of your bathroom. Do your best to ensure that you sprinkle the boric acid liberally in the most commonly infested areas in your bathroom, such as the shower drain and bathroom sink. 

Please note that boric acid doesn’t work when wet, so you must use it when your bathroom is completely dry. It is also important to note that for the boric acid to work, the earwigs must come in direct contact with it. Therefore, you must be patient and allow it to sit in your bathroom for at least a week. We would recommend that you refrain from using that bathroom so that it can kill all the earwigs. 

Use light traps

Even though earwigs are nocturnal creatures, they are often attracted to bright lights. If you want to kill a large group of earwigs at once, you could try light trapping them. This method combines the dish soap and water method and a bright light. 

To try this method, you will need: 

  • A bucket of water
  • Two cups of dish soap 
  • A torch or any other portable bright light 

All you need to do is combine the water and dish soap in a bucket and then point a bright light at the bucket. Since the earwigs are attracted to bright lights, they will hurry in the direction of the light and drown in the water. 

A helpful tip is that you must take care to point the light in the middle of the water in the bucket. If you don’t, you might find that the earwigs will avoid the bucket and move away. 

Earwig Repellents & Traps You Should Try

We’ve provided you with a list of six methods that can help you get rid of earwigs, all of which involve using materials and ingredients lying around at home. However, there are times when you need to use chemicals and more robust materials like traps that help you get rid of insect problems much more quickly. 

Here is a list of three insect repellants and traps that you could try if various home remedies stop working. Please note that all three of them are safe and non-toxic.

BioCare Reusable Earwig Traps

BioCare Reusable Earwig Traps

The BioCare Reusable Earwig Traps are perfect for those who are not comfortable bringing pesticides into their homes. These traps are pesticide-free. You can also keep these traps inside cupboards used to store food because they do not emit chemical odors or cause physical harm. 


  • A pack of one contains three traps. 
  • These traps are reusable. 
  • You can use them indoors and outdoors. 
  • The trap includes a UV dye that attracts earwigs, which means you can kill many at once. 
  • You can add bait like soy sauce, dish soap, or peanut butter to the traps to attract the earwigs. 
  • These traps are bright green, which will attract earwigs.


  • These traps are perfect for trapping a few earwigs at a time if there aren’t many in your house. 
  • These traps are pesticide and chemical-free, meaning they are non-toxic and safe to use around young children and pets.


  • These traps don’t work if there are many earwigs in your bathroom because they cannot trap many insects at once. 

Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth-Bed Bug Flea and Insect Killer

Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth-Bed Bug Flea and Insect Killer

The great thing about the Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth-Bed Bug Flea and Insect Killer is that it is perfect for getting rid of many earwigs at once. This diatomaceous killer is a powder. This means that all you need to do is sprinkle it in the infested areas of your bathroom and wait for 24 to 48 hours for the earwigs and other pests to die. 


  • One bag of this product weighs four pounds and contains around nine cups of powder. 
  • It can be used to kill many other insects like cockroaches, bedbugs, centipedes, millipedes, and crickets. 
  • You can use it indoors and outdoors. 


  • A considerable advantage of this product is that insects like earwigs cannot develop an immunity to it. Therefore, you can sprinkle it liberally and often in your bathroom to eliminate the earwigs. 
  • Diatomaceous powder is dehydrating. The particles that make up this powder have sharp edges that cut through the earwig’s exoskeleton, which dehydrates it and kills it quickly. This powder is safe and effective and instantly kills earwigs and other insects. 


  • We couldn’t seem to find any! 

Monterey Sluggo Plus

Monterey LG6575 Sluggo Plus

Our final product recommendation kills earwigs, slugs, and snails. All you need to do is sprinkle this powder all over your bathroom and wait for it to work its magic. 


  • This product contains iron phosphate, which means that it is safe to use in potted plants and enclosed spaces, like a bathroom. 


  • The Monterey Sluggo Plus effectively kills all types of pests very quickly. 
  • It is affordable. 


  • Once again, we couldn’t seem to find any! 


Do Earwigs Come Up Through Drains?

Earwigs come up through drains, but they usually enter a home by coming through open windows and doors. 

Wrapping Up 

This article took you through several methods to help you get rid of earwigs. We made sure to include as many methods as possible to help you if you can’t find some of the ingredients or materials easily. We’ve also included a list of insect repellents that you can buy online. We hope that our methods help you!