Many people prefer to eat crunchy vegetables like cucumber or broccoli due to their flavor and high nutritional value. However, ants are not attracted to cucumber and avoid using it as food.
Do Ants Really Hate Cucumbers? Ants really hate cucumbers because they do not like the odor of their peels which can affect pheromone trails by masking their scent. It can keep ants away from a desired place when you put its slices or grated pieces on the entry spots. However, ants get attracted to cucumber plants due to aphids, mealybugs, and moisture in the soil.
It is challenging to get rid of nuisance pests from home when they are relatively smaller and attack in larger numbers, but you can get benefit from cucumbers as ants hate them.
Why do ants hate cucumbers?
Ants get attracted to mild and pleasant odors, particularly the aroma of food and flowers attract them. However, they prefer to avoid strong odors and perceive them as unpleasant.
They are not attracted to cucumbers because their peels have a strong odor and repel these insects away. In addition, it can harm their pheromone trails and mask their chemical odor.
Disruption of pheromone trails and the scent of chemicals can confuse them about their direction of movement as they lose a trail direction and move randomly.
Moreover, the peels contain a high chemical content that directly affects fungal growth and prevents it from growing on the substrate.
These insects obtain nutrition from the fungus, so they are not attracted to places where they do not find fungal or mold growths and choose other food sources.
You can get confused to see these little creatures crawling on the plant stem and leaves. Their source of attention is not the fruit, but they are probably looking for aphids. During this, they also pollinate this plant.
Most commonly, you can find green, yellowish, brown, or black colored aphids living on this plant. The melon and green peach aphids are the most common pests of the cucumber plant.
So, these soft-bodies insects can attract ants to the plant leaves and stem regions because they build a mutual relationship for honeydew and support aphid growth.
How can you use cucumber peels to keep ants away?
There are different ways to use its peels to get rid of these nuisance pests that can become a problem for the plant and reach indoors by crawling indoors in search of food and moisture.
These little creatures are responsible for damage to the property and cause contamination of the uncovered food material on the countertop.
Moreover, they can also sneak through small spaces and reach the pantry house to get their food. Their entries to the pantry can cause contamination of the stored food as they build nests there.
You can use cucumber peels to keep ants away because these peels have to repel strong odors that are perceived to be unpleasant to their olfactory receptors.
Cut it into thin slices and keep 5 to 8 slices on the entry spots providing a route for these little insects to reach indoors.
In addition, you can crush it into fine sizes and spread the crushed material around the garden plants, where these insects are responsible for chewing the leaves and affecting crops.
Grated cucumbers work well until it remains fresh and lose their potential to stop ants after a few days. It can repel these insects for a short duration and is not considered a cost-effective option.
You have to replace the rotting pieces with fresh ones after a few days when they lose moisture content and do not give off a repelling smell to deter pests.
Where to put the cucumber to prevent ants?
Cucumbers can help get rid of ants temporarily due to their deterring scent, which can pose a risk of distracting these insects from reaching their destination spot.
You can cut it into fine slices to put on entry routes that can facilitate these insects to reach indoors. These little insects can get inside the building through broken seals of windows and wall cracks.
Accordingly, you can put these slices on the window sills to deter these insects from crossing the tiny holes in the caulk material used to seal the gaps in windows.
In addition, they can make their way through AC units as there are small gaps closer to these units, and long trails of these insects are usually seen while coming inside the house.
I used grated cucumber in my attic to repel ants because these insects found a route from trees to the rooftop and caused damage to the wood.
In the same way, you can also leave a few of its slices on the countertop close to the uncovered food trays as it can help avoid infestations.
Probably, you do not see these insects within the salad bowl having slices of this crunchy vegetable that is enough to estimate its effectiveness.
You can wipe the infested surfaces with peels to help remove the crawling insects and prevent future infestation until its scent remains there.
Furthermore, you can also use grated cucumber outdoors, where these nuisance pests can destroy crops by chewing the leaves or favoring the growth of aphids.
Do ants eat cucumber roots?
Many people consider ants to be interested in the roots or leaves of cucumber plants when they see these insects close to the plant. However, they do not reach their roots to eat them.
These insects can get closer to plant roots in search of moisture, as they need humid conditions to live and reproduce. In addition, they usually enjoy mulch around the plant base or eat leaves.
Fallen leaves can become a suitable nesting spot for these insects as they naturally prefer to live hidden under leaves or in loose soil. Some garden pests like aphids can also attract them to plants.
So, their presence on the base of the plant does not indicate their interest in eating the roots, but they need moisture and food from the plant.
How to stop ants from reaching the cucumber plant?
You can stop ants from reaching the cucumber plant by removing the source of attraction, as they are commonly attracted to aphids and other mealybugs producing honeydew-like secretions.
Accordingly, washing the plant leaves and stems with a soapy solution can help remove these soft-bodied insects and ultimately deter ants.
You can grow some herbaceous plants close to this plant that have repelling odors, as these insects prefer to stay away from lavender and mint plants due to unpleasing odors.
In addition, spraying a lemon and vinegar solution (1:1) on the plant surface can also help get rid of these damaging insects from it.
One of my friends spread food-grade diatomaceous earth around the cucumber plant in a circular ring to kill these ants as it removes moisture from their bodies and makes them die.