Worried about why you’re seeing so many of these tiny critters in your shower? There could be many reasons for it – here’s how you can get rid of ants in your bathroom.
The bathroom in your home is no stranger to creepy crawlies like cockroaches, silverfish, centipedes, and spiders. Ants can also appear sometimes – but in certain situations, you will find that they turn up suddenly and in large numbers! And while they’re generally harmless, it could mean your bathroom may attract even more critters.
Here’s how you can find out the cause of ants in the bathroom and get rid of them quickly.
Why are ants in your bathroom?
To be fair, even the best-kept bathrooms can attract ants. That’s because they have all the conditions conducive for ants to thrive – grimy surfaces, a dark and moist atmosphere, enough food sources (from shed hair and skin), and access to water. Even if you clean your bathroom every week, no surface will remain spic and span long enough.
What attracts ants in the bathroom?
Bathrooms are moist, dark, and damp places – all conditions that ants absolutely thrive in. They also have a wide variety of substances – artificial and natural – that ants are attracted to. These include:
- Perfume scents
- Body lotions
- Open toothpaste
- Rotten/degrading hair
Which parts of your bathroom can attract ants?
- Damp and dirty floor mats
- Clogged drains
- Trash cans in the bathroom
- Chemical odors from pipes – especially stagnant water in the plumbing
- Dirt and grime in nooks and crannies
How can you prevent ants in your bathroom?
Your bathroom may look clean and tidy at first glance – but there are nooks and crannies just out of sight where ants can thrive! As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure, and knowing where to look for grime can help you avoid ants in your bathroom. The key to doing that is to be thorough: make it so hard for ants to survive that they don’t turn up in the first place!
- After using your bathroom, make sure you remove steam by switching on the overhead fan or dehumidifier
- Grime can collect in the space between tiles – make sure you clean the spaces regularly to avoid attracting ants
- Make sure you mop up any puddles of warm water on the bathroom floor
- Check and replace dirty bathroom mats regularly
- Clean the area behind the toilet regularly
- Empty your bathroom trash can regularly and wash it with soap water
- Always put your soap in the soapbox
- Unplug and clear your bathroom drain every once in a while
- Seal/caulk any cracks between tiles
How to get rid of ants in the bathroom?
White vinegar is a very efficient solution to rid your bathroom of ants. It interferes with their pheromones, which they use to find their way around. Wiping the sink surface, walls, mirrors, and cabinets with a vinegar solution can prevent more ants from creeping in. However, natural stone surfaces like quartz, marble, and granite cannot be cleaned with vinegar.
This natural ant killer is mildly hazardous to children and animals, so be careful when applying it in your bathroom. It can be sprinkled on your bathroom surfaces and along the tile edges.
Borax is a chemical that is usually found in household products like toothpaste, mouthwashes, and lotions. However, it is hazardous to ants and causes damage to their outer skeletons and digestive systems. You can mix it with peanut butter, honey, or jelly and leave it along the ant trails.
Orange/ Cucumber Peels
Most citrus peels (lemons, grapefruits, oranges) are toxic to ants because of the acidic oil called d-limonene. You can use actual peels or use a citrus-scented cleaner for getting rid of ants.
Ants can find the smell of cayenne pepper, cinnamon, garlic cloves, etc very irritating, which hinders their ability to find ant trails.
Who would’ve thought your usual cuppa could help you ward off ants! After you’ve finished your cup, sprinkle the remaining coffee grounds along the ant trails and watch how it repels ants.
Ants are extremely sensitive to potent aromas – essential oils like eucalyptus, citrus, and cinnamon are great options to spruce up your bathroom and repel ants at the same time. You can soak cotton balls in a mixture of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, water, and pepper and keep it next to the ant trails to repel them.
How to get rid of ants in the bathroom drain?
Ants can crawl up from or into your bathroom drain if you have stagnant water or hair clogged in it. To clean the drain of ants, use a mixture of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar and pour it down the drain. The mixture will foam and produce carbon dioxide which will clear any clogging in the drain and get rid of ants. Once the foaming subsides, pour some hot water down the drain to flush out any remaining material.
If your problem still persists, it’s better to get some professionals to clean your drain for you.
How to get rid of flying ants in the bathroom?
While the tiny black ants can be prevented from entering the bathroom through conventional ways, flying ants are a whole different ball game. Once flying ants get into your bathroom, they can be a nuisance as they buzz around the room.
A great way to get rid of flying ants is to use peppermint oils.
Peppermint smells like a predator to the ants, and thus is a natural deterrent. Simply add 2/3 parts water and 1/3 part liquid dish soap into a spray bottle and add a few drops of peppermint oil. Spray it onto the ants when you see them fly around. The smell of peppermint and the dehydration caused by the soap water will be enough to get rid of them.