There are several methods of getting rid of ants in the bathroom, including using borax, essential oils, and vinegar.
However, it is essential to understand what attracts ants into the bathroom and the species of ants found in the bathroom to find the best way to address this problem.
Several ant species, including carpenter ants, fire ants, Argentine ants, sugar ants, and pharaoh ants, are attracted to bathroom areas due to the scents and chemical odors that usually emanate from the drains of our home plumbing. Below, I’ll explore several ways to address this issue.
Disclaimer: You should contact pest control if you have an ant infestation. We do not support the use of unregulated pesticides or any other substances in the presence of children and pets.
How to Eliminate Ants in Bathrooms and Toilets
The main reason you have ants in your bathroom could be a steady supply of food and water. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to check if walls and corners are clean and any stagnant water and hairs are eliminated.
Secondly, ants mainly enter the bathroom through cracks and crevices, heating ducts, ventilation openings, and branches or walls near the house.
Other methods you can use include:
1. Maintaining Cleanliness
The most important step in eliminating ants is to ensure that bathrooms and toilets are clean. Ensure that decaying hair and food that clogs the sinks are eliminated as they attract ants. Furthermore, regularly dispose and clean garbage bins.
Mob the floors to getting rid of stagnant water and thoroughly clean walls. The areas of concern when moping should be underneath the sink and behind the toilet bowl.
To clean the sink drains, pour half a cup of baking soda mixed with the same amount of vinegar into the sink drains. The mixture should stay for about 15 minutes before flushing with hot water.
2. Treating Entry Points
After ensuring that the toilet and bathroom are clean, check their entry points and seal them. It is easy to locate ants’ entry points due to their high organization and movement patterns. Ants usually follow a specific route and thus can trail them to where they are coming from.
They could be coming from the outside or a nest in the bathroom, especially on wooden beams, behind walls, or under the floor.
Entry points can be treated with all-purpose roach sprays designed to detract crawling insects from crossing thresholds (also known as ‘surface sprays’).
Related: Do Carpenter Ants Eat Wood?
3. Sealing Cracks
Ants emanating from outside often access bathrooms and toilets through cracks within walls and floors. Therefore, locate the cracks and properly seal them. If there are old caulk, it should be replaced. Additionally, there should be no pathways through which ants can access the bathroom and toilet.
4. Using Sprays and Insecticides
These are the easiest and most convenient tools for eliminating ants. They usually work instantly compared to home-based remedies. Furthermore, they offer a long-term solution to ant problems. There are several brands available in stores such as Raid. Follow the instructions carefully.
If you want to use more powerful insecticides for particularly difficult jobs, you would need to contact a pest control professional.
5. Using Borax
Borax is also as effective as insecticides, but it can be harmful to both humans and pets. Therefore, the precautionary measure should be taken when using borax. To make the bait, you will need to mix 25 percent borax with 75 percent peanut butter.
Similarly, you can use honey instead of peanut butter, but the ratio remains the same. Once you have made the bait, apply it on the ants’ trail. Borax is highly effective as it kills ants in all stages of development.
6. Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are popular but vary in their effectiveness. There are different essential oils, but the most potent is a mixture of peppermint and tea tree oils.
To make the mixture, you will need 15 drops of peppermint oil and 15 drops of tea tree oil, 6 ounces of water, and half a teaspoon of cayenne powder. The mixture should be well shaken so that the cayenne powder completely dissolves. Do not use it near children or pets.
Once you have the mixture, spray it on the ant to effectively kill or repel them. The process should be repeated after a few weeks.
7. Using Vinegar
Some common materials in the house can effectively get rid of ants in the bathroom and toilets. Vinegar solution is the best as it blocks ants’ ability to communicate. Ants rely on scent for direction and communication.
8. Using Bait
If you cannot locate the nest, then another option would be to bait the ants. Some baits such as Abamectin, Hydramethylnon, Sulfonamide and Methoprene can be bought at your local supermarket or from a pest control agent.
However, you can also make your bait by missing boric acid with any sugary substance, e.g., honey, mint-apple jelly, corn syrup or peanut butter. Consult a pest control professional before use.
Why are Ants Found in Bathrooms and Toilets?
Although ants are commonly found in the kitchen and dining areas due to food, they can also be found in bathrooms and toilets. Such areas can provide perfect breeding areas for ants, especially if conditions allow it.
Most ants are attracted to toilets and bathrooms due to their wet conditions. They are commonly found on rotten window ledges. Furthermore, the presence of stagnant water and excessive moisture in toilets and bathrooms can result in ants’ infestation.
Additionally, the dampness of toilets and bathrooms provides a perfect nesting area to breed. Availability of water plays a crucial role in their survival.
Surprisingly, decaying hair is a source of food by providing protein nutrients. It is important to note that not all species of ants are attracted to dampness. Most species prefer warm underground regions.
What Ants Species are found in Bathrooms and Toilets?
Although there are thousands of ants species, only a few species can be found in toilets and bathrooms. Most species prefer to stay in warm and dry areas. The commonly found species in toilets and bathrooms include carpenter ants, fire ants, Argentine ants, sugar ants, and pharaoh ants.
Carpenter ants are highly destructive, and their presence is characterized by sawdust. They measure between (1/4-1/2 inch) and stay inside the tiles and walls of bathrooms and toilets. They are highly stubborn and thus require specialized skill and strategy to get rid of them.
Fire ants are very small, and they usually bite. Therefore, once you identify them, do not get close to them.
Argentine ants usually measure between 2.2 to 2.8mm. Argentine ants are easy to identify as they release a musty odor when crushed.
The pharaoh ants usually measure between 1.5 to 2.2mm, and they are characterized by a pale, yellowish to reddish color. Furthermore, their abdomen is darker.
The sugar ants are the same size as the carpenter ants, but their bodies are brown-orange and have larger heads.
It is very important to take great precautions when you notice the presence of moisture ants as it could indicate a damaged wooden foundation.
Although ants are not considered harmful, they can interrupt our daily activities. Furthermore, they can transport germs to our foods from the bathroom and toilets.
But with these simple home remedies, you can effectively get rid of ants from your bathroom and toilet.
On the other hand, moisture all a blessing in some way as it will help identify cracks on your wall, floors, or leak that has the potential of damaging your foundation.