I recently read that cucumber skin is an effective repellent for some ants:

Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants' point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.

Source: Natural Insect Pest Control

See also: How to Use Cucumbers to Prevent Ants from Entering the Home

But when I tried it out they died instead. What made this happen?

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    $\begingroup$ Please include the source of your information. Where did you read this? $\endgroup$ – One Face Mar 7 '15 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ There you go @OneFace $\endgroup$ – Rajesh Mar 7 '15 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ It's always good to include the source, especially when asking about things that are not commonly known. $\endgroup$ – One Face Mar 7 '15 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ Under what circumstance did the ants die? If possible, post a photo of the dead ants near the cucumber skin. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 7 '15 at 18:26
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    $\begingroup$ Was an edit necessary ? $\endgroup$ – Rajesh Mar 8 '15 at 7:05

Cucumber contains a compound called trans-2-nonenal (reference 1 and reference 2) that repels insects. This particular compound (reference) has can also be used in insecticide foams for repelling ants (reference)

  • $\begingroup$ trans-2-nonenal also repels cockroaches, and is the basis for an "old chef's tale" about how to stop cockroaches entering your kitchen (sliced cucumber). See here (Science, 1982) for a great account of how this was recognized (+1) $\endgroup$ – user1136 Aug 5 '19 at 16:44

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