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Wondering, why are there ants in my bathroom? Well, most of us do. Ant infestation is common in homes, especially in the kitchen and the bathroom area.
Apart from carpenter ants, you can also have other species of ants such as Pharaoh ants, Argentine ants, and pavement ants invading your home. And, they can penetrate through the most challenging places — even through your bathroom drains!
Once ants settle in your bathroom, it can be a bit hard to get them out. Plus, if you do not do anything soon enough, they can cause problems in your home’s plumbing system. Fortunately, with some clever tips, you can get rid of the ants in your bathroom. But first, let’s explore the reasons behind the ant infestation.
Why are there ants in my bathroom?
The reason these ants are attracted to your bathroom space is because of the moist environment. Carpenter ants, in particular, love to live inside damp, rotting wooden window ledges and in dark areas where moisture collects. In fact, these black ants are known to attack any wood having moisture content of more than 15 percent.
Basically, ants are able to thrive in a bathroom as they get easy access to water, food, and shelter — thanks to the clogged drains, water puddles, and dark corners.
Steps to get rid of ants
The steps below can help you remove ants from your bathroom, effectively.
Keep your bathroom clean
Ants, like any other house pests, forage for food and water. A good way to keep your bathroom from becoming its ideal target place would be to keep it clean and dry. Make sure there is no decaying hair, dirt, debris, or grime build-up in your bathroom sinks.
Another good tip is to regularly clean out your garbage bins. Keep in mind that dirty residue can attract ants like a magnet.
And, of course, keep up with your regular cleaning and home maintenance plans.
Dehumidify the bathroom
Home kitchens and bathrooms provide the most hospitable environment for ants and other home bugs. The first step is to cut off their source of water. And, for that, you’ll need to eliminate any plumbing leaks and drips in the bathroom. Moreover, you need to ensure that there’s no freestanding water. And, the bathroom sinks are clean as well as dry.
It’s a good idea to open your bathroom windows after taking a shower. A good ventilation system will help prevent any steam build-up that may result in standing water puddles on the bathroom walls and floor.
Track their trail
Ants follow a certain pattern — leaving a definite trail. By tracking these, you can know where they’re coming from. It’s usually through cracks and crevices on the walls and tiles.
That’s why it’s important to replace old or damaged caulk. Ensure that all crevices are properly closed. Sealing the cracks will ensure that all the entry points for the ants are shut.
Replace broken wall tiles
To prevent ant invasion, you’ll need to replace cracked or broken tiles. Remember that these moist tiny spaces provide the perfect environment for ant nesting. Also, regular bathroom maintenance will prevent the ant colonies from spreading.
Ensure proper drainage
There’s no doubt that your bathroom can harbor a lot of moisture. You need to keep your bathroom plumbing system in good working condition. It will help prevent puddles or reservoirs of standing water for long periods of time. Get all your drainage problems fixed, on time.
A natural (and inexpensive) way to keep your drains clean is to pour half a cup of baking soda and vinegar down the sink. After 10 minutes, flush down the mixture with hot water. This natural home remedy will help to clear your plumbing drain and plumbing pipes of grease or any residue.
Eliminate the ant colony
The bottom line is, that you need to eliminate the entire ant colony. But how do you do it? Fortunately, there are some useful ways to get rid of ants in the bathroom naturally. Here are a few things you can use:
Borax mix: Prepare a mixture of peanut butter (75%) and borax (25%). Or, you can also make a liquid sugar concoction (1 cup honey or syrup with ¼ cup borax). Apply this mix to the ant trails and attack them in various stages of their lifecycle. However, keep in mind that this bait may be harmful to house pets.
Essential oils: There are certain essential oils that repel ants and other pesky pests. These include peppermint and tea tree essential oils. For a good combination, mix 15 drops of peppermint oil and tea tree oil each in a spray bottle. Add about 8 ounces of water and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder. Spray this natural repellent throughout your bathroom. Reapply this mixture after a few weeks to maintain its effectiveness.
Preventive measures to keep ants away
A few preventive measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of another ant problem in the future:
- Repair any leaking faucets, roof leaks, and home plumbing problems at the earliest.
- Replace any damaged wood in your home — whether it’s by termites or water.
- Ensure good ventilation in the bathroom.
- Caulk all cracks, holes, and crevices. Especially where the plumbing pipes and wires enter your bathroom as well as the entire home.
- Make sure the bathroom windows and door frames are properly sealed.
- Ensure regular home maintenance and pest control.
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Finding ants living in your bathroom is not uncommon. But, it’s one of the most annoying discoveries. Most types of ant species are attracted to the moisture content, sewage smells, and decaying waste products present in your bathroom.
Let’s just say, a plumbing drain with stagnant water and possibly fermented human hair will create the ideal breeding ground for ants. Therefore, it’s up to you to make sure that that doesn’t happen.
We hope the steps and tips above will help you get rid of the pesky insects once and for all. And, you’ll never have to ask the question, “Why are there ants in my bathroom?”, ever again.