Most commonly, ants reach fruit trees to suck nutritive juices by injecting their mandibles into pulp and drink juice that also keeps them hydrated, but every fruit does not attract them. Almost all species of ants avoid consuming citrus fruits because they preferably eat sweet fruits and secretions, like nectar and honeydew.
Are Ants Attracted To Oranges? Ants are not attracted to oranges as they avoid eating citrus fruits due to their acidic nature and the presence of citric acid in juice and peels. Citric oil contains d-limonene, which can kill ants by suffocating them as this oil removes the waxy coating on their bodies. You can spread its peels at infested places to deter ants or spray orange solution or its essential oil solution.
Every fruit is not equally attractive to insects due to varying nutritional value, taste, or smell, and wild species have different preferences according to their dietary habits.
Why are ants not attracted to oranges?
Ants are attracted to foods with pleasant odors and sweet tastes, providing a lot of energy in the form of carbohydrates from natural sugars.
Oranges are a good source of sugar, as almost 11g of sugar is present in one medium-sized fruit. Sucrose is the main sugar in this fruit, while glucose and fructose are also present.
In addition, it is a rich source of citric acid, giving the fruit a sweet and citric taste. These insects avoid citrus fruits and stay away from them due to their acidic nature.
They produce a strong citric odor, which seems unpleasant to insects and irritates their receptors. So, they avoid all citrus fruits, including lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and tomatoes.
Furthermore, it can become a strong repellent against annoying ants and helps keep them at bay from specific areas of the house with a smell of oranges.
Do ants eat oranges?
Ants eat sugary foods as natural sugars, leaving a pleasant aroma in the surroundings and enticing their odor receptors. They can reach juice spills on the ground by detecting the presence of sugars.
However, these fruits are not attractive to these insects due to their sweet and tart taste, which does not appeal to nearby insects. Its pulp contains a significant content of citric acid and sucrose.
They have a refreshing taste and distinct aroma, which is unpleasant for these insects as their smell receptors do not find it appealing.
One of my friends told me that canned juices of sweet fruits can draw insects because he found a large number of tiny black ants on the juice spills.
In contrast, fresh orange juice deters these ants due to its citric aroma and sour or tart taste. It creates problems for the tiny insects to communicate with each other after reaching juice spills.
The drops of fresh juice on their bodies cause interference in the detection of chemicals on the ground. Its scent masks the odor of pheromones and confuses foraging workers.
Do orange peels attract ants?
Fruit peels can attract ants if they contain healthy nutrients and fulfill dietary requirements. However, they hate orange peels or fruit and prefer to stay away from them.
Some toxic compounds in its outer covering can potentially repel insects and make it undesirable for ants.
Its peels do not attract these insects hate their fruit and peels due to the presence of toxic compounds. D-limonene is an acidic oil present in peels, which can kill ants.
This acidic oil interferes with their breathing and poses difficulty in intake or oxygen, resulting in suffocation. Oil constituents remove an outer waxy layer of their exoskeleton.
Their exoskeleton contains tiny pores or spiracles that are breathing pores and allow oxygen exchange between the body and the environment.
These openings connect with tracheal tubules, which are narrow tubes that help store oxygen. So, they cannot consume or store oxygen from air particles after the destruction of the waxy layer.
Accordingly, they will die after coming in direct contact with d-limonene because its toxicity creates difficulty in breathing.
Do ants attack orange trees?
Ants do not eat orange fruits and leaves but attack trees when they find scale insects living there. They have no special attraction towards fruit pulp or juice but eat honeydew.
The scale insects, like aphids and mealybugs, usually infest orange trees and raise their population. Aphids obtain nutrition from plant stems and leaves by sucking the nutritious sap.
However, they do not reach trees for sap but obtain nutrition from honeydew excreted by sap-sucking pests. They collect honeydew and bring it back to their colonies close to trees.
In addition, they reach trees to protect aphids from attack because these insects mutually associate with each other for food and protection.
I found these red fire ants and Argentinian ants infesting my orange tree in the backyard.
They are not responsible for causing damage to trees, but they help scale insects in massive growth. Indirect damage can occur when aphids suck plant juices, making them deficient in nutrients.
Furthermore, some species seek these trees for shelter if they find suitable nesting spots in cavities, hollow branches, and other spaces within the trunk.
How do you use oranges to get rid of ants?
Oranges are effective deterrents against ants that can help make your house free of nuisance pests. The easiest way is to spread peels at entry spots and infested places.
So, it is better to keep the peels aside when eating this fruit because they can be used as ant repellents. The peels leave an aroma in the air, which repels insects away from specific locations.
You can also crush peels into powder after drying to spread them in infested areas. It is a natural and non-toxic method to get rid of insects because it poses no safety issues for people and pets.
In addition, you can also prepare a repelling solution by mixing orange juice in water in a 1:1 ratio. Spray the solution at spots posing risks of infestation to remove ants immediately.
Use orange essential oil to prepare a repelling solution by mixing 4 drops of essential oil into the water. It leaves a pleasing aroma in the air and repels insects away.
You can prepare homemade spray by boiling a bulk of peels in water so that the aroma and natural oils of peels get mixed in the water. It gives the same results as other essential oil sprays.
Orange and vinegar solution also gives good results when mixing vinegar in equal water and adding 9 drops of essential oil to prepare a solution.
Spray the solution at all locations, including countertops, wall spaces, broken window seals, and along the baseboard. You have to refresh it after every 2 to 3 days as its scent disappears.
So, it is a cost-effective and natural method to get rid of ants that can help avoid toxic chemical sprays. This natural ingredient leaves no residue on the floor and ensures safety.