How to make an earwig trap

I seem to be getting a lot of earwigs in what passes for my garden, and while I wasn't aware they caused damage, I've since learned that they chew leaves, and can also be a problem on citrus trees.

My lemon tree is looking a bit battle scarred, partly because of a hail storm we had a while back that gave it a pummeling, but I have a feeling there's some new scarring too, and I've seen earwigs on the tree.

And some flowers I planted with the boys have also been given the once over by a chewing insect, some leaves are down to the midribs, and I have seen earwigs sometimes when I move potted plants.

A remedy for earwigs was presented to me when I was watching Gavin from The Greening Of Gavin.
Gavin was giving a tour of his garden for a local gardening show, when he mentioned his home made earwig traps.

After leaving Gavin a comment and getting the info straight from the man himself, I set to and made a few traps myself.

How to make an earwig trap

Take a small glass jar and pour about an inch of water in the bottom.

Next, pour about a bit less than an inch of olive oil on top of the water.

Like so:

The theory is they are attracted to the olive oil, then they get coated in it and drown

This is an old baby food jar, back from the days of my first babe before I knew better. These work perfectly, salsa jars or small jam jars would work well too.

Bury your jar so that the top lip is level with the ground and leave it alone.

Send the kids to check it every couple of days, mine love to do it.

There ya go, easy.

So far, we've caught earwigs, cockroaches (YUCK, my least favourite bug, so I'm pretty happy to be snaring them, that means there's less to come inside), a few millipedes, the odd slater and what looked like a couple of house flies.

We reset the traps today, after a weekends worth of rain overflowed one of them and put a new one right underneath the lemon tree.

Can't wait to see what we catch.


  1. I always remember being scared of the earwigs on Mum's dahlias. Big pincery things!

  2. Ps I sent you an email at your photo address - did you get it??

  3. Nice idea - I'll have to keep it away from our dog Milly who'd gladly lap up the olive oil !

  4. They always end up in our pool, as well as chewing the citrus. I'm definitely going to try that.