Spring and summer are the two best seasons to see your garden thrive. If you time everything just right, you should see many plants blooming and fruiting throughout Spring and Summer. Unfortunately, these are also a wasp’s favorite seasons to come out too. You will likely see an increase in wasps as the weather gets warmer. Perhaps something in your garden can deter them. Do cucumbers keep wasps away?
Yes. Cucumbers do keep wasps away.
Wasps are easily repelled by cucumbers, making them an easy and effective way to keep wasps out of your garden and away from your home.
Why Do Wasps Hate Cucumbers
Wasps have several smells that they cannot stand, and cucumber happens to be one of them. Although cucumber may smell light, fresh, and even a little sweet to us, to wasps, they smell acidic. Cucumbers smell like vinegar to wasps. This smell convinces them that there is rotten food in that area and that they should avoid it. Wasps have a very strong sense of smell, so it should only take a small amount of cucumber to drive them away.
Do Wasps Eat Cucumbers
Wasps do not eat cucumbers. Even if you lay out chunks of cucumber out in the open for them, they will not be enticed to eat it. The smell is too repulsive for them, and they will be deterred almost immediately. Wasps traditionally eat smaller bugs, so they are not enticed by fresh produce. Funny enough that wasps are more interested in eating crop-destroying bugs like grubs, caterpillars, and weevils.
Wasps hypothetically could be useful to your garden if they did not pose such a threat to you and your household. Unlike bees, wasps are naturally very aggressive.
Bees will only sting in self-defense if they feel they are being attacked, while wasps will go after you to sting you without a moment’s notice. This is also why wasps are prone to swarming; they know they are stronger in numbers and will attack as a unit.
Unfortunately, beyond eating crop-destroying bugs, wasps do not provide any benefit to your garden, they will remain a threat, and it is best to drive them away.
How To Use Cucumbers To Repel Wasps
The best way to use cucumbers to repel wasps is to cut up the cucumber and place it on an aluminum tray outside. Slice the cucumber into thin slices so you will have enough to place in multiple places around your garden without buying or harvesting a ton of cucumber.
Then wrap a tray with tin foil and lay the cucumbers out. The cucumbers will react with the aluminum and increase the wasp’s smell’s acidity. Thankfully, the smell will be undetectable to you and other humans, but it will be repulsive to wasps.
The aluminum is not necessary; it just increases the effectiveness of the cucumbers acting as a repellent. You can also leave chopped-up or sliced cucumber all around your garden to repel. The most important thing here is to have the cucumber in multiple places around your garden.
If it is only in one area, the wasps will be deterred from that area, but they may become interested in a different part of your garden. The skin of the cucumber even repels wasps, so increase the area you are covering by skinning your cucumbers first so you can drape these skins around fences or raised beds. Then you can place the cut up cucumber all around your garden to cover more surface area.
Planting cucumbers in your garden is also an effective way to keep wasps away. The smell of the skin and the plant as it grows will be enough to drive wasps away. You may still want to harvest cucumber to use as repellent around the garden to ensure all areas are well-protected.
What Other Plants Keep Wasps Away
Several other plants would make great additions to your garden to help deter wasps. You could add some carnivorous plants like venus fly traps or pitcher plants for starters. Both of these plants are capable of eating wasps, so while their smell will not repel them as a cucumber plant does, they will take care of eliminate them if they are in your garden.
Besides carnivorous plants, there are also some lovely herbs you could add to your garden. Adding these herbs would be fun because you could use them with other produce in your garden to create a full meal. Herbs like basil, mint, pennyroyal, wormwood, eucalyptus, and citronella are very repulsive to wasps. These additions can help drive them away and add new flavors to your meals.
Or, if you want to add some decorative flowers to your yard, geraniums are excellent for repelling wasps. Particularly red geraniums are good for repelling wasps as they have a smell that wasps do not like.
What Smells Do Wasps Hate
Wasps have a very strong sense of smell, so they are easily deterred by an area smelling bad. When they smell things like cucumbers, the smell is so acidic it is like vinegar to them, and they cannot stand being in that area. This makes vinegar itself very effective for repelling wasps. They hate the smell of straight vinegar, so it can be used to protect your garden and keep those wasps away.
Wasps also hate the smell of bay leaves. This is because of eugenol oil in bay leaves that repel wasps. Eugenol is released when bay leaves are ground up. It is best to get dried bay leaves to crumble them up and spread them around your garden.
To increase the intensity of the smell, you can mix in cinnamon or chili powder. This makes it extra pungent and extra effective at deterring wasps. Sprinkle this mixture all around your garden, and be careful not to inhale any yourself. Keep up with this regularly, as the wind can blow the herbs away.
What Home Remedy Will Keep Wasps Away
To keep wasps away, using cucumbers is one of the most effective home remedies. All you have to do is slice up some cucumber and spread it around your garden, and you should see the wasps start to disappear. If you want to add another method to this plan to make sure the wasps leave and stay away, you can try a handful of other things.
Start by making sure your garden is not inviting to wasps. Have trashcans that seal shut so any of your garbage will not entice them. Seal cracks in your house’s roof and outer walls so they do not have the opportunity to build a nest. Always throw away food and drinks; never leave these outside because these will easily entice wasps to the area.
You can also spray the area with soap and water to deter them. The soap clogs up their breathing pores and causes them to die instantly, so this method is very effective if you actively have wasps you are trying to get rid of. You can also use essential oils in a spray bottle to deter them. Things like clove, geranium, lemongrass and mint are very stinky and repulsive to wasps.
Things To Consider
Make sure you have determined you are dealing with wasps and not bees. It is very easy to get the two confused if you are unsure of the differences.
The bees will be non-aggressive and rather helpful to your garden. If you have too many bees in your garden and are growing concerned, you can call a local company to safely relocate the bees. We never want to kill bees because of their pollinating properties and ability to produce honey. Bees are essential to our ecosystem.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!