Getting rid of ant infestations in your bathroom can be a daunting task. But with a bit of patience and guidance, you can eliminate them quickly.
In this extensive guide to indoor ant control, you’ll learn:
- Top-secret Methods the Pros Use To Eliminate Ants
- How To Keep Ants From Coming Back
- What Attracts Ants to Your Bathrooms
- Types of Ants and How To Identify Them
If trying to exterminate ants on your own becomes too challenging, we recommend Orkin, Terminix, and Aptive. These exterminators have some of the best-trained professionals that can use traps, baits, and other chemically treated solutions that are often more effective than standard DIY methods.
For Terminix quotes, you can reach them at 866-577-5051 or with this form.
For quotes from Orkin, call 866-701-4556, or fill out this form.
For a free quote from Aptive, call 855-521-7075 or visit the company’s website.
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table of Contents
How To Eliminate an Ant Infestation in Your Bathroom
One of the best-kept secrets of controlling ants is to use a shop-vac. Simply attach a crevice tool to your vacuum hose and begin sucking them up. Just be sure to use a strong enough vacuum to handle the job.
If you’re worried about ants escaping, here are a few things you can do to prevent that from happening:
- Empty the tank immediately. Empty the tank outside or into a sealed bag right after you have vacuumed all the ants. This will ensure you don’t release any live insects into other areas of your home.
- Fill the bottom of the tank with water. This will help trap the ants. You can also use a few drops of bleach to ensure the ants die before they escape.
- Line the bottom of the tank with boric acid dust. A small amount of boric acid at the bottom of your vacuum tank will ensure the ants die before you empty it.
2. Spray and Wipe
Bleach and water in a spray bottle is the quickest solution for eliminating ant trails in your bathroom. The downside to this method is that you may get a few ants crawling on you in the process.
As an alternative, you may want to try knocking down foraging ants with an aerosol spray formulated for indoor use. By killing the live foragers first, you reduce the risk of being bitten.
However, be careful not to mix chemicals. The chlorine in the bleach solution does not combine well with the pesticides contained in the ant spray. Instead, use mild, soapy water to clean any residue left by the insecticide.
Several aerosol foggers are available to the public. They come in a wide variety of packaging, but they usually contain the same active ingredient, cypermethrin.
These foggers are strong, making it necessary to leave the room for up to two hours after treatment. In addition, clean-up is essential to remove dead ants as well as any oily residue left behind.
The only time fogging makes sense is if your entire bathroom is covered in ants. Then it may be the only viable option. Otherwise, it’s best to eliminate them using milder methods.
4. Natural Sprays
Essential oil sprays are available to help kill and remove ants from your bathroom. They come in different fragrances such as:
- Peppermint oil
- Tea tree oil
These natural ant repellents help control ants long-term. In addition, they provide a chemical-free alternative to pesticides in your home.
5. Granular Baits
Another secret hack the pros use to manage bathroom ants is the use of granular baits. The trick is to use a product labeled for the type of ants you have. Also, it’s important to apply only small amounts.
For example, when controlling Argentine ants, sprinkle about a 1/4 ounce of granular bait behind the toilet. The sweet attractant will draw the workers toward the plumbing instead of the middle of the room. Once the worker ants feed their queen the poison, the colony will be reduced or eliminated over time.
The greatest advantage to using granular ant bait is its ability to keep working even when wet. It also works well under sink areas where pipes enter the floorboards.
6. Bait Gels
Bait gels are another great method for controlling bathroom ants. They provide an easy way to apply small amounts of ant bait at regular intervals, increasing the chances for quick results.
To use a bait gel, insert the applicator tip and squeeze a small amount into cracks and crevices.
- The space between the bottom of the toilet and the floor
- Loose baseboards
- Pipe entry points
- Small cracks in floorboards
Keep in mind that each species of ant has its preferred food sources, so it’s vitally important to match the correct bait gel with the type of ant you’re treating.
7. Bait Stations
Bait stations typically employ a solid ant killer substance covered by a plastic disk. Usually, two holes are provided, so when the worker ant enters, it can freely eat the bait without being disturbed. Then, when it takes the substance back to the queen, the entire colony eventually dies.
A sugar bait formula is preferred for Pharaoh ants and other species that feed primarily on plant nectars in the wild. These self-contained products typically come in a small plastic tube or vile that you can quickly activate and set. They often last up to three months but can be susceptible to drying out if used in arid climates.
8. What Doesn’t Work
DIY and home remedies often include the use of homemade ant traps consisting of peanut butter, borax, and baking soda. In addition, some advocate spreading coffee grounds throughout your home to get rid of ants. However, there is no scientific proof that any of these measures work to kill them.
When in doubt, it’s best to hire a professional exterminator or pest control company to assist you. At least then you’ll have a qualified expert on your side to help you solve your ant problem.
How to Keep Ants Out of Your Bathroom
Removing freestanding water areas by repairing plumbing leaks is an excellent first step to controlling ants in your bathroom. Also, it prevents wood rot, which may also attract certain ant species.
Be sure to caulk the space between the bottom of the toilet and the floor. This area is where you’ll find the most ants entering your bathroom spaces.
Also, it’s best to seal pipe entry points under sinks. In addition, caulk the areas around faucets and other plumbing fixtures to limit access points.
Wettable powder insecticide sprays work well to repel ants and keep them from foraging indoors. To use, spot treat areas behind plumbing pipes and fixtures. Also, apply to cracks and crevices where ants often gain access to bathrooms.
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) disrupt the development of larvae and slow the ant’s reproductive process. For that reason, it’s a good idea to add IGRs to residual spray treatments.
Be sure to caulk the space between the bottom of the toilet and the floor.
This area is where you’ll find the most ants entering your bathroom spaces.
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Why Ants Would Be In Your Bathroom
The same things that attract cockroaches typically attract ants. Here are a few examples:
- Plumbing leaks. Ants gravitate to stagnant water sources created by plumbing leaks. Repairing leaky faucets and fixtures goes a long way to solving standing water problems in your bathroom areas.
- Easy access to your home. Ants often follow pipes into your house, looking for a plentiful source of water. For this reason, it’s best to completely seal pipe entry points using expansion foam or steel wool.
- Fragrances. Bath soaps and shampoos contain strong perfumes that attract ants, so it’s preferable to store these products out of reach of ants and other insects.
- Available food sources. The tiniest drop of soda or piece of candy on the floor can attract ants. For that reason, it’s best to keep these food sources away from susceptible areas.
Types of Ants You’ll Find in Your Bathroom
Several species of ants invade bathrooms and other indoor locations. The following are just a few examples of the most common ones.
- Pharaoh ants are sometimes called sugar ants since their diet consists primarily of sweet foods. These tiny insects only reach about two millimeters in length and are reddish-brown.
- Odorous house ants are longer than many of the tiny black ants you find in bathrooms, measuring up to four millimeters. They are indigenous to the U.S. and are more common in bathrooms than any other area in your home.
- Carpenter ants build their nests primarily in outdoor locations within dead logs and tree stumps. So, if you see them foraging in your bathroom, that could be an indication of a satellite colony somewhere in your home.
- Argentine ants look like black ants but are light brown when viewed close up. They forage indoors, looking for food and water while keeping an eye out for possible nesting sites.
- Southern fire ants sometimes make their way into indoor areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. But this behavior is rare. Still, it’s a good idea to be prepared, just in case.
A Final Note About Bathroom Ants
The first place you want to start when eliminating ants from your bathroom is sanitation. Be sure to clean the adult ants and any food sources that may be attracting them.
All homeowners should realize several different types of ants can invade your bathroom areas and that each one needs its control measures. The good news is that what usually works for ants also works for roaches and other insects.
Conversely, it’s not all about utilizing pesticides. Many natural solutions to your ant problem are available. But keep in mind that they tend to work somewhat slower than conventional methods.