Do Banana Peels Attract or Repel Ants? (Answered)

Ants are active near sweet food sources. The sugar an ant needs can come from various foods, including fruit juice, sweets, fruits, and other sweet foods. Bananas are also considered fruits; their peels, particularly the ripe ones, will smell sweet.

In this article, we talk about whether or not banana peels repel or attract ants. What added benefits do banana peels have, how do you prevent ants from eating your bananas, and other important information you should know about ants.

Will Banana Peels Attract or Repel Ants?

Because of how delicious they are and how sweet they smell, bananas attract a lot of ants. Bananas are sweet to taste, and ants like sweet foods. Ants are opportunistic feeders, so if they come across banana peels, great. They will eat them.

Even though ants are attracted to banana peels, they are killed by them. Ants cannot tolerate bananas’ high potassium content.

Why do Ants Like Eating Bananas?

Bananas have a soft texture and a sweet taste. Together, these two factors make bananas an ideal meal for ants. Ants have a sweet tooth; thus, they prefer eating anything that tastes sweet in their diet.

What are Banana Peels Good For?

Next time before you discard that banana peel, consider all the benefits it can provide. You can use banana peels for various things; we’ll list a few below.

1. Compost for your plants

Composting is adding nutrients to the soil in your garden by using decomposing organic materials. To make your compost, you just need two key materials. Brown materials, like straw and dried leaves, enrich your compost with carbon.

To add nitrogen to your compost, you will need to add green materials, with banana peels being one of them. Phosphorus and potassium are also added to the mixture via banana peels.

2. Natural fertilizer

As a natural fertilizer, banana peels are quite efficient. The peels swiftly decompose in the soil, enhancing it with calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, and phosphorus. The peels can either be pressed into the ground in your garden or crushed up and used as mulch.

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3. Pest repellent

You can use banana peels to ward off insects like ants and aphids. Banana peels should be chopped up and buried 1 to 2 inches deep in your plants’ soil. Put a banana peel chopped up in vinegar and place the mixture in a jar. The smell of the banana peel will attract the ants, and the solution will kill them.

Bananas do, however, attract a wide variety of other insects, such as bees, roaches, gnats, fruit flies, common flies, and others. 

Do Banana Peels Attract Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies are attracted to banana peels, and most people use their peels as a fruit fly trap. The sweet aroma of bananas is what attracts the fruit flies. Most people don’t know that fruit flies lay their eggs on banana peels. 

The ripe bananas you purchase and bring home may unintentionally introduce fruit fly larvae to your kitchen. Washing your fruits and vegetables is usually recommended because of this. The fruit flies continue to hatch in the trash after you peel off the skin.

The adults and young fruit flies need the yeast and bacteria in the decaying banana peels to thrive. Ethanol is the chemical that starts to form when the banana peels ripen and rot. The scent of ethanol produced by the yeast and sugar in bananas is what attracts fruit flies.

What Do Banana Peels Repel?

Gardeners commonly use banana peels to repel troublesome insects such as aphids and white, green, and black flies.

The banana smell repels green aphids. Banana peels can be thinly sliced and arranged at the plant’s base. Try covering the branches and stems of the affected plant with peels. The smell of banana peels will eventually become unbearable to the aphids, and they will leave.

How to Keep Ants Away From Bananas?

In most kitchens, you will find bananas, especially ripe ones, as most people love them. Once ants smell ripe bananas in your kitchen, they flock to your fruit bowl. Here are some steps you can take to keep the ants away if you love banana fruits;

1. Keep trash cans covered

If you don’t have access to an outdoor composter where you can dispose of the peels, you must keep your garbage cans covered at all times. Fruit flies will gather in your home due to these peels, eventually finding their way to your fruit bowl.

Ensure you frequently empty the trash cans of all of your garbage.

2. Keep your bananas covered

It will be challenging to remain vigilant and swat flies away from your bananas. After washing the bananas, it is better to keep them covered in the fruit bowl.

You can keep the bananas in the refrigerator, out of reach of fruit flies. When they begin to ripen, consuming the bananas will keep fruit flies away from the other, less-ripe bananas.

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3. Clean your kitchen often

Cleaning your kitchen’s floor and countertops every day is advisable. Ants will start to appear in these areas as they search for food sources like the fallen food crumbs.

You should check all hidden spaces, such as those next to cabinets, underneath stoves, and under refrigerators. Mops, sponges, and worn-out kitchen cloths should all be thrown away. Adult flies will prefer to lay their eggs on such items.

What Smell Attract Ants?

Ants have a keen sense of smell, which they rely on to detect food sources. Only a select few aromas, though, will attract them in. Find out more about the smells that attract ants below:

1. Sweet-smelling perfumes

Ants love sugar and are instantly attracted to anything with a sweet scent. Sugar is a healthy food supply for ants and gives them the energy to carry out their numerous activities.

The ants rush to sweet-smelling perfume because it alerts them to its presence of sugar.

2. Sugary drinks and carbs

You’ll notice ants invade the area after a party if people spill their sodas or juices or throw their soda cans to the ground. The reason is that ants love melted or syrupy sugar. They can carry these specific foods more easily.

Ants also enjoy starches and carbs. Corn, potatoes, oats, pasta, and rice are all prone to ant infestation once they access them. Most ants love salt-seasoned starches like potato chips or other salty treats.

One starch that ants also enjoy is alcohol, mostly because alcohol contains a lot of sugar and carbs.

3. Sweet-scented food and candy

Ants will eat anything as long as it is sweet as they are so fond of sugar. Because of this, ants will be everywhere in candy, chocolate, juice, doughnuts, cakes, and other sweet treats. 

Ants also enjoy artificial sweetener.

4. Food and fruit scented candles

Due to their love of sweet things, ants are very attracted to candles that smell like fruit or food. Any candle closely resembling the two scents will attract the ants to investigate. Ants are particularly fond of the scents of blueberries, strawberries, vanilla, lavender honey, and black cherries.

Although it’s possible that the ants won’t use the candle as a food source, it’s still possible that they will come upon food sources while doing their search. Ants are attracted to candles that are edible or contain artificial sweeteners.

5. Grease and oil fats

Most people may be unaware that ants also require fat in their bodies. Animal fats are good for ants because they contain plant oils and protein. Ants are attracted to the scent of fried food because it has grease.

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What Foods Do Ants Hate?

Ants are opportunistic feeders, but not all foods are appealing to them. Here are some foods that ants hate, and you can use them to repel them.

1. Vinegar

Ants will stay away from vinegar, especially white vinegar. First of all, the vinegar smell turns ants off. Second, vinegar eliminates ants’ scent trail to navigate and communicate.

If you haven’t noticed, ants seem to follow a trail when you see them following each other in a line. The trail is a scent trail from the food source to the colony. You need to destroy the scents trails for the ants to keep away from your home.

Mix a solution of half a glass of white vinegar and half a glass of water. You can then use the mixture to wipe down the counter, wipe the floors and spray those areas where you have seen ants frequent. 

2. Spices

While some insist on adding spice to their food, ants hate spices. Around windows and under doorways, you can use spices like cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, bay leaves, and cloves as ant barriers.

To prevent ants from destroying their plants, some gardeners choose to spread spices such as cinnamon and bay leaf around the plants. You can also place spices in your kitchen’s cupboards, drawers, and containers to deter ants.

3. Essential oils

Ants are repelled by the strong, pungent smell of essential oils. The most potent essential oils include lemongrass, eucalyptus, citrus, and peppermint. Because the ants are aware of the components in these essential oils that can kill them, they avoid them.

Simply place cotton balls where you spotted ants and add a few drops of these essential oils.

4. Cucumbers

Peels from cucumbers seem like the least likely thing that ants would hate, but they do. The kind of fungi that ants eat and are attracted to is poisoned by a toxin found in cucumber peels.

You can place slices or peels of cucumber close to ant-infested areas. Ants can also be gotten rid of by soaking sliced cucumbers in water for a few days, pressing the juice out, and putting it in a spray bottle. You can then use the mixture to spray where ants frequent.

5. Coffee 

You should be glad ants won’t annoy you if you enjoy coffee. They detest coffee’s aroma.

You can spread coffee grounds around the house or in the garden. Additionally, coffee grounds will enrich the soil with potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which will help your plants.

Conclusion 

Ants prefer sweet food sources, which is one of the reasons you can always find them in the kitchen or close to an abandoned party scene. They receive their sugar from sweet and sugary dietary sources, which gives them energy.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is fond of doing all backyard-related work at her home. She loves to take sunbathe and do a barbecue in her free time. She often shares practical tips and friendly expert advice on everything relating to home and yard on this blog. When she is not writing, she goes camping with her husband and little kids.