Do Coffee Grounds Repel Earwigs?

No one likes earwigs. Yet, you’ve probably learned to accept the fact that they’re part and parcel of having house plants.

At the same time, you’re aware that these destructive pests are ruining the pretty plants that you’ve worked so hard on. Hence, you spend a lot of your time trying to find ways to get rid of them.

In one of these hunts for ways to remove earwigs from your backyard, you may have found that earwigs hate coffee. Read on to find out whether this is true or just an old wives’ tale.

What Are Earwigs?

Before we learn how to get rid of these nasty pests, it is important to learn what it is that we’re dealing with in the first place.

First of all, it is crucial that we get one thing out of the way: Earwigs get a much worse reputation than they deserve. In fact, they’re not nearly as bad as most people assume.

Despite the name, earwigs do not enter your ear. And no matter what urban legend you’ve heard about these earwigs causing all kinds of havoc in the brain, it is not true.

Though there have been cases of earwigs being found in people’s ears, they’re more or less as common as cockroaches or other bugs being found in people’s ears.

And no, the earwigs won’t surpass your ear canal and enter the brain. In reality, these bugs don’t even care about entering the ear, let alone the brain.

Instead, you will generally find these brownish-black pests living inside leaves, under loose tree barks, inside cracks of trunks, or in ground-level debris, garden mulch, or stones.

They thrive in shaded, dark, and moist environments. While this may be great news for you and your ears, it isn’t exactly an ideal situation if you have a large garden with a variety of plants.

Similar to caterpillars, moths, and other pests, earwigs are scavengers. They come out at night to feed on decaying organic rubbish, as well as plants, flowers, moss, shrubs, grass, and even other insects.

Due to their shape and color, they are often mistaken for cockroaches, especially on rare occasions when they sneak inside the house.

But once you get a closer look, you’d be able to tell that these are thinner than cockroaches and have a slightly different shape.

What Are Earwigs Attracted To?

As discussed earlier, earwigs are attracted to all sorts of organic rubbish and seek out places where they can have easy access to such material. Once they find an ideal environment, they tend to thrive there.

As a result, they are commonly known to invade gardens and greenhouses. This is where they can cause a lot of damage.

Despite their natural preference for building homes in dark and shaded areas, earwigs are also attracted by bright lights. Therefore, you might find them lingering around lamps and bulbs during nighttime.

If earwigs get inside the house, they are most likely to get attracted toward the bathrooms or the kitchen since it offers them moisture and organic waste.

While it is unlikely for earwigs to enter the house, it is far from being unheard of. When winter arrives, earwigs might try to get inside homes to find warmer shelters.

They usually enter through cracks in the foundation but may also take advantage of doors or windows that are left open unsupervised. Once inside, it is hard to get rid of them.

Since they immediately find dark, isolated corners, by the time you notice you are dealing with earwigs, you may already have a proper infestation at hand.

How to Get Rid of Earwigs?

Whether you’re dealing with earwig infestation inside the house or trying to find the best way to protect your gardens, you want to find the gentlest methods to get rid of these pests.

You can opt for harmful pesticides if you’re desperate. However, these might damage your plants and can also be harmful to the residents when used inside the house.

Instead, you should first try to use some milder ways to get rid of earwigs. Since earwigs don’t pose any imminent threat, you can exhaust other options before calling pest control.

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Earwigs?

While there isn’t any scientific evidence that proves that coffee grounds can repel earwigs, there is some serious anecdotal evidence that suggests otherwise.

The basis of this theory is that earwigs hate the smell of coffee. Hence, they will run away from any place where they find strong coffee scents.

Many people have found success using this method. So if you’re dealing with mild earwig infestation, the coffee grounds may be worth a shot.

How to Use Coffee Grounds to Get Rid of Earwigs?

You need to be strategic in using earwigs’ hate of coffee against them. If you just go around sprinkling coffee around the house, you’ll soon be dealing with a bigger problem.

Using Coffee Grounds to Get Rid of Earwigs on Plants

It is easier to use coffee grounds to get rid of earwigs that are infesting your plants. All you have to do is sprinkle them around the boundaries of plants to repel these pests.

Additionally, coffee grounds work as natural deodorizers. So if you have any unpleasant smell in the garden, the coffee grounds will deal with that as well.

Another way you can use coffee grounds to protect your plant is to mix them with mulch. Since earwigs tend to be attracted to the mulch, they will run away as soon as they notice the repelling smell.

You can also mix coffee grounds with water and essential oils and spray them on the plants. This will get rid of any earwigs thriving under the leaves.

However, make sure that you do not sprinkle coffee grounds directly on the soil, as this can be too acidic for the plants.

Most plants wouldn’t like coffee being mixed into the nutrients they are pulling from the soil. These include asparagus, Italian ryegrass, Chinese mustard, and geranium.

Even acid-loving plants, such as hollies, blueberries, and azaleas, wouldn’t thrive if coffee is directly added to the soil.

Hence, make sure that you only add it to the boundaries or mix it with water to spray directly on the plants.

Using Coffee Grounds to Get Rid of Earwigs Inside the House

When trying to get rid of earwigs inside the house, coffee grounds may not be the best option to use. You cannot just sprinkle coffee grounds around the house, as they can attract ants and other bugs.

Making small pouches of coffee grounds using cheesecloth may show some results, but it wouldn’t be as effective as other home remedies that you can try.

Instead, consider using one of the following methods to get rid of earwigs inside the house.

Garlic Mixture

This may be the best home remedy you can try to get rid of earwigs, as it can get rid of any other pests that may try to invade your house.

The mixture uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Just take some garlic, cloves, dish soap, and water, and mix them in a spray bottle.

Spray this directly around your home, especially in dark and isolated areas, to get rid of the earwigs. This mixture can also be used on plants.

Cayenne Pepper

You may be familiar with cayenne pepper as one of the hottest peppers that you can add to your food. But did you know you can also use it as a natural repellent against earwigs?

Mix some cayenne pepper with coffee grounds and use the mixture to repel earwigs. With cayenne pepper added, the ants wouldn’t come near it either.


If you’re dealing with earwigs inside or outside your house, it may be worth a shot to use coffee grounds to try to get rid of them.

However, if none of the above methods work, it may be time to call the pest controllers.