The revulsion most of us feel when we spot ants soldiering through our bathrooms is something we can all relate to.
You’ve put down poison, wiped with repellents, and drawn enough chalk lines to resemble a preschool playground, but still, they find their way into your bathroom!
How do ants get into your bathroom and how can you stop them from ever coming back?
Discover how to get rid of ants in your bathroom with this easy-to-follow guide.
Why You Should Get Rid Of Ants in The Bathroom Right Now
Ants can transport various bacterial contaminants, just like cockroaches do. This can create health problems for your family such as allergic reactions, skin conditions, and asthma. Ants also cause serious property damage and eat up your bathroom furniture.
Being proactive to prevent ant infestations and dealing with ants in your bathroom as soon as you notice the problem is essential to having a healthy home.
4-Step Guide for Removing Ants From Your Bathroom
Step 1. Locate Ants Nest
Wiping down your cupboards or spraying pesticide on the ants you can see isn’t going to work. Ants may be crawling all over your bathroom, but this isn’t where they are coming from. The creepy crawly lines on your bathroom tiles are usually a symptom that ants have a nest nearby. The ant nest is usually located outside your home or in the basement.
There is an almost endless supply of ants in the nest, and they can track each other’s scent, leading them right back to your bathroom.
Depending on how serious your ant problem is, you may be able to get away with destroying the ant scent trails that guide them towards your bathroom. However, if you have a substantial problem, you will need to destroy the nest.
To find the nest you need to follow the lines of ants, tracking them back to their nest so you can destroy the problem at its source. Track your ant tenants before you take steps to evict them because ants will make a plan and simply find another way in if you block their main route into your bathroom. Once you know where the ants come from, you will know where to focus your ant deterrent efforts.
Pro Tip: Destroy the scent trails to prevent more ants from tracking down your bathroom as a one-stop ant-mart.
Step 2. Identify What Attracts Ants to Your Bathroom
Why are ants coming to your bathroom? You may ask yourself why ants would choose the bathroom and not your kitchen (although, they’ll go there too).
Ants are usually looking for water or a food source. While you may argue that you don’t eat in your bathroom, ants may do just that. They love to nibble on the wood trim of bathroom cabinets and they enjoy making your toilet bowl or shower drain into a margarita bar.
Once you know why the ants are there, you can begin to plan how you will make it less nice for them, encourage them to leave, or simply eliminate the nest entirely. Prevent problems with ants and other insects like cockroaches by removing rotting wood, resealing tiles that are loose, and preventing water leaks in your bathroom.
Step 3. Eliminate Bathroom Ants Attraction
For the most part, ants are attracted to your bathroom as it is a source of water. Leaking pipes, moldy tiles, and dripping taps are all an ant’s idea of heaven. Your first intervention should be to seal up taps by changing out tap washers, fixing leaking pipes, and de-molding tiles and showers to remove any damp that may attract ants.
Also, check your bathroom for any rotten wood as this is like candy to ants as they enjoy eating the fibers and carrying these back to their nests.
Pro Tip: Find what the ants are chewing on or drinking, and you will know what to remove to dissuade them and help them leave.
Step 4. Decide on a Poison to Remove Existing Ant Problems
Eventually, you will have to get serious and eradicate the nest entirely. This is the only solution that will work permanently. Spraying ants in your bathroom will not solve your long-term problem as those ants die, but new ants can simply follow their scent back to your bathroom.
You need to eliminate the nest. The best way to do this is to use these little worker ants to carry poison back to the nest that will kill all the ants. This is known as setting a bait box. Inside this container, you will set down a mix of borax and a sweet lure such as sugar, jam or jelly, or sweetened peanut butter. The borax will dissolve the ants from the inside, and they will carry loads of this poison back to their nest to infect the other ants too.
It’s essential that this poison be kept in a childproof container, especially if you have small children or pets as you don’t want to accidentally poison them.
There are a few commercial bait boxes for ants available that will be child-safe, eco-friendly, and easy to use. These bait boxes or stations are handy for when you notice more than just one or two stray ants. There are also other alternatives available if you want to go the natural route, but more on that later.
Pro Tip: Show ant nests no mercy. Like icebergs, the little nest you see sitting along the corner of your building foundation may really only be the tip of the problem.
Remember, ants are burrowers, and that little nest could extend for several hundred feet in each direction. Deal with ant infestations seriously, and do it fast. A standard nest has tens of thousands of ants in it. They will invade your whole home if left unchecked.
Natural Ant Deterrents and Ant Toxins
Ants are sensitive to a host of chemicals, and you can use any number of items found in your own kitchen to deter or kill ants. One of these is white vinegar. Since vinegar may already be in your shower cleaning spray, you can also use this to spray on the route the ants have followed to enter your bathroom.
The great way in which vinegar works is that it destroys the ants’ scent trails, preventing the other ants from following these route markers back to your home. So, be sure to spray the ants’ entry points too.
Ants are also sensitive to peppermint and tea tree essential oils, so mixing these in a container and spraying it on the invading ants and their entry points will definitely eliminate a temporary ant problem. Dusting your counters and surfaces with baby powder also works as it eliminates the ant scent trails, leaving the ants confused, so they will leave.