How To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Closet | A Complete Guide

Finding ants marching through your closet and all over your clothes will definitely force you to act. 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.

So, how to get rid of ants in your closet? Ant baits are the most efficient solution as they 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 (ant deterrents) to protect it from ants in the first place. Most importantly, you should not use any spray or insecticide directly on your clothes or inside the closet. Wearing clothes that were treated with insecticides is a terrible idea and can cause serious health problems.

Why Have Ants Infested Your Closet?

Ants don’t feed on fabrics, so in most cases, ants are just passing through your closet searching 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 as 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 where 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?

Ants in Closet
Ant Exterminators

If you see ants swarming around clothing, it can be because something in that clothing part attracts them. Maybe you left something in it that ants love to eat, or it had some sugar or juice stain.

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, which will destroy any ants left in the clothing.

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 is ant baits. You can make an ant bait by yourself or buy one in a store or online. Some of the bestsellers on Amazon are:

TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations
  • 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...
Raid Ant Killer Baits, For Household Use, Child Resistant, 8 Count
  • Kills ants where they hide for up to 3 months
  • After ants feed on the bait, they return to the colony and...
  • For maximum effectiveness place all baits at the same time
  • Use indoors in corners, along walls and near entry points to kill...
  • For household use: closets, basements, attics, recreation rooms,...
TERRO T1804-6 Outdoor Ready-to-Use Liquid Ant Bait Killer and Trap - Kills Common Household Ants - 4 Bait Stations
  • 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, push down and twist the...
  • For Outdoor Use – Place the bait stations in outdoor areas...

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). 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 ants’ metabolic system, which is why it works so well. 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 and 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 many ants, just crank up the vacuum, and start vacuuming them. 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 can still cause harm if used improperly. Also, leaving your clothes inside your closet until you exterminate these pests is better because you can spread ants around other rooms in your home if you try to clean the clothes.

Ants in Closet: How to Prevent This From Happening?

It all sums up to general hygiene around your home when it comes to protecting your clothes and closet from ants. If you have ants in your closet, something in your home attracts ants, and your closet is just one of the places ants choose to roam.

They search for shelter, water and food (click to see what 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 another part of your home. Ants don’t feed on fabrics, so clothes themselves are not a reason their reason for invading your closet.

So if you want to prevent ants from entering your closet, you must find out 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.

First, you should check if you live in the house 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 to eat. Don’t leave your garbage sticking around for too long because a lot of garbage near your home signals 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?

Ants in Closet When Should You Call the Professionals

If you notice a huge number of ants and can’t find a place where they are coming from, then you should contact a professional service (exterminator).

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 or don’t want to handle that problem yourself, you can call professionals. Yes, there are numerous DIY solutions for these problems, but in some situations, they can be just too hard to implement without experience.

Related: How to Get Rid of Ants | Safe and Effective Methods

List of Sources

Lanan M. (2014). Spatiotemporal resource distribution and foraging strategies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological news20, 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