Ants eat fruits as a natural source of sugar and choose softer options that can be easily chewed, like bananas and feed their colony.
Do Ants Eat Bananas? Ants can eat bananas as they taste soft, sweet, and easier to consume. Only rotting or ripening fruit can attract insects because it is difficult for these insects to get inside the tough and bitter covering of the fruit. Remove aphids by spraying a soapy solution and keep bananas in the freezer to protect them.
These insects can cause damage to banana plants after approaching them for food and aphids and release abdominal secretions or formic acid to dissolve the skin.
Why do ants eat bananas?
Ants prefer to eat vegetables and fruits to meet their body requirements, as fruits are a natural sugar source because they contain high fructose.
These insects can suck the juice from apples and strawberries to maintain their internal strength. Moreover, they can also attack bananas in the kitchen or garden to consume carbohydrates.
A significant amount of sugar is also present, making the fruit taste sweet. The sweet aroma of the ripening fruit can grab the attention of foragers searching for food.
It contains no fat but is a rich source of carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, protein, and potassium. High nutritional value makes it a perfect food for these tiny creatures looking for energy-rich food.
It is a soft fruit that can be easily chewed, mainly when it is entirely ripe and has a thin outer covering. However, it gets open from some areas as its cover gets removed during ripening.
Accordingly, these insects can attack without going through a thick cover to reach the hidden fruit.
Moreover, its flesh allows insects to form formic acid in their poison gland and provides energy to haul heavy particles and reach far areas to collect food.
So, the sweet taste of the fruit and softness make them attractive to insects, drawing them to fresh fruit on the countertop or rotting pieces in the trash bin.
How do ants eat bananas?
It is pretty challenging for ants to enter the fruit when it is covered with a thick cover. However, ripened bananas have thin coverings that make it easy for insects to get access.
They have zinc-coated teeth with extra sharpness to pierce through these thin covers on the fruit. After that, they will bite on the inner pulp to separate a chunk and put it in the mouth.
They remove smaller pieces that can easily get fit in their mouth size. You can find them moving back to the nest after biting as they have to drop these pieces within the colony.
Additionally, they make several trips to their nests when they haul the particles from food sources and leave them inside the nest to keep the storage compartment full.
Some of them prefer to eat and store the food in their stomach to avoid trips from the site of food to nest as it is energy consuming process.
Furthermore, they are also known for collective loading or hauling, and more than one insect supports the bigger chunks for taking it to the colony.
Do raw bananas attract ants?
Most commonly, you can see ants moving around the decomposing food items as they like to obtain food from the trash can.
Moreover, they are only attracted to ripe bananas or other fruits as they are a rich source of sugars like glucose, sucrose, and fructose.
Raw fruit contains high starch content, which is not considered safe for these tiny insects to consume and cause digestion issues. As a result, it gets converted into other types of sugars over time.
In addition, its peel is hard and rich in minerals and essential elements like phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, sodium, zinc, iron, etc.
These elements are in high quantities that are not good to consume, cause toxicity in their bodies, and ultimately lead to death.
In the same way, it is a rich source of potassium which is not suitable for consumption beyond an ideal quantity as they are less tolerant to excessive potassium.
Its peels are essential to humans and are not considered waste material. They can attract insects when their skin becomes thin and begins to pass through the ripening process.
So, they prefer to eat ripened fruits instead of raw ones as their softness and sweetness increase over time, producing a pleasing aroma to draw these insects towards them.
What type of ants eat bananas?
Bananas are the favorite food of ants as they find it suitable for consumption and reach the plant to enjoy a feast on the fruits popping out of the cover.
A particular species of crazy ants are found to be in association with this plant as it leaves black stains on the covering or outer shell by releasing formic acid.
These black spots show their efforts to dissolve the shell and reach the fruit from the inside. The Paratrechina longicornis (longhorn crazy ant) is commonly found close to plants and try to damage them.
It secretes a chemical, benzaldehyde, that can cause damage to the outer skin of the fruit. In addition, the tawny crazy ants or Nylanderia species can also reach there to obtain nutrition.
A few big-headed ants can also attack these trees and reach the leaves by climbing on the stem. These tiny insects can make climbing efforts to enjoy food as a reward.
Some species build nests in the soil close to roots due to moisture and minerals in the soil. The ripened fruits and leaves fall on the ground, enriching the soil by offering nutrients after decaying.
This way, the herbivore insects like sugar ants can enjoy a permanent food source by living in the soil close to the roots and affecting the quality of fruit sometimes.
Furthermore, carpenter ants can attack the hanging fruits, but fire ants prefer crops like okra and corn to get nutrients.
How to stop ants from eating a banana?
It is easy for ants to infest the banana tree when they find a permanent source of food in the form of ripened fruit and aphids under the bigger leaves.
They can slowly cause long-term damage to the plant and reduce quality, so stopping them from eating bananas is essential.
It is better to keep them inside the freezer when you are not eating them, as leaving the fruit dishes open on the counter can draw insects toward them.
Moreover, you can keep them away from your plant in outdoor areas by spraying the plant surface with a soapy solution that can also help get rid of aphids.
This way, you can reduce the risk of attack as a few species reach the plant due to these honeydew-producing insects. You have to keep spraying the solution for a few weeks for better control.
Furthermore, you can deflower the new growing fingers and remove the nectaries, making it unattractive for species looking for developing branches to suck sap.