Our Entomology Expert Tells Us Whether Or Not Salt Works To Handle Pesky Earwigs

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Earwigs can be a serious pest in the garden — snacking on your fruits, flowers, and seedlings, and will sometimes make their way inside your home to avoid extreme weather. Though these insects do not pose a threat to people, it can be frustrating to have them popping up in your house. If you're having problems with earwigs, you may be looking for an easy and inexpensive solution, but salt probably won't help.

While some sources claim that salt will kill these pests by dehydrating them, Daniel Perry, an entomologist with Procter and Gamble, spoke exclusively with House Digest about why this method isn't a good choice for keeping earwigs out of your house: "Although it may kill some insects, table salt is not likely to be effective at controlling earwigs," Perry said. "Salt can dehydrate and kill insects, but on its own it will not get through their tough exterior." Though salt might not solve your earwig issues, Perry recommended several insect control products that will.

Why salt isn't an effective control for earwigs

While some garden pests, such as slugs and snails, can be exterminated with regular table salt, this method is not typically helpful for eliminating earwigs. Daniel Perry explained exclusively to House Digest why earwigs and other types of bugs are impervious to this pest control method. "In addition to their hard exoskeleton, insects have a waxy layer on the surface of their body that protects them from salt," he said.

As winter continues, you'll likely find bugs inside your home as they try to escape the cold. Having earwigs in your house can be a nuisance, but Perry warned that it's important to watch out for other insects throughout the season: "While earwigs are a problem this time of year, you should also be concerned about active winter bugs like silverfish, fungus gnats and fruit flies. Left unchecked, they can put a serious damper on holiday celebrations."

How to control earwigs and other winter pests

Daniel Perry explained exclusively to House Digest that there is another way to get rid of earwigs that is much more effective: "Although salt may not be the best solution for earwig control, there are other natural alternatives that are better suited for the task. For example, diatomaceous earth is a powder made of fossils from the ocean floor. It has sharp edges that damage the insect exoskeleton and dry it out, but is too small to hurt us," he explained. Diatomaceous earth is not only great against earwigs, but it's also capable of killing cockroaches, spiders, bed bugs, ticks, fleas, and a variety of other insects, according to the National Pesticide Information Center.

If you're looking for other ways to control insects, Perry suggests a few products that can get rid of many different pests. "I recommend the Zevo Flying Insect Trap that uses a blue and UV light system to continuously attract flying insects with no mess or odor. Zevo Insect Killer Sprays are also an easy solution to kill crawling insects like spiders, roaches, ants, and more in seconds," he explained. You can find the Flying Insect Trap for $19.99 on Zevo's Amazon storefront, or pick up the Multi-Insect Spray from their official website for $7. These products can also be purchased from Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe's, and Target.