How to Keep Earwigs Out of Sandbox: 5 Easy Top Tips

If you have a sandbox in your backyard, you know how much fun it can be for your kids. The sandbox is a perfect spot for imaginative play and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

But unfortunately, it’s not just your kids who love the sandbox. Earwigs, those pesky bugs with pincers on their tails, also love to make their home in sandboxes and can ruin the fun for everyone. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be dangerous if they bite.

This article will show you how to keep earwigs out of sandbox using simple tips and tricks.

What Are Earwigs and Why Are They in Your Sandbox?

Earwigs are insects that are commonly found in gardens, and unfortunately, in sandboxes as well. They are characterized by their long bodies and the pincers on their tails, which they use for defense and capturing prey. Despite their menacing appearance, earwigs are generally harmless to humans and are more of a nuisance than a threat.

Earwigs are attracted to sandboxes for several reasons. here are some of the reasons why earwigs are attracted to sandboxes and how they end up there:

Related Article – Baby Earwigs 101: Everything You Wanted to Know

Warm and moist environment

Earwigs prefer warm and moist environments, and sandboxes provide just that. When the sun heats up the sand during the day, it creates a warm and humid environment that earwigs find appealing.

Organic matter

Earwigs feed on decaying organic matter, such as leaves and grass clippings. If you haven’t cleaned your sandbox in a while, there may be a buildup of organic matter that is attracting earwigs to your sandbox.

Proximity to gardens

If your sandbox is located near a garden or plants, earwigs may be using it as a temporary shelter or foraging ground. They may crawl into the sandbox to escape predators or find food.

Shelter

Earwigs are nocturnal insects, which means they are active at night and seek shelter during the day. Sandboxes can provide an ideal hiding place for earwigs during the day, especially if they are located in a shaded area.

While earwigs may not pose a direct threat to your children, their presence can be unsettling and may cause discomfort. That’s why it’s important to take measures to keep earwigs out of your sandbox.

So Knowing the reasons why earwigs are attracted to your sandbox can help you take the necessary steps to keep them out.

How to Identify Earwigs in Your Sandbox

Identifying earwigs in your sandbox is relatively easy. As mentioned earlier, earwigs have a distinctive appearance with long bodies and pincers on their tails. If you see an insect that matches this description in your sandbox, it’s likely an earwig.

Another way to identify earwigs is to look for their damage. Earwigs feed on a variety of plants and can cause damage to flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees.

If you notice holes or chew marks on your plants near the sandbox, it’s a sign that earwigs may be present.

You can also use a simple trapping technique to identify earwigs in your sandbox. Place a damp newspaper or cardboard in the sandbox overnight.

Earwigs are attracted to the moisture and darkness of the paper and will gather underneath it. In the morning, carefully lift the paper and check for any earwigs hiding underneath.

By identifying earwigs in your sandbox, you can take the necessary steps to keep them out and prevent damage to your plants.

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How to Keep Earwigs Out of Sandbox – Top Tips

Now that you know how to identify earwigs in your sandbox, it’s time to focus on how to keep them out. Here are some top tips that you can use to prevent earwigs from taking over your sandbox.

Keep the Sandbox Clean and Dry (Remove Organic Matter)

Keeping the sandbox clean and dry is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep earwigs out. These bugs love moist and organic materials, so removing them from the sandbox can deter earwigs from making it their home.

Here are some tips on how to keep your sandbox clean and dry:

  • Remove any debris or organic matter such as leaves, grass, and twigs from the sandbox regularly.
    • Earwigs are attracted to moist and decaying materials, so getting rid of these things can help deter them from coming in.
  • Rake the sand regularly to aerate it and keep it dry.
    • This will help to prevent moisture buildup in the sand and make it less hospitable for earwigs.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural and effective way to control earwigs in your sandbox. It’s made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms, which are ground into a fine powder.

To use diatomaceous earth in your sandbox: Follow these

  • Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth over the sand in your sandbox, making sure to cover all areas.
  • Leave the diatomaceous earth in place for a few days, allowing it to work its way into the sand and dehydrate any earwigs that come into contact with it.
  • After a few days, rake the sand to remove the diatomaceous earth and any dead earwigs.
Keep in mind that diatomaceous earth can be harmful to other insects and animals, so use it sparingly and keep it away from areas where pets and children play. 

And make sure to wear a dust mask and gloves when handling diatomaceous earth to avoid inhaling it or getting it on your skin.

Cedarwood Oil

Another natural way to keep earwigs out of your sandbox is by using cedarwood oil. Earwigs don’t like the smell of cedarwood oil, so it can be a great deterrent. Here’s how to use it:

  • Mix 10-15 drops of cedarwood oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the mixture around the edges and inside of the sandbox.
  • Reapply every few days or after a rain shower.

You can also use cedarwood chips or shavings instead of oil. Simply scatter them around the sandbox to create a natural barrier that will repel earwigs. Plus, the cedarwood will give your sandbox a pleasant aroma.

Note that while cedarwood oil is safe for humans and pets, it can be harmful to aquatic life. 

So, be careful not to spray it near any bodies of water.

Petroleum Jelly (Use Sticky Traps)

Using sticky traps is another effective way to keep earwigs out of your sandbox. These traps are designed to attract and trap earwigs with a sticky substance, such as petroleum jelly.

  • Place the sticky traps near the sandbox, making sure they are not too close to where children or pets play.
  • Check the traps regularly and remove any earwigs that get caught in the petroleum jelly.
  • Replace the traps as needed to ensure they continue to effectively trap earwigs.

You can purchase pre-made sticky traps from your local hardware store or online, or you can make your own using the DIY method.

If you don’t want to spend money on pre-made sticky traps, you can easily make your own petroleum jelly traps at home. To do so, you will need

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Disposable plastic container
  • Popsicle stick or disposable utensil

Here are the steps to make a petroleum jelly sticky trap:

How to Make a Petroleum Jelly Sticky Trap to Keep Earwigs Out of Your Sandbox

Here are the steps to make a petroleum jelly sticky trap to keep earwigs out of a sandbox

Step 1

how to keep earwigs out of sandbox Step 1 - Take a disposable plastic container and fill it with petroleum jelly.

Take a disposable plastic container and fill it with petroleum jelly.

Step 2

how to keep earwigs out of sandbox . step 2 Using a popsicle stick or disposable utensil, spread the petroleum jelly evenly over the surface of the container.

Using a popsicle stick or disposable utensil, spread the petroleum jelly evenly over the surface of the container.

Step 3

Place the container near the sandbox where you have seen earwigs.

Step 4

how to keep earwigs out of sandbox . step 4 - Earwigs will be attracted to the container and get stuck in the petroleum jelly.

Earwigs will be attracted to the container and get stuck in the petroleum jelly.

Step 5

how to keep earwigs out of sandbox . step 5 Check the container regularly and dispose of any trapped earwigs.

Check the container regularly and dispose of any trapped earwigs.

Step 6

how to keep earwigs out of sandbox. step 6 Reapply the petroleum jelly as needed to keep the trap effective.

Reapply the petroleum jelly as needed to keep the trap effective.

Supply:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Disposable plastic container
  • Popsicle stick or disposable utensil

Tools:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Disposable plastic container
  • Popsicle stick or disposable utensil

Materials: Petroleum jelly Disposable plastic container Popsicle stick or disposable utensil

Making your own petroleum jelly sticky trap is a cost-effective and easy way to keep earwigs out of your sandbox.

Note that petroleum jelly sticky traps are not a long-term solution and should be used in conjunction with other earwig prevention methods, such as keeping the sandbox clean and dry and using diatomaceous earth or cedarwood oil.

Use a Cover

Using a cover for your sandbox is an effective way to keep earwigs and other pests out. A cover can be made of various materials such as tarpaulin or mesh and can be secured with bungee cords or other fasteners.

When choosing a cover, make sure it is the right size for your sandbox and fits securely to prevent any gaps that could allow earwigs to enter. 

If you are using a fabric cover, ensure it is made of a tightly woven material to prevent earwigs from chewing through it.

To use the cover, simply place it over the sandbox when it is not in use. This will help keep the sandbox clean and dry and prevent earwigs from making a home in it.

Remember to remove the cover and inspect the sandbox for any signs of earwigs before allowing children or pets to play in it. 

also regularly clean and maintain the cover to ensure it remains effective in keeping earwigs out.

Final Thoughts

Keeping earwigs out of your sandbox is all about creating an environment that is unappealing to these pests.

By removing organic matter, using natural deterrents like cedarwood oil and diatomaceous earth, setting up sticky traps, and covering the sandbox when not in use, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of an earwig infestation.

By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your sandbox remains a fun and safe place for children to play all summer long!

FAQs

How do I keep earwigs out of my sandbox?

You can keep earwigs out of your sandbox by using a cover when it is not in use, such as a tarp or a fitted cover. You can also try using diatomaceous earth, which is a natural insecticide that deters earwigs from entering your sandbox.

Do earwigs like sand?

Earwigs do not necessarily like sand, but they may be attracted to it if they are seeking shelter or food.

Are earwigs attracted to dirt?

Earwigs are not specifically attracted to dirt, but they may seek shelter in dark, moist areas, which can include soil and dirt.

How often should I clean my sandbox?

You should clean your sandbox regularly, at least once a week, to remove any debris, litter, or animal waste that may accumulate over time. This can help prevent the growth of bacteria and the attraction of insects and rodents.

Are earwigs dangerous to my children?

Earwigs are not generally dangerous to children, but they do have pincers that they can use for defense if they feel threatened. These pincers are not strong enough to cause harm to humans.

Can I use chemicals to keep earwigs out of my sandbox?

It is not recommended to use chemicals in your sandbox, as they can be harmful to children and pets. Instead, try using natural methods such as diatomaceous earth or a cover to keep earwigs out.

Is it OK to leave the sandbox uncovered?

Leaving your sandbox uncovered can make it more susceptible to the accumulation of debris, litter, and animal waste, as well as the attraction of insects and rodents. It is recommended to use a cover when your sandbox is not in use to keep it clean and free of pests.

I'm Ernest M Noah, the founder of BugsTips.com. I have years of experience as an exterminator in Texas and Idaho, and I'm passionate about educating people on how to deal with pest problems effectively and safely.