It may seem odd to find ants in your bathroom, especially if your kitchen is stocked with delicious food. But ants can invade any area of the home. Like any other creature, they’re just looking for food, water and shelter. They may just find what they’re looking for in your bathroom.
Regardless of how or why they got there, it’s important to get rid of the ants that are making your home their home.
In this detailed guide, we’ll explain:
- Why there are ants in your bathroom
- How to get rid of the ants in the bathroom
It’s important to understand why there are ants in your home in the first place. If you don’t address the root cause of the problem, you can expect to find more ants in your bathroom in the near future.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom
- How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Bathroom Quickly and Painlessly
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom
Before you start trying to get rid of ants, it’s important to figure out why they’re there in the first place. Only after you’ve figured out and addressed the cause can you really get rid of the infestation.
Why are There Ants in the Bathroom?
Why would ants choose a bathroom over a kitchen? Moisture. Earlier I mentioned how ants are looking food, water and shelter. Your bathroom may have the water the ants need to thrive.
Carpenter ants, for example, are notorious for creating nests in damp, rotting bathroom window ledges. Ants can enter a home in a number of ways, and your bathroom may just be the easiest way to infiltrate your space.
Ants get creep through:
- Heating and air conditioning ducts
- Cracks and crevices in foundations and windows
- Ventilation openings inside of the attic
- Where shrubs, tree branches and electrical lines meet the house
Your bathroom may be the easiest point of entry to a food source somewhere else in the home. Of course, there may also be some kind of food source in your bathroom that’s attracting the ants.
When trying to find out the root cause of the problem, look for three things in your bathroom: pungent odors, food and moisture.
Need to hire an exterminator? Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.
Follow the trail of ants to figure out where they’re coming from and where they’re going.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Bathroom Quickly and Painlessly
If you’ve figured out why there are ants in your bathtub or bathroom window, the first thing you should do is get rid of the cause.
This may mean:
- Removing freestanding water
- Sealing cracks and gaps in the walls and windows
- Removing food, including pet food
- Fixing leaking pipes
Keep Your Bathroom Squeaky Clean
The first and most important step is to ensure that your bathroom is squeaky clean – every corner and crevice.
Mop and dry the floor, especially behind the toilet bowl and under the sink. Remove any excess water you find anywhere in the bathroom, and don’t leave trash in the bin for more than a day.
If your bathroom is clean – no food or freestanding water – ants won’t have a reason to come back. You’ll have to be diligent and clean the bathroom daily, but it will be worth it when you’ve completely eliminated your ant problem.
Seal Entry Holes
The ants are obviously getting into your home somehow. Find their entry point, and you can help stop them from coming back.
Finding their entrypoint is the tricky part.
One of the best ways to pinpoint where the ants are coming from is to follow their trail. Keep in mind that ants can crawl through the smallest of spaces, so they may be getting through a tiny crack in the wall.
Caulk any cracks or crevices you might find along the ant trail – no matter how small.
Lay Traps or Bait
If you want to make sure that the ants don’t come back, you have to kill the colony. It sounds harsh, but you’ll be fighting an uphill battle against the ants if you don’t exterminate the colony itself.
Traps and bait can help.
Bait stations are the simplest solution. These are pre-filled traps that contain a toxic liquid. The liquid smells and tastes great to ants, so they pick it up and take it home to the nest. The ants share the liquid (i.e. the poison) – including the queen – and eventually, they all perish.
These stations can be laid along ant trails to ensure that they take the bait. Keep these traps away from pets and children. The liquid is toxic.
If traps aren’t the best option, you may consider a gel instead. Gels can be applied directly to cracks, crevices and other hard-to-reach places. These gels work just like the liquid bait traps. The ants bring them back to the colony and share the bait.
It may take a few days (or a week), but the entire colony will be wiped out by the poison. Once the queen dies, the entire colony will quickly die along with her. As long as the queen remains alive, she will just keep producing new worker ants to forage for food. If you really want to eliminate the colony, you have to get rid of the queen. Bait traps are usually the most effective way to do that.
Try a Natural Insecticide
If you prefer not to use toxic chemicals to get rid of your ant problem, a natural insecticide may be a good solution.
- Add 15-20 drops of peppermint oil and 15-20 drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle filled with water.
- Spray the ant trails and entryways with the solution.
Alternatively, you can soak cotton balls in the solution and place them into openings in the walls or windows. Make sure that the cotton balls are placed out of reach of pets and children.
The tea tree and peppermint oils will kill ants that come in contact with it, but the smell will also deter them from coming back in the future.
Keep this spray on hand to use in other parts of your home if you find more ants.
Use Boric Acid to Kill Bathroom Ants
Boric acid is a natural ant killer, but you still have to be careful about where you put it. It can be slightly toxic to pets and humans, although some might argue otherwise.
If you don’t have children or pets to worry about, you can simply sprinkle the boric acid along the edges of the window or room where you see ant activity.
You can also create your own bait using boric acid using a mix of boric acid, sugar and water. Many people prefer to dip cotton balls into the mixture, and place the balls along ant trails or cracks and crevices. The sugar and water will attract the ants and encourage them to take the bait back to the nest. The boric acid will kill the entire colony.
How exactly does boric acid work to kill ants?
When ants consume boric acid, it poisons their stomachs and affects their metabolisms. The abrasive nature of the powder also affects the ants’ exoskeletons.
Just like with the liquid baits that we talked about earlier, the ants will take the boric acid back to the nest, where they will share it with other members of the colony.
Use Bait Along the Exterior of Your Home
If you’re not having any luck getting rid of the ants inside of your home, you may want to try attacking them outdoors.
How can you do this?
One of the simplest solutions is to use outdoor bait products. You can find granules and stakes that you can place along the exterior of your home. These products work in the same way that liquid bait works. They contain similar insecticides and are designed to be attractive to ants. The ants take the bait home, everyone shares it, and after a few days, the entire colony dies.
Outdoor products are certainly worth trying if you’re not having any luck with indoor traps and bait.
Call an Exterminator
If all else fails and the infestation has gotten completely out of control, it may be time to call an exterminator. We recommend exterminators as a last resort because they’re expensive, and they use really harsh chemicals that you may not want in and around your home.
Most people, with patience and diligence, will be able to get rid of the ants in their bathrooms by following the steps we’ve listed above.
Ants don’t invade homes for no reason. If you have little black ants in your bathroom, it’s because they’ve found food and/or water.
Eliminate their motive, and you’ll give them no reason to come back. After you’ve eliminated the colony, it’s important to make sure that they don’t come back. This means keeping your bathroom clean and dry. This also means sealing up any remaining cracks and holes that may be giving them easy access to your home.
Once you’ve gotten rid of your ant problem for good, you’ll have the experience and know-how to tackle future infestations.