Finding ants marching through your closet and all over your clothes is something that will definitely force you to act fast and in some cases even irrationally. The best thing to do is to stay calm and to see what are the proper ways to get rid of them. Ants can transfer diseases but only if they come in contact with your food, having them on your clothes is not a reason to worry, at least not from a health point of view.
They are still filthy and you need to get rid of them fast, especially if they are roaming through your wardrobe. If you put some clothes with ants inside, you can easily get bitten, and that is something you want to avoid.
So, how to get rid of ants in your closet? There are several ways that you can use to get rid of ants in your closet. The first thing you need to know that ants are not really attracted to anything in your closet, except for some types of ants that are attracted to moisture and wood (carpenter ants). Ants need food and water and that is what attracts them. Ant baits are the most efficient solution as they will lure ants out of your closet and carry the bait (poison) back to their nest to share it with the whole colony. Over a certain time period, the whole ant nest will slowly die and your closet and clothes will be ant-free.
You can also use some products around your closet (deterrents), to protect it from ants in the first place. Also, you should think about preventive actions that include the rest of your house, because if your house is for example not clean enough or has some other factors that attract ants, your closet is an easy target as well.
Note: The most important thing we have to tell you is that you should not use ant sprays or any type of insecticide directly on your clothes or even inside the closet. Wearing clothes that were treated with insecticides is a terrible idea and can cause serious health problems.
We tried to explain everything in an easy manner in the following section, so all of you with this nasty problem can find a solution that suits you. From this article, you will learn how to fight ants in your closet, around it and also all over the house. Let’s begin!
Why Have Ants Infested Your Closet?
Ants are in no search for new clothing, don’t you worry about that. They don’t feed on fabrics either, so in most cases, ants are just passing through your closet in their search for food or shelter. Sometimes behind or under your closet, you could have a crack in the wall or floor, and ants are just using the closet for a faster way to move around your home.
When fighting ants in and around the closet, check behind and under it, just in case. You can also spread the diatomaceous earth around places in your closet that you think the ants are coming out, and it should stop them from using those entrance spots. Additionally, you can also seal those spots with spackle or plaster.
• Why Are Ants Swarming a Particular Piece of Clothing in the Closet?
If you actually see ants swarming around some particular part of clothing, it can be because there is something in that clothing part that attracts them. Maybe you left something in it that ants love to eat, or it got some sugar or juice stain on it.
In cases like this, it is best to put the infested clothing in a bag and seal it tight so no ants can leave it. Then vacuum the clothes outside, where there is no chance of ants getting back into the home. After vacuuming put the clothes into the washing machine, and that will surely destroy any ants left in the clothing.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Closet: Instructions
Once your closet is infested with ants, that is a sign of a bigger problem, but for now, let’s just focus on removing ants from your closet. The best solution for this problem are ant baits. You can make an ant bait by yourself, or you can buy one in a store or online. We are just going to recommend some of them that work wonders and after that, we are going to mention how you can also make these ants by yourself.
- Attracts & Kills – Kills common household ants including...
- Kills the Ants You See & the Ones You Don't – As worker ants...
- Works Fast – You should see a significant decrease in the...
- Ready to Use – Place the bait stations, watch it attract ants,...
- Use Throughout Your Home – Place stations near areas where...
- Target pests: For indoor and outdoor control of...
- Highly attractive formula promotes ready transfer of the active...
- Powerful, active ingredient knocks out workers, brood and queens
- Approved for use indoors and outdoors, applied in cracks and...
- How does Optigard Ant Bait Gel work? Ants that feed on the gel...
Now if you want to make an ant bait by yourself, we recommend using boric acid as the main part of the bait (the actual poison for ants). You can also add sugar, honey or grease to lure the ants into your homemade ant trap.
How does the ant bait work? Ants will take the bait and take it back to the nest. Once in the nest, they will eat it and ingest it. Boric acid is deadly for ant’s metabolic system, and that is why it works so well on them. Once in the nest, this bait will do its part and all the ants that come in touch with it will perish.
Don’t forget to clean ant pheromone trails with this ants won’t be able to find a way back into your closet. For that purpose, you can use regular soap, because it will remove the scent, and its smell deters ants. Another ally in your fight against ants in your closet is a vacuum cleaner. If you see a large number of ants, just crank up the vacuum, and start vacuuming them. The vacuum cleaner itself is not enough, but it will cut down ant’s number, but after vacuuming you will still need to add some ant baits.
Be sure to keep away the children and pets from the spots where you placed boric acid baits. Boric acid is a low toxicity pesticide, but it still can cause harm if it is used unproperly. Also, it is better to leave your clothes inside your closet until you exterminate these pests because you can end up spreading ants around other rooms in your home if you try to clean the clothes.
Ants in Closet: How to Prevent This From Happening?
When it comes to protecting your clothes and closet from ants it all sums up to all around hygiene around your home. If you actually have ants in your closet, that means that something in your home attracted ants, and your closet is just one of the places ants chose to roam.
They are searching for shelters, water and food to eat (click to see what do ants eat). Usually, ants don’t invade closets for some specific reason, and that place is in most cases just a part of their route to some other part of your home. Ants don’t feed on fabrics so clothes itself are not a reason their reason for invading your closet.
So if you want to prevent ants from entering into your closet, you must find how did the ants come into your house in the first place, and why. Ants usually search for a place they can make a colony and a nest, and if there is a source of food, that is one more reason to move in.
The first thing you should check if you live in the house is for cracks in the walls and foundation. Even the smallest opening is enough for ants to find a way inside your home. If there are cracks and ants are going inside, you can also try following their trail. That way you can get to the source of the ant infestation. When fighting ants in your walls and foundation, it is recommended to use a pesticide. You can try doing it yourself or calling a professional. Also, fix the cracks around your house, so no new ants can come in.
Ants just love roaming through garbage, because there is always something there for them to eat. Don’t leave your garbage sticking around for too long, because a lot of garbage near your home is a signal for ants to start marching around.
Keeping your home clean from the inside is also a good precaution, because leftover food can also be a reason for ants to move in, first into your home, and then into your closet. Throw out any leftover food regularly.
Ants in Closet: When Should You Call the Professionals?
If you notice an exceptionally large number of ants and you can’t find a place where they are coming from, then you should definitely contact a professional service (exterminators).
In cases when you don’t know how to battle the ants, like when they are coming out of the cracks in the walls and foundation behind the closet, you should contact them as well, because there can be a nest, and that problem needs to be resolved as fast as possible.
Of course, if you are not comfortable in the presence of ants, or you just don’t want to handle that problem yourself, you must call professionals as soon as you can. In the end, that way you can be absolutely sure that the problem will be solved properly. Yes, there are numerous DIY solutions for these problems, but in some situations, they can be just too hard to implement with the lack of experience.
The problem with ants in the closet almost always means that there is a larger ant problem somewhere nearby (inside or outside your house) and that you should check your entire house for ants. There can be a problem in the home itself, like cracked walls, and ants just love those tight places to hide and build nests. Sometimes you should check how clean is your home because keeping a clean home is the essential deterrent for ants.
When it comes to how to getting rid of the ants in the closet, the best way is to use either store-bought or DIY ant bait. Once they get the bait, they will carry it into their nest and that will lead to mass poisoning of the ants.
You don’t need to worry about your clothes, because it is not part of the meal for any kind of ants. They are probably just passing through your closet to their actual destination. Check the clothes for stains and any leftover food, because that can be a magnet for ants.
In this article, we presented a couple of DIY ways of dealing with ants in closets, but if you don’t feel that you are capable of fighting them, call a professional, and don’t wait for too long. Ant problems can get out of the hand very fast.
If you liked our article, keep your eyes on our site, because we will continue with the series of educational articles about pest control in and around your house!
List of Sources
Lanan M. (2014). Spatiotemporal resource distribution and foraging strategies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological news, 20, 53–70.
Managing Structure Invading Ants, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Nyamukondiwa, C., & Addison, P. (2014). Food preference and foraging activity of ants: recommendations for field applications of low-toxicity baits. Journal of insect science (Online)
Alharbi, J. S., Alawadhi, Q., & Leather, S. R. (2019), Monomorium ant is a carrier for pathogenic and potentially pathogenic bacteria
Lenzen C., Radeva T., The Power of Pheromones in Ant Foraging