Aussies Living Simply

Does this work?

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    I read recently that if you put a slice of cucumber in an aluminium pie tray and put it in the garden it will repel just about every nasty bug known to man. Apparently the cucumber reacts with the aluminium and gives off a terrible odour that can’t be detected by humans but that bugs find appalling so they stay away.

    Is this true? Has anyone tried it?

    Sounds like a really cheap and simple solution to pest control if it is. P.S. It said that snails and slugs won’t eat the cucumber either.


    All I could find on it was this:

    Did my own searching on NYT and found nothing either. Had no luck with either spelling of aluminium. It appears to be an internet hoax.


    Thanks Andre, I knew it was too good to be true.:|


    Why not try it anyway?? Can’t do any harm and it might just work!!


    Maybe the snails and slugs dont like crawling over pie trays, hmmm pie tray surrounds for lettuce.. Might run an experiment with chervil, they keep eating that down to the ground and I have lots which are going to need planting out soon.

    It is kinda almost believable that moisture + metal could lead to a mild reaction which would result in an electrical charge, discouraging to wet things which try to crawl on it. There’s nothing particularly special about the composition of cucumber tho.


    Greth wrote:

    It is kinda almost believable that moisture + metal could lead to a mild reaction which would result in an electrical charge, discouraging to wet things which try to crawl on it.

    Odd idea:

    Ever had the zap when alfoil hits a filling? You could wrap copper wire (I think it’s copper) and alfoil around a trunk, spaced about half a centimetre apart. When a snail or slug crosses both, it will get a mild zap (assuming I got the right metals). My theory is that this will discourage them.


    Last year we tried an experiment that I had read about. The theory was that snails and slugs would not cross copper.

    We cut rings from a piece of 100mm copper pipe and put them at the base of lettuce seedlings. We also placed stranded copper wire on top of the timber surround of the garden bed.

    We later observed hungry slugs trying to get to the lettuce. Every time they touched the copper they pulled back and refused to cross it.

    This didn’t eliminate the snail/slug problem just prevented our lettuce seedling disappearing overnight.

    The aluminum/cucumber theory sounds good. I’ll give it a try. One doubt that I do have is whether like Companion Planting the odor given off to repel pests will also effect the happiness and health of the plant we are growing, also the good bugs will be repelled from the garden area upsetting the natural balance.


    Andre, it wouldn’t matter what metals, any two will be different enough to cause a slight current, I believe.


    But we need enough difference in electronegativity to be felt by the slug. That’s where my brain is failing me. Silver works but it is hardly practical.

    In any case, if copper alone works, I’m over complicating it.:geek:


    It may be that slug slime does something unpleasant on any metal, not necessarily electric.

    As one should eat fish from gold cutlery, to avoid the ‘metallic’ taste. Not that one does in this house!

    (Gold being very unreactive, doesn’t give an odd flavour to fish, so while silver cutlery is merely bling, gold actually does serve a special purpose in a culinary sense. I have often wondered whether the medieval belief that basil should never be cut with any iron knife is somehow related to this)

    Mental note, find some slugs and a range of metallic objects for experimentation tomorrow if it stops raining long enough.


    Has anyone tried it yet? What are the results?




    Sorry, when I got to the veggie patch and looked at the weeds, the slugs paled into insignificance. Will see if my 5 year old will help me get a captive slug/snail collection for experimentation today. 5 year olds have the time for slug experiments.


    Sounds like a good idea Greth – I might try and persuade my 16 year old to collect some. Strange child, she actually likes playing with slimey things :geek:


    I’ve also read if you put 2 circles of foil around a plant for protection close enough that when the offending slug/snail travels over the first piece it is still touching it by the time it reaches the 2nd piece there is some kind of metallic reaction.Hope that makes sense.


    Wonder if my 16 year old would like to run some tests with slugs and his current meter? Hmm, there would be a science project for him!

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