It is not that common to have an infestation of ants in your well, but if it happens, you need to act fast and thoroughly. Have you ever seen ants coming out of your faucets, showerheads and other water appliances in your home? Well some of us did, and believe us it is not a pleasant sight.
Imagine that you want to take a shower, and all of a sudden, you are surrounded by ants right in your shower! A nasty experience. Or ants coming out of your dishwasher installation – a nightmare!
Insects in the water systems are not that hard to get rid of and in this article, we are going to talk about ant infestations in water wells. After inspecting your water appliances and confirming that you have an ant infestation, you need to act fast.
How to get rid of ants in well water? The first thing you should do in order to get rid of the ants in the well water is to flush out your water system. After that is done it is recommended that you use a shock chlorination method on your well. Only this way, you can be sure that your water system is clean of any ant colonies.
But first, you need to confirm that you have a real problem – check your faucets, showerheads and other water appliances in your home. If you actually confirm the presence of ants in your water system you need to act fast.
Usually, flushing out your whole well system is enough to get rid of ants and other insects, but if you want to be completely sure that your water system is safe and secure, you should conduct a shock chlorination procedure.
It is also recommended to remove debris and any vegetation which is near the casing of your well.
What you definitely shouldn’t do when dealing with ants in the water well? Do not use any type of insecticide near or in your well, this is a mistake that can cause serious consequences. Always refrain yourself from using any heavy-duty poisons (pesticides/insecticides) anywhere near your water supply.
In the following sections, you will get all the information about this important topic. We have supplied you with all the needed information and details, so you should not panic if you ever have this unsettling problem. Let’s begin!
How To Detect The Infestation Of Ants In your Well
You need to be sure that you don’t have just another ant infestation in your home, and that you have a problem with a genuine ant infestation of your well and water appliances.
The only and the best way to determine do you have an infested well with ants is to check your water appliances and plumbing. That includes checking around your well itself and faucets in your home, and don’t you forget about all the water filters, because they are the ones which are keeping your water clean and for everyday use.
One easy way to check is your well infested with ants is to remove the well cap and use the flashlight to check the inside of the casing pipe. Be sure to turn off the electricity in the system before you start this operation.
Newer systems have already built-in caps that prevent infestations of insects, but older systems should be checked.
How to Clean Your Well From Ants
If you are definitely sure that the well is infested with ants, you must proceed with the disinfection as soon as possible.
The first part includes flushing out the entire water system, and that is something that you can do yourself.
That way you are getting rid of part of the problem, like dead ants and their eggs. Usually, one flush of the system is enough to clean the entire plumbing and every other part of the water system, but in some more serious infestations you should flush out the system more than once.
Your system won’t be clean and safe to use until you perform the second part of the cleaning process. The actual cleaning includes using a shock chlorination procedure. By chlorination, you remove any bacteria which ants could carry into the water.
You can try performing chlorination by yourself, by using household bleach, but there are several risks while performing this procedure. If you never did this before it is recommended to call the professionals.
How to Prevent Ants From Getting Into the Well Water
After experiencing an infestation of ants you must think about future prevention of this problem. For starters, it is recommended to keep the area around the well neat and clean.
This includes regular cutting of any tall weeds or any tall vegetation. It is easier for the ants to get to the well water from the height, so you will need to learn how to live without tall vegetation around your well, but we guess that there are other spots in the backyard where you can create a beautiful garden.
All the other basic garden maintenance is also recommended, which includes:
- Don’t keep woodpiles for too long close to the well. Dispose of them regularly.
- Leaf remains can be a harboring spot for all sorts of insects, including ants. Keep space around your well clean of any leaf piles or debris.
- Be on a lookout for anthills. If you spot one, be sure to eliminate them.
- Check is the cap of the well in good condition at least once a year. A good working cap can help a lot when it comes to the prevention of ant and other insect infestations in your well.
How to Be Sure That Your Water System Is Clean From Ants?
To be sure that your water system is clean and ready to use, you should do a bacteriological test of the water. The most common bacteria found in insect-infested water systems are coliform bacteria, and they commonly come from septic systems and animal waste.
They end up in your water system by sticking to insects like ants and they carry it into your water. That is why it is important to keep ants and other insects out of your well.
When you conduct the test, a positive result doesn’t always mean that your water is ant infected. Even if your results show positive for bacteria, do a physical search for ants around and in your well.
Only if you actually spot ants near your well, then you have a bacteria problem for sure. Coliform bacteria in most cases won’t affect healthy individuals but can point out the presence of some other bacteria that can cause real harm.
It is recommended to test your water for coliform bacteria once a year, but if you notice the change in clarity or taste of the water, you should do a check as soon as possible.
In What Other Cases Should You Shock Chlorinate Your Well Water?
Shock chlorination should be done in a couple of more cases besides ant and insect infestation:
- Installation of new wells
- Anytime you do any repair on your well
- If any floodwater breached into your well
- In case of installing new equipment like holding tank, pump or pressure tank
- After installing any new piping or plumbing in your system.
How Can You Chlorinate Your Well By Yourself?
There are a couple of steps that you can follow to conduct this process. If after reading this you are still not sure that you can do it yourself, call the professionals.
Step 1 – Store up some water supply before you start because you will need some supplies of water for everyday use.
Step 2 – Chlorination can damage your equipment, so be sure to disconnect all the filters, water softeners and purifiers from your water system.
Step 3 – The width and depth of your well will determine the quantity of bleach you will be using. If you are not sure about the dimensions of your well, contact a local well driller.
Step 4 – Remove the well cap, and apply the bleach directly into the well.
Step 5 – Use your garden hose to do a thorough rinsing of the inside of your well.
Step 6 – First, turn on all outdoor faucets and let the water run on the ground. After that, turn on all indoor faucets and let them run until you smell the strong scent of chlorine from all the faucets.
Step 7 – Let chlorine sit in your well 12-24 hours. That will be enough time for the chlorine to take full effect.
Step 8 – Wash down the chlorine from your well. This might take some time but you must test the smell of water in order to be sure that it is ready for use. Addicianly, just to be sure you can buy this water kit test.
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Which Bleach Should You Use for Cleaning Your Well From Ants?
The best way to chlorinate your well is by using a combination of dry pellets and dry chlorine granules in the mix with water.
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Dry pellets will ensure that your whole well is treated because it will go down behind the pump, and the addition of liquid bleach will do its task regarding your entire water system, like pipes and pressure tank.
You can use common household bleach which contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, or pool chlorine with its 10-12% sodium chlorine. It is not recommended to use pool pellets, because they are not planed for use in portable water.
Ant infestations in your water installation and well is a hazard for your home and you should approach it with special care. Ants carrying bacteria is the last thing that you want in your water.
Besides the physical cleaning and maintenance of your surroundings, cleaning the well requires the use of chemicals, so be sure that you can handle this task if you don’t want to call a professional to help.
If you want to keep your well water and water systems clean and safe for use, be sure to keep your yard clean and neat and do a yearly checkup of all your water and plumbing systems. Prevention is the best cure when it comes to problems that are this serious. It is best for all to avoid the possibility of ant infestation so be sure to maintain all the systems accordingly.
We will keep investigating pest problems in and around your home, and how to resolve them, so if you liked this article please share it! Best of luck with solving your problem.
List of Sources
Insects in Your Water Well, Office of Drinking Water & Municipal Assistance, State of Michigan
Pesticides in Groundwater, U.S. Geological Survey
Protecting Your Well and Wellhead, University of Georgia
Well Owner’s Guide to Water Supply, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Disinfecting Your Well Water: Shock Chlorination, University of Georgia