So we had a bug problem in our backyard last year. Earwigs to be exact, and hundreds of them. Some of them were finding their way into our house, while others were content to munch away at our wooden fence and cause other related havoc on our property.

I've never had a problem using chemicals to kill insects before; in fact, I don't have much problem using chemicals to do pretty much anything, as I feel as long as you follow instructions and put your faith in our many federal safety regulations, all is good to go.

However, I made a startling discovery with the past earwig problem that made it so I could manufacture my own anti-earwig solution from household products. See, the earwigs were avoiding an area behind our shed in the back. It was actually almost a perfect 3-foot circle of earwig-free area, right around a bucket back there.

In that bucket? Leftover garlic cloves and some water.

So I experimented. Here's what I came up with:

Derfel's "Killer Earwig Solution"
  • 3 cups water (tap is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons dish soap (Palmolive is what I used, but using it takes it out of the realm of "organic". Use your homemade soap if you wish.)
  • 3-4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspooon dried Habanero peppers
  • 1 spray bottle
Now, the idea is to let this sit outside in the summer heat for about 2-3 days after you mix it, so it gets nice and strong. I actually multiply the recipe by about 4 and use a small bucket to do the dirty work. Then spray this sucker (which smells mostly of day-old Italian cooking!) straight onto the earwigs, and around the areas they are infesting. Any earwigs unlucky enough to catch a full spray of the stuff will writhe around in anger and then (*POP*) will wither and die. This all happens in about 20 seconds, so if it's taking longer either let it sit for a little longer, or add more peppers and garlic. The aroma fades after a while when you spray, but I find that earwigs won't come near the areas you spray in for a good week or so, so just reapply until your problem is gone!

I also find this solution works to keep flies and mosquitos away, but the smell really isn't something you want lingering during a BBQ party or anything anyways.

Ereneta says Yeah. Too bad Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate isn't a natural ingredient. BTW, I suspect your bug spray would work as Deer repellant, too.