Ants can be found near warm and moist places, inside residential areas, buildings, in your garden, etc. There are approximately 12000 known species of ants; each of them has distinct characteristics, behavior, and food preferences.
Ants are usually attracted to your house due to poor sanitary conditions, in search of better food sources or more favorable environmental conditions. Out of all places inside the house, ants are easily drawn to your bathrooms, which provides the perfect conditions to flourish and establish their colonies.
How to get rid of ants in the bathroom? Ant baiting is one of the most commonly used methods to eliminate ants in the bathroom. The method works slowly but can eradicate the entire ant colony within a week. Besides baits, you can also apply liquid or solid insecticides to get rid of ants in the bathroom but they work only on ants that you can see.
In bathrooms, ants live in dark corners, under sink or bathtub, in holes or crevices, inside drains, etc. The tiny creatures can cause havoc and they have the potential to damage the products in your bathroom and carry diseases inside your house.
One or two ants are not a problem, but they can cause a serious problem once they establish their colonies. To avoid these severe consequences of mishandled ants invasion, it is necessary to build a strategy to eliminate ants in your bathroom. However, the method of ant eradication can vary according to the type of ant species, level of infestation, and various other factors.
In the following section, you will find some of the most common types of ants that can invade your bathroom and reasons for their invasion. Further, we will discuss the synthetic and natural pest control strategies for getting rid of ants in the bathroom. Let’s begin!
Ants in Bathroom | Information
Ants are easily drawn to your house, especially bathrooms, due to perfect environmental conditions. It is one of the best places for the ants to breed and develop their colonies. Ants tend to build their nests in darker places, inside drain holes, crevices, near dripping pipes, or under sinks or bathtubs.
They can ruin your bath items and can carry diseases from debris or garbage to your bathroom. The ants have the ability to multiply and establish larger colonies in a very small time period.
Each colony works on the caste system which includes worker ants, soldier ants, male ants (for mating), and female reproductive ants or queen. The colony may contain one or more queen(s) which allows their survival.
The queen mates with the reproductive male ant and lay eggs to establish a larger colony whereas workers nourish and support the eggs and larvae, and soldiers protect the colony from any dangers. It is necessary to eliminate the queen in order to exterminate the whole colony.
Why Are There Ants in My Bathroom?
Ants are usually attracted to your bathrooms for food, shelter, and moisture. If you have an unhygienic environment, leaky pipes, cracks, or standing water in your bathroom, these factors are sufficient to attract ants. Most of the adult ants need liquid to process food and dripping pipes, showers and wet floor provide them with perfect surroundings that meet their needs.
The standing water and clogged drains release scent into the surrounding which can draw ants to your bathrooms. The ants are able to process debris and clogged rotten hair as the food sources.
To avoid the ant invasion, get rid of all the factors that can draw them into your bathrooms such as standing water on the floor, cracks, holes in the walls, or other sources that are the reason for excessive moisture in those particular areas. It is suggested to repair dripping pipes and sinks. Make sure to clean your drains and dispose of your garbage daily to get rid of all the reasons that can attract ants.
Why Are Ants Coming Out of My Bathroom Sink?
If you discover ants coming out of your bathroom sink then there is a higher chance that you have leaky pipes. The ants like to build their shelters near broken drainage pipes. Look for the trails of ants and take preventive measures.
To exterminate ants under sinks or bathtubs, eliminate the root causes of the infestation. Keep your bathroom clean and dry, and repair all the broken lines and drainage pipes which are attracting ants.
Types of Ants in Bathrooms
Most of the ant species love to build their nests in a warm and moist environment like bathrooms. However, the most common species that you may encounter in your bathroom are the ones that love moisture and warm places. Some of the common ant species that invade your bathrooms are tiny black ants, sugar ants, carpenter ants, moisture ants, Argentine ants, crazy ants, odorous house ants, Pharaoh ants, pavement ants, etc.
It is necessary to correctly identify the ant species in order to take effective preventive measures and to apply the proper pest control methods to tackle the established colonies of ants in your bathroom. During the early stage of infestation, the ants may seem harmless but their rapid growth and great adaptation skills can lead to many problems, especially if you are dealing with carpenter ants.
Sugar Ants in Bathroom
Sugar ants include a group of ants that mostly prefer sugar-based food content. Most of the species of sugar ants are attracted to your bathrooms due to the moist and dark environment. They build their shelters in rooting wooden structures and in the other moist areas.
Sugar ants include a number of both indoor and outdoor ant species. The common indoor sugar ants are pavement ants, carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants or odorous ants, etc. Repair your leaky pipes, dripping showers, and wipe the excess water from your bathroom floor to prevent the sugar ant infestation.
Carpenter Ants in Bathroom
Like most of the ant species, carpenter ants are also attracted to your house in search of water, food, or shelter. Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are brown or mostly black in color. They are instantly attracted to damp places and build their nests by excavating the rotting woods. Inside the bathroom, you may encounter carpenter ants under wall voids, titles, wooden structure, or at the other damp areas.
Due to powerful jaws, they can penetrate even at the hardest places such as a damp wooden cabinet and drains. Once they establish colonies, you will discover them coming out wall voids, holes, crevices, hollow wooden structures, and from other damp places. They can cause serious structural damage to wooden cabinets or doors.
Moisture Ants in Bathroom
Moisture ants (Lasius spp.) also known as Yellow ants, are attracted to damp wood and behave almost like carpenter ants. They are about 4-5 mm long and yellow to reddish-brown in appearance. If you have soft or rotten wooden structures or frames in your bathrooms, they can potentially draw moisture ants. They do not excavate dry wood but are able to damage soft or rotten wood structures to build their nests.
If you discover moisture ants, immediately take pest control measures to avoid structural losses in your bathroom. Keep your bathroom dry and clean to prevent their infestation. You can also find various pest control solution to exterminate moisture ant colonies.
Tiny Black Ants in Bathroom
Tiny black ants (Monomorium minimum) are small ants, about 1.5 mm long, that have a dark brown to black segmented body. These ants enter your house in search of warm and moist surroundings. They are quickly attracted to moist places like bathrooms and kitchen and build their nests inside wall voids, cracks, dark places, or under debris.
After establishing their colonies, these tiny ants can be seen everywhere looking for water and food. Keep the floor of your bathroom dry, clean, and practice good sanitation to prevent their invasion.
Pharaoh Ants in Bathroom
Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are similar to thief ants and can be up to 2 mm long. They have a light yellow to red appearance with black marks at the abdomen. Pharaoh ants are also referred to as little red ants due to their small and reddish appearance. They tend to build their shelters at warm places and can also be often seen foraging in bathrooms. Pharaoh ants are easily attracted to bathrooms due to a warm and moist environment.
If they go unnoticed, the ants build large colonies rapidly due to their persistent behavior. Once Pharaoh ants establish colonies, they are found all over the place along with plumbing, under the sink, bathtubs, cabinet voids, or behind switchboards. Repair your broken pipelines and keep your bathroom dry to avoid Pharaoh ants infestation in your bathroom.
Crazy Ants in Bathroom
A single established colony of crazy ants can be comprised up of millions of ants. They are drawn to your house by following food trails. Crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis) can easily adapt to a dry environment but prefer to build their nests in the damp environment such as bathrooms and kitchen.
They are scavengers, foragers, and predators. These ants can get attracted by the rotten smell of fermenting hair, debris, or by following the trail of fruity bath products. Crazy ants build nests inside holes, crevices, wall voids, beneath bathtub, and particularly near the damp areas.
Argentine Ants in Bathroom
Argentine worker ants are up to 3 mm long and have a brown to a black shiny appearance. Each established colony of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) may contain thousands of members, and these colonies are further extended to subcolonies.
They live under the cracks, wall voids, and near damp places in your house and can commonly be found in bathrooms due to moist and warm surroundings. The Argentine ants prefer the sugar-based diet and enter your house by following the sweet scent of sugar-based food items.
Odorous House Ants in Bathroom
The odorous house ants or ghost ants (Tapinoma sessile) are tiny brown or black ants, commonly found inside residential areas. They are drawn to your house by following food trails or due to harsh weather conditions. These ants release a disgusting smell when they get smashed and are attracted to your bathroom due to moisture.
They live inside wall voids, under the cracked floor or beneath bathtub and sink, and at the other dark and damp places. These tiny brown ants multiply quickly and can establish colonies and sub-colonies in few days.
Pavement Ants in Bathroom
Pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) have a brownish appearance. These ants are up to 3 mm long and live under the hollow foundations, floor, or wall voids. They are common indoor ants, are drawn to your bathrooms for warmth, moisture, and food sources. The swarm of flying pavement ants can be observed in May or June season.
To avoid pavement ant infestation first you need to eliminate moisture, keep your bathroom clean and remove debris from drains. Make sure to seal all the cracks and crevices which can provide a nesting area to pavement ants.
Flying Ants in Bathroom
Flying ants or alates are the reproductive ants, they appear during mating season. They are winged ants and swarm mostly during the spring or summer season. You will potentially see flying ants during their nuptial flight in your bathroom ceiling or near the light source.
It is considered to be the perfect place for breeding or mating of ants due to the good environmental conditions. The presence of flying ants in your bathroom is the indication of a nearby ant infestation but they can also enter in your bathroom from the window or through other entry points.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Bathroom: Step by Step Instructions
An ant infestation can be commonly observed in moist and warm areas. A few ants may not cause any problems at the beginning but they have the ability to build larger colonies in just a few weeks which can lead to serious issues. Therefore, you need to take some necessary steps to get rid of ants in bathrooms instead of waiting for the problem to resolve on its own.
Step 1: Inspection of the Infested Area
If you discover an ant coming out of your bathroom then you first need to look for the root causes of the ant invasion. They are mostly attracted to your bathrooms due to stagnant water, leaky pipes, dripping shower, broken pipelines, damp or rotten wooden structures, clogged drain, garbage, or debris.
The ants can also enter your bathrooms by following the trails of sugar-based bath items or rotten debris. They build nests under the cracks, crevices, floor, sinks, or bathtubs, in damp wood, near dripping pipes, inside wall voids, or at the other areas that contain moisture.
Step 2: Pest Control Methods | Ant Baits and Liquid Insecticides
Ants Baits or Traps
After accurate identification of ant species and level of infestation, select the best ant bait or trap according to the ant type. There are different types of liquid, gel, or solid ant baits or ant traps available commercially such as sugar-based baits or protein-based baits.
You can also change the bait if it does not show positive results. This is the best technique to lure ants out of drains, cracks, holes, or from areas you cannot approach them manually.
Place these baits at the entry points and near the nesting sites of ants in your bathroom. These traps or baits are poisonous and can kill the entire colony in a few days or few weeks depending upon the level of infestation. It is advised to follow the product’s guidelines if you want to see the best results.
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Professional mostly use toxic insecticides to get rid of ant colonization. There are different types of insecticides available commercially that can help you to completely eradicate ant infestation. It is best to use non-repellent insecticide sprays or control solutions.
Make sure to wear personal protective equipment while performing the treatment to avoid direct contact with the toxic chemicals. You can also go for powder insecticides if you do not prefer liquid sprays.
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Step 3: Prevention Tips
To prevent the ant colonization at early stages remove the excess moisture and fix all the broken pipes in your bathroom. Wet or damp wood is always a great attraction for ants, therefore, you need to make an effort to keep your wooden frames, wooden cabinets, and other woodwork dry to avoid getting an ant infestation.
Install a proper ventilation system to dehumidify your bathroom after taking a shower. Keep your bathrooms clean and do not leave garbage overnight.
You can use cleanser or other cleansing aids to clean your showers and to remove hair or debris from drains. Make sure to mend all the cracks and seal off holes that can provide nesting space to ants.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom Sink?
First, identify the reason for ant infestation under bathroom sink. If there is broken pipe or excess moisture. Then wipe the area and clean the surface with the help of cleanser and fix the broken pipeline.
To get rid of ant colonization under the sink, follow the trails of ants and look for their entry points or nesting sites. You can use ant killer sprays or powders if the infested area is easily approachable, otherwise, it is preferred to use ant baits or traps to lure ant out of their nests.
How to Get Rid of Ants in My Bathroom Shower?
To eliminate ant infestation in your shower, you need to first clean the dirt or fungus from your bathroom shower. Inspect, if the water channel is tightly sealed. After identification of the invader ant species, use your insecticide spray to exterminate them.
The spray will kill the ants instantly. Do not stop here and pour this solution at the ant shelters until they are completely drenched in order to eradicate their colonies.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom Wall?
Most of the ant species prefer to build their shelters under wall voids or cracks. These areas are not easily approachable. Therefore, ant baits and ant traps are used to lure the ants out of their nests. You can select the right type of ant bait according to the ant type.
Ants will take the bait to their nests and the poison will kill the entire colony. You can also combine the ant bait method with the other method (insecticide spray) for some instant results. Seal the wall void or crack after the application of insecticide to prevent their re-establishment.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom Tub?
The area under the bathtub is heaven for ants. It does not only provide a safe shelter but also offers perfect moisture and warmth for their establishment. The ants can also be attracted to the bathtubs due to wet wooden frames around them which is the favored nesting place of several species of ant such as carpenter ants and moisture ants.
Keep the place around the bathtub dry and clean to avoid the pest infestation. Several different ant traps and baits can also be used to get rid of ants under your bathtubs.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom Naturally | Home Remedies
You can also use natural methods to eradicate ants. These methods are a non-toxic and inexpensive way to tackle your ant problem. In the following sections, we are going to share with you methods for preparing some of the best and effective natural homemade insecticides.
Natural Insecticide Spray
The essential oils of various plants can be used to prepare natural insecticide spray. You can use these insecticide sprays in your bathrooms just like the regular insecticide sprays.
Ants are hypersensitive to essential oils, therefore, you can use them to prepare pest control solutions. Some of the ant repellent essential oils are tree oil, peppermint oil, and citrus oil.
To prepare your natural insecticide spray, mix 15 drops of peppermint oil,15 drops of tree oil, and 7 drops of citrus oil in 1/4 cup of water. You can also use cayenne pepper (half of a teaspoon) instead of citrus oil. Pour the solution into the spray bottle and apply it directly over the ants, at the infested areas, and at the entry points of ant in your bathroom.
Vinegar is a natural ant repellent, you can use vinegar spray to treat ant infestations in your bathrooms. Mix an equal quantity of white vinegar and water (1:1) to prepare your insecticide spray. To treat the drains, you can also use baking soda and vinegar to exterminate ants.
First, sprinkle baking soda over the drain then pour an equal amount of white vinegar. The acidic mixture will suffocate the ants.
Natural Ant Baits
You can prepare homemade ant baits as well. To prepare borax and sugar bait mix equal quantities of borax and sugar and sprinkle it at the ant trails and near nesting sites of ants in your bathrooms. Sugar will help to lure ant out of their shelters and borax will kill the ants after the ingestion of bait.
The peanut butter bait can be prepared by mixing 3 parts of peanut with 1 part of borax. To prepare maple syrup bait, take 3/4 cup of maple syrup and mix it with a one-quarter cup of borax. Heat the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds to make a fine solution.
Water and Soap Spray
To prepare a soap spray, take 1 part of liquid dishwashing soap and add 2 parts of water and mix them well. Pour the solution in a bottle and spray the mixture directly over the ants.
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Diatomaceous earth is the non-toxic, organic, and eco-friendly method for getting rid of ants. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth generously all around the infested areas, near the entry point, and at the trail of ants in your bathroom. When ants come in contact with this powder, it will eventually cause their death.
Ants are easily attracted to bathrooms due to moisture, warmth, safe shelter, and food sources. Most of the ant species prefer to build their nest under sinks, bathtubs, inside wall voids, cracks, or under the titles. Some of them (like carpenter ants and moisture ants) tend to build their shelter in damp wood. The ants use decaying hair, debris, or sugar-based products as their food source.
To prevent the ant infestation, eliminate all the factors that can attract them in your bathroom. Keep your bathroom clean, dry, and fix all the broken pipes that can also draw them. Use different types of ant baits, insecticide sprays or powders to exterminate the ant infestation in your bathroom.
Ant baits and liquid or powder insecticides are easily available commercially. You can also prepare natural ant baits and insecticide sprays at home but this method is less effective.
In case you are having a serious ant infestation, it would be best to call a professional pest control service. Click on the following link if you are interested, and you will get free quotes from the best ant exterminators in your area. Best of luck!
List of Sources
Identifying Household Ants, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Sharpe K. & Klass C., Integrated Pest Management for Carpenter Ants, University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources
Rust M.K. & Choe D.H., Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Potter M., Carpenter Ants, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment