The Unexpected Cucumber Hack That Can Repel Cockroaches From Your Home

Having cockroaches in your home can be stressful, even when there are only a few, but some cucumbers from your kitchen could help combat these pests. It may seem like another old wives tale that turns out to be false, but the fact that cucumbers can deter cockroaches has been scientifically established since the 1980s. This proves that you can repel cockroaches naturally with this common kitchen ingredient, and it won't hurt or kill the insects. Additionally, cucumbers are inexpensive and widely available, making this a simple hack that won't break the bank.

While cockroaches aren't particularly threatening, as it isn't common for them to bite, these pesky insects are known to have bacteria on them that can lead to streptococcus, salmonella, and staphylococcus. To keep you and your household safe, it's important to get rid of roaches and prevent them from getting near your food. Though cucumbers can help you repel cockroaches from a certain space, they won't kill them and might not be strong enough to handle severe infestations. Contact a professional pest control agency if you're concerned that roaches are overtaking your home.

Why cucumbers can repel cockroaches

Many DIY pest control solutions are total myths, but according to a 1984 study conducted by Kansas State University's Department of Chemistry, there are compounds in cucumbers capable of repelling cockroaches. The study tested the effectiveness of whole, sliced, and crushed cucumbers against American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and found that cucumbers that had been crushed very well were the best repellent.

While sliced cucumbers were somewhat effective, whole cucumbers didn't make much difference. This is because smashing the cucumbers causes a reaction that releases compounds in the vegetables' cells as they rupture which can help drive pesky cockroaches away. When the veggies were crushed, the compounds (E)-2-nonen-l-al and (E, Z)-2,6-nonadien-l-al repelled 98% of the roaches in the study. Cucumbers are a great option for natural and safe pest control. This could be an especially good option for those who grow cucumbers in their gardens. 

Repelling cockroaches from your home with cucumbers

For this hack, you'll want to smush your cucumber. In the study, this was done by placing an entire cucumber in a blender, though you may be able to cut the vegetable up and then smash it with a potato masher, fork, or another utensil. Your mushy cucumber can then be placed in small dishes and set out in areas where you want to prevent cockroaches from hanging around or where you've seen them before. While some sources say you should set out slices of cucumber, this likely won't be as effective.

Unfortunately, the cucumber dishes must often be replaced with this hack, as the vegetables could spoil quickly. Additionally, the cucumbers may only repel cockroaches from a small area, and you might need to set out several dishes. While crushed cucumbers are proven to deter American cockroaches, a 2017 study found that German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) sometimes eat cucumbers, though they preferred other produce. When using this hack, try to identify what kind of roaches you're seeing around your home. Cucumbers will help get rid of unwanted roaches, but in certain cases they may not be as effective as some other control methods.