How to Kill Earwigs AKA Pincher Bugs Using an Oil Trap

How I was able to kill those pesky pincher bugs using 2 simple household items.

I don’t know what it is about this summer, but there are pincher bugs AKA earwigs EVERYWHERE.

These earwigs got their name because they were rumored to crawl into people’s ears and bite their brains. I can’t confirm if this actually can or did happen, but that’s all I’ll say about their nickname.

A few months ago, we’ve had spectacular rainfall in Southern California. I mean, really spectacular! I was able to fill up my IBC aquaponics tank with rainwater after a week or two of consistent rainfall.


Now that the ground has completely dried up, these earwigs are popping up everywhere. They’re all over my mulch, driveway, and even inside of my home. I understand that they’re on the hunt for water, but they’re annoying and they must go. Last I checked, it’s my home and not theirs.

After a quick search, I learned that these pincher bugs are somewhat harmless to humans. They are somewhat beneficial for gardens, but if they take it over, they will chew on your crops. OK, harmless or not, they do pinch using their appendages, so that’s enough for me to go to war with them.


Just to set the record straight, I don’t mind having an occasional spider or any beneficial insects around my home, especially when they’re helping to control the bad guys in my garden like caterpillars and aphids just to name a few. However, if there’s a party going on around my living quarters without my permission, there’s going to be a problem!

After a quick bug spray of all the entryways and wall cracks around my home, I proceeded to make the “pincher bug oil trap”

What you’ll need to make a pincher bug oil trap

  • cooking oil (canola, olive oil, etc.)
  • soy sauce
  • shallow cup

To start, I found a plastic party cup and added one part oil and one part soy sauce. I gave it a quick stir and placed it near where they congregate, which happens to be near the mulch in my front yard.


A few days later, I went to get the mail and decided to walk over to see how the oil trap was doing. Well, you can see it for yourself…

Good luck and let me know how this works out for you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *