Cinnamon. Which bugs are drawn to the scent of cinnamon? Does cinnamon attract ants? Which caterpillars, mites, and moths are tempted by cinnamon?
Cinnamon can attract some bugs but the usual effect is that cinnamon repels bugs like ants.
Does cinnamon really attract insects?
The short answer is: No. Not the insects you are thinking of like ants and spiders.
Cinnamon is an important spice around the world and it’s grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is used by humans because of the beneficial pharmacological agents inside the bark of the plants, and of course for the scent and taste!
Cinnamon is widely known to repel bugs, but producers of cinnamon know there are numerous insects that can devastate the production of cinnamon trees and fruits. The major insects attracted to the cinnamon tree are according to this research study: Jumping plant louse (Trioza cinnamomic), mite (Eriophyes boisi), common mime (Chilasa clytia Lankeswara, Moore), blue bottle (Graphium sarpedon Teredon), leaf and shoot Webber (Orthaga vitialis), hairy caterpillar (Euproctis fraternal Moore), wood-boring moth or hairy tussock moth (Dasychira mendosa), fruit borer (Alcides morio Heller), leaf miner (Acrocercops spp.), and sorolopha semiculta (Olethreutes semiculta). Another study also found that Synanthedon spp (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) liked to feed on cinnamon plants.
To a lesser extent cinnamon attracted insect pests like the lepidopteran caterpillars Chilasa clytia, Graphium sarpedon, Orthaga vitialis, Dasychira mendosa, the fruit borer Alcides morio, and the leaf miner Acrocercops spp.
The most common diseases for cinnamon are leaf spot/blight caused by Colletotrichum gloeo- sporioides and grey leaf spot/blight inflicted by Pestalotia cinnamomi. Phytopthora cinnamomi causing stripe canker and the pink disease resulting from attack by Corticium salmonicolor, which affect the stems of cinnamon and Phellinus lamaensis which are causing brown root rot.
Cinnamon plants can also attract major diseases like leaf spot and die back (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides), seedling blight (Diplodia sp.), grey leaf spots/blight (Pestalotia cinnamomic), black sooty mould (Stenella spp.), algal leaf spots (Cephaleuros virescens), stripe canker (Phytophthora cinnamomi), pink disease (Corticium salmonicolor B. and Br.), brown root rot (Phellinus lamaensis Murr.), and leaf spot/blight (Colletotrichum gloesporioides).
Does cinnamon attract animals?
The short answer is: Yes, humans 🙂
The usual effect is however that cinnamon counteracts bug problems. There is even real scientific evidence that cinnamon works as a repellent as you can see in this interesting study from Malaysia. There is evidence that a special substance in cinnamon actually triggers a chemical reaction inside ants and other insects:
Even if cinnamon plants have developed protection from bugs and diseases, especially against ants, there are still a number of caterpillars, mites, and moths that attack cinnamon trees.