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From 13 Common Items for Getting Rid of Ants:

Lemons

You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome.

Now, I'm highly skeptical of this specific piece of advice, having actually tried it (ants swarmed all over both the lemon slices and the places where puddles of lemon juice were).

Is there any scientific research that either backs up or refutes this advice?

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    Since when do ants dislike sugar? Lemon juice contains just that and when it dries up it's even more concentrated. There are some claims about citronella oil having that effect on mosquitoes. Could this be a mixup? – 0xC0000022L Feb 21 '13 at 17:35
  • Ants leave and follow scent trails. Weak organic acids are effective solvents for the material and allow you to wipe trails away. The usual advice is to use a dilute vinegar solution, but I assume that lemon juice would do the same trick. – dmckee May 7 '15 at 2:00
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According to this study by Texas a&m fire ants dislike and are poisoned by citric acid, so the citric acid from lemon peels would probably also stop/kill fire ants. The article lists orange peels and citrus peels but not lemons specifically. study

  • What study? Link it please. – George Chalhoub May 6 '15 at 21:41
  • @georgechalhoub the link wasnt showing but i saw it while looking to edit. – Himarm May 6 '15 at 21:44

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