How do I Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom?
It is not uncommon for ants to be found in our bathrooms. This is primarily because many ant species are attracted to the scents and chemical odors that usually emanate from the drains of our home plumbing. Normally, a plumbing drain that has not been used for some time will contain stagnant water and possibly with fermented human hair. What else attracts ants to our bathrooms? Moisture, food source, and water are also constant contributory factors. Is there a cause for alarm for the presence of ants?
Did you know that there are different types of ants that can be found in an average home? Usually, the ants that you can find are carpenter, odorous, black, pharaoh, or sugar ants. Do you need to identify the type that you are having problems with? So what types are usually found in the bathroom?
The Moisture Ant
What types of ants are in the bathroom? There are roughly around 700 different ant species in the California area alone. Not all of these species may enter and nest in your home. Some of these ants would simply pop into your home because there is an open source of water and food. However, when moisture ants are present, there may be a cause for concern.
Moisture ants have workers that are yellowish in color and are about 4 to 4.5 mm in length. What is the problem with the presence of this ant species? These ants get its name because of its habit of nesting in various high moisture areas. When these ants nest indoors, it means that wooden floors or foundations may have moisture damage. This is particularly true in bath traps for example.
What does this indicate? The presence of moisture ants can be translated to the presence of plumbing leaks in various areas of your home including crawlspaces. This means that you would have to act immediately to replace the damage wood as well as fix the leak in your home plumbing.
Addressing the Problem
Many homeowners attribute the presence of ants in the bathroom to the summer season. Unfortunately, it may also be a sign of something far worse. So, what can you do with this ant problem?
Hot, wet wood will always be an attraction, and you will find this in ample supply in your bathrooms. The water that leaks into the wood may come from the area around the tub or sink. Naturally, you would have to ward off the attraction by sealing all the cracks in your bathroom including those found between tiles as well as the tub rim.
It also helps to keep the shower dry to ensure that moisture is kept in check. When applying caulk, make sure to give it ample time to cure; this means not using the bathroom for at least a day. Clean the showers with cleanser and brush regularly and remove any accumulated hair from the stopper at least once a week.
Keeping it Clean
Ants are known to forage for food and water. So keeping your bathroom and home clean would prevent ants from making it a target. Decaying hair, dirt, and food that build up in home plumbing sinks look like a food buffet for ants. Garbage bins should also be properly disposed and cleaned regularly because the residue will also attract ants.
Pouring half a cup of baking soda with equal amounts of vinegar down the sink can help to clear the plumbing drain of grease and food residue. Allow it to stay in the drain for at least 10 minutes before flushing it down with hot water.
This home remedy coupled with sensible and regular cleaning habits can help keep ants off your home plumbing system for a while. Why only for a while? Because you can never tell if there will be food and other residue that sticks to the lining of your plumbing pipes that can attract more ants into your home. It is also difficult to tell if there are leaks behind walls and foundations of your home until it is almost too late.
What you should do
So what are the steps on how can you get rid of ants in your bathroom? There are some steps that you have to follow in order to effectively get rid of ants in your bathroom. Luckily, you don’t need a strong background in science to do this. What should you do? Follow these steps.
1. Identify the attraction
Just like any type of insect or animal on earth, ants wonder off to find food and water. This is the reason why the kitchen and bathroom are common problem areas.
So the first step in getting rid of ants in your bathroom is to cut off their source of water by eliminating drips and leaks.
Make sure there are no freestanding water and the sinks are regularly wiped down to free them from condensation.
2. Look at the trail
Ants are so organized that they follow a certain pattern by leaving a trail. What is the importance of these trails? This will allow you to track how they get to your bathroom and where they are coming from. It wouldn’t be surprising that they are using cracks on walls and tiles to get into your bathroom.
Make sure that all crevices are properly closed and old caulk replaced. Ensure that the outside areas of your home do not provide access for the ants to get into your home and eventually into the bathroom.
3. Eliminating the colony
Since the ants are hunting for food and water, whatever they find, they will surely bring back to the colony. By eliminating the colony, you get rid of the ants in your bathroom permanently. But how do you do this?
- 1. Borax – before using this natural solution it is important to note that it can also be harmful to humans and pets. Prepare a protein-based bait using a mixture of 75% peanut butter and 25% borax.
Another bait is liquid sugar using a cup of honey or syrup mixed with a quarter cup of borax.
The last is a solid sugar bait that is made from 3 parts powdered sugar mixed with 1 part borax. These baits should be applied to the trails to attack all the ants in various stages of their lifecycle.
- 2. Essential oils – ants are sensitive to almost all types of essential oils. One of the most potent in getting rid of ants is the combination of peppermint and tea tree. This affordable and completely natural repellent is powerful and easy to apply.
-Simply spray it to instantly kill the ants. It can also be sprayed outdoors to prevent ants from coming into your home. You would need to reapply this mixture after a couple of weeks to remain effective.
-Mix 15 drops of peppermint oil with 15 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Put in 6 to 8 ounces of water and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.
-Mix them vigorously until the cayenne pepper powder is completely dissolved in the liquid solution. You can use a cotton ball doused with the mixture for heavy infestation.
-Place it near the source of the trail to ensure that it becomes an effective repellant.
It is not easy to get rid of ants in your bathroom, but, if you do not do anything, they can cause problems in your home plumbing system as they seek sources of water. Whatever type of plumbing problems you may experience, make sure to contact Scott English Plumbing to benefit from their more than 19 years of plumbing experience.