Building an earwig house from clay pot – instructions and tips

Anyone who thinks that earwigs are annoying insects is wrong. In fact, they’re very useful. That’s why it makes sense to build a catchy house.

Building an earwig house from clay pot
© Christine Kuchem –

Insects can be very annoying in everyday life. For the garden, however, they are an enrichment because they drive out many an enemy of flowers and plants. With an insect hotel you can offer the useful insects a nice home and a wonderful place to spend the winter. A hotel or house made of a clay pot is e.g. the ideal living space for earwigs and lacewings.

Why the earwig is useful in the garden

The earwig and also the fly are useful insects, because they keep the garden and the plants clean. Earworms love aphids, for example, which is why they also serve as a staple food. If you have a problem with aphids, earwigs can be the ideal helper. It then makes sense to place the earwig house directly next to the plants that are most affected. Already after a short time you will see a clear improvement of the problem.

You need these materials

To build a home for earwigs, you don’t need a lot of accessories. Since earworms are already satisfied with some straw and a rainproof dwelling, the earworm house is built very quickly. That’s what you need:

  • a large clay pot
  • pruning shears
  • Rope or thick cord
  • Onion or potato net or chicken wire
  • straw

You can decide for yourself how large the clay pot should be. For example, you can use one large and/or several small clay pots. The catchy tunes can then be used as great garden decorations at the same time.

Step by step instructions

Step one:

Before you start with the actual construction, you should check whether the clay pot is clean. If this is used, you must first clean it thoroughly.

Step two:

Now it gets colorful! Because now you can decorate the catchy tune house with waterproof colours. There are no limits to the imagination. But they don’t necessarily have to paint the clay pot, because earwigs don’t care what the facade of their home looks like. Do handicrafts with children, but it is great fun for the little ones to decorate the clay pots with colours. But always make sure that the colours are waterproof, otherwise they will say goodbye after the first rain. Let the clay pot dry well afterwards.

Step three:

Now it has to be clarified whether the clay pot should stand on the ground or hang from a tree in the future. If you would like to hang up the earwig house, the thick string is used now. You have to thread them through the hole at the bottom and knot them well inside so that the string can be used as a holder. At the other end of the string you can then form a large loop or tie the insect hotel directly to a tree. If you want to store the clay pot on the ground, no string is needed.

Step four:

Now the clay pot is filled with straw. Here you can already use a little more straw. The clay pot should be well filled so that little or no straw falls out when you turn the pot over. The straw can be cut to size with garden shears and then stuffed into the pot.

Step five:

Now the onion or potato net is used. In order for the straw to hold well and not fall out, you have to stretch it over the opening of the clay pot. This helps the earwigs to slip more easily into their new home. Stretch the net firmly over the opening and knot it together on one side so that it does not come off.

You can also use some chicken wire. Simply put it over the clay pot opening, fold over the protruding ends of the grid on the outside of the pot and then tie it down. If you do handicrafts with children, it is better to use an onion or potato net. Children could end up injured on the chicken wire.

Step six:

Now the catchy tune house is already finished. Now you can place it on the ground or hang it from a tree with the opening facing down. It will not be long before the small insects have found their way into their new homes.

So you can do it too

Here are a few more tips

❶ Try not to use chemicals when cleaning the clay pot.

❷ The colours should be suitable for children, because what does not harm the children also does not harm the animals.

❸ Choose the location of the earworm house so that the earworms live directly at the food source, i.e. the aphids. This has the advantage that the insects feel comfortable and stay in their new home for a long time.

❹ Earworms are nocturnal and use the twilight to hunt. So you don’t have to worry that the worms are uninvited guests at lunch. You’ll rarely see them.

❺ You don’t have to check daily whether residents have found each other for the Insektenhotel. You should rather leave the clay pot in peace, because otherwise the earworms will look for the width again soon.


If you have a problem with aphids, an earwig house is just the thing for your garden. Especially roses are often affected. The beauty is that the catchy tune house can be quickly made and decoratively designed so that it becomes a real eye-catcher in the garden. It also costs very little money and is an effective companion in the fight against aphids. The earwigs will quickly move into their new home, and if you leave them alone, they will stay there for a long time. The catchy tune house is also the perfect place for the little animals to spend the winter.

You don’t just want to attract earwigs into the garden and use them as natural predators? Then build an insect hotel. In no time at all bees, ladybirds and butterflies will populate your garden.

“Instructions for building your own insect hotel

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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