How To Get Rid Of Ants in Bathroom

Let’s face it.

Ants in your bathroom can be more than just a nuance.

Sure, it can be annoying when you see ant trails in your trash bin, walls, floors, and tub.

But these ants can do more damage than that.

Ants carry bacteria and can contaminate bathroom items.

They’ll also bite you when threatened.

A common thing that happens is that they get into your towels and bite you as you’re drying yourself.

Some ants can also chew on and damage electrical wires in your bathroom.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about getting rid of your ants in your bathroom.

So you can finally relax and take that peaceful bath you’ve been longing for.

1. Inspect/Monitor Your Home

Inspecting and monitoring are vital for two things.

  • Identifying the type of ant
  • Finding where they live and travel

 

Different species of ants feed and behave differently. As such, they should also be treated separately.

To correctly identify ants, take a photo or capture one ant in your restroom and place it in a container.

If you find a trail, follow it back and try to find the source.

Also, look for ants around the outside your bathroom.

Check both inside and outside your home.

It could be that the ants in your bathroom are nesting in your living room or garden.

If you do spot ants outside your bathroom, make sure they are the same as the ones in your restroom.

It’s not uncommon to have two different types of ants in one structure.

One way to check is to capture one ant from each trail and place them in a container.

If the ants are not from the same colony, they will fight each other.

Follow the ant trails to determine how the ants are getting into your house or if they are nesting in your home.

Keep track of any other locations you see other ants inside or outside your home.

This will help you when placing ant baits in the next step.

2. Eliminate Food and Water Sources

Before treating your bathroom, remove any food and water sources for the ants.

Doing so will help accomplish two things: eliminate ants and keep them focused on your bait.

Water Sources

Check for leaks or areas where moisture is building in your bathroom.

You’ll also want to keep your floor dry. Wipe-down any wet surfaces to remove excess moisture.

If there are wet towels on the floor or dirty clothes on the floor, remove them.

Ants are attracted to these items because they can extract the moisture and salt from these items.

Food Sources

Ants can eat plenty of items typically found in the bathroom, such as toothpaste, soap, water, or hair.

To keep ants away, make sure to keep your soap and toothpaste sealed.

You’ll also want to maintain a clean bathroom and remove any hair stuck on the drain or floor.

Outside Your Bathroom

It’s also a good idea to clean up your entire home. This is particularly true if you see ants outside your bathroom.

Pay attention to eliminating food to areas you don’t typically clean.

For instance, there may be food crumbs under your couch, bed, fridge and stove.

It’s also possible that there are stains of sugar from drinks on your desks or nightstand.

Ants are tiny and can flourish with the smallest amount of food. So be sure to be thorough.

3. Pre-Baiting

Pre-baiting is a strategy that allows you to do three things:

  1. Find the ant trails
  2. Observe and identify ants
  3. Locate the nest

To do this, use a non-toxic piece of food is used to attract ants.

Once a forager finds the food, other ants will follow to gather the food.

Different species of ants prefer to eat different types of food.

Unless you know exactly what ant you have in your bathroom, I recommend testing out both sugar and protein-based pre-bait.

I suggest using a 50/50 mixture of honey and water for a sugar pre-bait.

For protein, you can use peanut butter or spam.

Place these baits wherever you saw ant activity during your inspection.

If there are active trails, you can place a pre-bait on each side to determine which they prefer.

You can also put the bait where ants are known to frequent.

Common locations include guidelines, foundation, along walls, or near moisture.

Make sure to place your bait out of direct sunlight to keep them effective.

You’ll also want to check your pre-baits throughout the day.

Different ants forage at different times.

Carpenter ants, for example, only forage food at night.

While other species of ants, such as Odorous ants and Pharoah ants, are equally active during the day and night.

So, unless you know exactly what type of ant you have at this point, checking your bait multiple times is necessary.

Once you’ve found the trail, follow it to determine where they came from and how they got in—doing so will tell you where to treat the ants.

If there are multiple ant trails, follow each one.

Multiple ant trails could be a sign that there are two ants nests nearby, and you may need to treat each one separately.

4. Identification

Different species of ants are hard to identify from each other because they are small and can look very similar to the untrained eye.

The best way to identify them is by examining their appearance, food preference, behavior, and habitat.

 

Appearance

There are a couple of ways you can examine an ant’s appearance.

First is by capturing one ant and using a magnifying glass to study it.

The second is to use a zoom or macro lens and take a photo to get a closer look.

 

Food Preference

Different types of ants have different diets.

Some ants might prefer sweets and protein, while others might prefer oils and fats.

For instance, carpenter ants prefer proteins and sweets. On the other hand, fire ants will prefer meat and lipids.

You can use the ants’ choice of pre-bait as a baseline for what you’ll use in your bait treatment.

 

Nest Location

Following the trails to find an ant’s nest can help determine what type of ant it is.

Carpenter ants, for example, live inside the wood.

On the other hand, pavement ants may build their nest under concrete and come up through the cracks.

It’s not always easy to determine where an ants nest is.

If you can’t determine where the nest is, focus on the ant’s appearance and eating habits.

Types of Ants Commonly seen in the Bathroom

All ants need a source of moisture.

But there are only a few types of ants that are more likely to hide in your bathroom.

These ants are sometimes called moisture ants because they prefer to nest and live near high moisture areas.

Some of the most common moisture ants to invade your bathroom include:

1. Carpenter Ants

Large, black carpenter

Carpenter Ants may be one of the most likely culprits you will find in your restroom.

They require moisture to survive and prefer to live in damp or rotting wood.

Bathrooms create a perfect habitat for Carpenter Ants.

They offer a consistent source of moisture and a likely place to find damp wood.

Carpenter Ants will commonly live inside wall voids, rotting windows, or door sills.

Carpenter Ant Identification

Size: 1/4″ – 5/8″

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Red and Black 

Pattern: Golden Hairs

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Coastal U.S States From Fl to WA

Food: Sweets, Insects 

Nest: Inside Damp Wood

2. Odorous Ants

odorous ant in group

Odorous ants are another common ant that hides in restrooms.

These ants are drawn to the smell released by drains.

Although you may not smell the drain, ants have extremely powerful smelling abilities.

Odorous Ant Identification

Size: 1/8″

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Dark Brown to Black

Pattern: None, but distinct coconut smell when crushed. 

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Across the U.S

Food: Sweets, Human food (salts, grease, dairy, and protein) 

Nest: shallow mounds, inside wall voids.

3. Argentine Ants

argentine ant

Argentine Ants are another common ant that will invade your bathroom.

They prefer living near a source of water or in damp soil.

This is what makes bathrooms an ideal target for Argentine ants.

Argentine ants can hide or nest inside wall voids, around toilet bowls, or under bathtubs.

Argentine Ant Identification

Size: 1/8″

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Black Body, Yellow Mandibles 

Pattern: No Pattern, Triangular Head

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: West, Southwest, Northwest, and Southeast

Food: Sweets, Seasonal 

Nest: Shallow and Deep Mounds, can create Super Colonies

4. Little Black Ants

Little-black-ants

Little Black Ants are one of the most common types of ants found inside.

They can nest and forage nearly anywhere in your home.

They are known to infest inside of walls and around sources of water or damp wood.

Little Black Ants Identification

Size: 1/16″

Antenna: Bent

Color: Shiny Dark Brown To Black 

Pattern: No Pattern

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Across the U.S

Food: Sweets, Proteins, Oils including human food. 

Nest: Near moist soil, wood, or bricks, wall voids

5. Pharaoh Ants

pharaoh-ant

Pharaoh ants are commonly found foraging and nesting inside structures. 

They commonly hide inside homes in locations that are hard to reach, such as wall void and underneath cabinets.

They tend to place their nests near food and water sources when possible. 

Phoraoh Ant Identification

Size: 1/16″ – 1/8″

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Yellowish-Light Brown to Red 

Pattern: No Pattern

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Coastal U.S States From Fl to WA

Food: Sweets, Protein, Insects 

Nest: Near water sources, common indoors

5. Use Indoor and Outdoor Bait

Ant baits are regarded as the most effective way to treat ant infestations.

Baits are a mixture of attractant and insecticide.

When a worker ant finds the bait, they take a portion of it and tell other workers to bring it back to the colony.

The ants will then place the bait in their food storage area, contaminating the rest of the food.

Eventually, the contaminated food and the bait will kill the entire colony.

There are three factors that go into a successful bait strategy:

  1. The right bait
  2. The right location
  3. Lack of other food Sources

Type of Bait

When selecting your bait, it’s vital that you take into consideration the type of ant you identified earlier.

The easiest thing to do is to choose a bait that has the same base as the ants consumed during pre-bait.

For instance, if they consumed sugar during pre-bait, use a sugar based bait. Conversely if they prefer to eat protein then use that as your base.

If the ants consumed both pre-bait then either type of bait should work.

When selecting your bait, it’s vital that you take into consideration the type of ant you identified earlier.

The easiest thing to do is to choose a bait that has the same base as the ants consumed during pre-bait.

For instance, if they consumed sugar during pre-bait, use a sugar-based bait. Conversely, if they prefer to eat protein then use that as your base.

If the ants consumed both pre-bait then either type of bait should work.

Location

Place ant baits in all the locations where ants were active during pre-baiting.

Doing so will make it a seamless and efficient transition once you apply the bait.

Since bathrooms are small with limited places to put baits, it can be quite easy to place them.

The best place to place your bait in the restroom are:

  • Corners of Sink
  • Under the sink
  • Corners of Walls
  • Corner of Bathtub
  • Top of walls (crown molding)

Other food Sources

Remember to remove any pre-bait or any other food sources that might be around.

It’s best to keep the ants focused on the bait you are using with no other alternatives.

Indoor Bait

Remember to stay away from instant any sprays.

Although these methods are satisfying because they kill ants on contact, they will not eliminate an ant infestation.

Bait stations or gel bait syringes are the best indoor baiting options.

I prefer syringes because they are easy to apply to hard to reach locations.

They are also easy to clean up once the ants have started eating the bait.

Gel bait syringes are also a bit easier to track because you can easily see the amount of bait that ants consume.

Place indoor baits inside your restroom including:

  • Corners of Sink
  • Under the sink
  • Corners of Walls
  • Corner of Bathtub
  • Top of walls (crown molding)

If you spotted ants in other areas of your home, its place baits there as well.

Doing this will ensure that you deliver as much bait to the nest and cover any ant trails from a different colony.

Place indoor bait anywhere you spotted ant trails during the inspection.

Other ideal locations to place bait indoors include:

  • Under appliances
  • Small cracks and crevices
  • Cabinet door hinges
  • Windows or door sills
  • Along walls or cabinets, guides, and baseboards.
  • Near sources of water
  • Near ant trails

I recommend applying small dabs onto 2×2 inch pieces of wax paper.

Doing so will make it easy to keep track of the bait and clean up any gel bait you apply.

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Outdoor Ant Bait

Although it’s not necessary to apply outdoor bait when treating ants in your bathroom, it can be helpful for two reasons.

  1. Increase your chances of eliminating the ant colony.
  2. It can prevent ants from getting into your house in the future.

The best option for outdoor ant bait is using refillable ant baiting stations.

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These are typically stations where you can fill a liquid or gel bait that will attract ants.

Place these stations around the perimeter of your home.

I recommend placing one along each corner or side of your home.

Other ideal places to put bait stations are near ant mounts, in your garden near plants, or near other outdoor structures.

Check your bait stations regularly to ensure that there is still bait inside.

If you notice that ants are not consuming the bait, try using a different bait to attract them.

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6. Nest/Void Treatment

Void treatments allow you to spray inside any cracks or crevices that you inspected ants entering or exiting.

It also allows you to inject insecticide on ant nests located inside the wood or walls.

To do void treatment, drill holes ⅛ inch deep into your wall. Next, inject the wall with a non-repellant spray.

Once done, make sure to fill the voids to prevent the ants from coming back.

One of the most popular forms of non-repellent spray is foam sprays.

You can inject these into drilled holes, cracks, crevices, or voids you may find indoors or outdoors.

The foam will expand throughout the entire void, and any ants that come into contact with the foam will bring the insecticide back to the colony.

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7. Keep Ants Away with Preventative Measures

We’ve all heard the maxim: prevention is better than cure. And when it comes to ants, this is undoubtedly true.

Here are some of the best tips and strategies to stop ants from invading your home:

Eliminate Food

One of the best things you can do to keep ants out of your house is cleaning up any food or water sources.

Store food properly in airtight containers or bags, including dog food.

If you have pets, clean and store food and water bowls properly when they are not eating.

Clean up food preparation areas to remove any food residue and crumbs.

Wipe down surfaces where you recently saw an ant trail to remove ant trail pheromones.

I also recommend cleaning underneath and behind appliances where food tends to accumulate, such as the refrigerator, microwave, and stove.

Another thing that to consider are indoor plants.

Some indoor plants are home to aphids that produce honeydew which attract ants. Indoor plants can also be home to small insects that ants feed on.

Eliminate Water

Ants need water to survive.

If there are no food sources but there is an abundance of water ants will still enter your home.

This is particularly true when the soil outside is dry and they need to find additional sources of water.

Make sure you address any excess moisture issues both inside and outside of your house.

This includes leaking pipes or faucets.

Standing water or overwatering of plants and grass outdoors.

Seal Up Entry Points

The harder it is for ants to get in, the less likely they will enter your home.

Tho keep ants from entering your home seal up any cracks, holes, and crevices around your home using caulk.

Some common places to look outside are:

  • Cracks in foundation
  • Holes or cracks on walls
  • Door or Window Sills
  • Under or around windows and doors.
  • Pipes or Wires that penetrate walls.

Common places to look indoors include:

  • Cracks on walls
  • Around windows and doors
  • foundation or edges walls
  • under sinks where there are pipes
  • electrical sockets

It is also a good idea to apply a dust insecticide into these crevices before sealing them up.

This will allow you to kill any ants hiding inside these voids and give them no way of getting out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Types of Ants Live or Forage in the Bathroom?

All ants need a source of moisture.

But there are only a few types of ants that are more likely to hide in your bathroom.

The ants that tend to hide in your bathroom are sometimes called moisture ants.

This is a group of ants that prefers to nest and live near high moisture areas.

The most common ants to invade your bathroom are

  • Carpenter Ants
  • Little Black Ants
  • Odorous Ants
  • Aregentine Ants
  • Phorah Ants

Why Are Ants Attracted To Bathrooms?

1. Moisture

One of the main reasons Ants are attracted to bathrooms is the constant source of water.

Like other insects, ants need water to survive.

Ants can survive up to four weeks without food but only around two weeks or less without water.

Bathrooms are a great source of consistent moisture.

2. Odor

Another thing that attracts ants to bathrooms is the smell and contents of drains and toilets.

You probably think that your drains don’t smell.

But, while we don’t smell the drains, ants can.

Ants have a fantastic sense of smell, measured as 4 to 5 times stronger than other insects.

3. Other Food Sources

There may be other sources of food inside your bathroom that ants may be attracted to.

In bathrooms, ants can eat toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, and the oil and flakes from human hair.

While these don’t always eat these items, these can attract ants to your restroom.

How To Get Rid of Ants In Bathroom Naturally?

The best ways to get rid of ants naturally is to clean and sanitize your home.

This will and should elimainte many and most food and water sources that attract ants indoors .

You can also use natural chemicals such as borax.

Borax is a common natural chemical used in many professional baits that is highly toxic to ants.

Using borax you can create your own bait that are either sugar or protein based.

Here are some recipes:

  • Combine ½ cup of honey (warm) and ¼ cup of borax. One alternative is using maple syrup.
  • Combine 2 parts peanut butter with 1 part boric acid.

You can combine this by using caulk or putty to seal up entry points inside your bathroom and anywhere inside your home to make it as hard as possible to get in.

As a final repellent treatment, you can use essential oils to repel ants from your restroom.

You can combine orange oil with water in a spray bottle and spray around the corners of your bathroom or any crevices you suspect ants might be entering.

Why Are Ants Coming Out Of My Bathroom Sink?

Ants are likley coming out of your sink after foraging for water.

This likely means that there are ants in your bathroom and if not more will follow shortly after the trail of other ants.

Ants will go inside sinks or drains because they are drawn to the water and odor release by the drain.

The best way to eliminate ants from inside of your sink or drain is to sanitize, use baits, void treatments, and preventative practices.

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