Ants in Your Closet – How to Get Them Out!

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Coming home from a holiday or back from a trip to find that your wardrobe has started playing host to a colony of ants is always a skin-crawling experience.

They are all over the coat the floor and the walls of your wardrobe. They can deliver a nasty bite in some circumstances, depending on the variety of ant.

But don’t panic! In this article, we are going to cover some super simple tips and tricks to help you get rid of the infestation and reclaim your favorite shirts and jackets.

Why Do I Have Ants in My Closet?

Before we start delving into the ways to get rid of these irritating little minibeasts, we have to look at some of the reasons why the ants may be attracted to your wardrobe in the first place.

Once we have had a look at these, it will be easier to determine a way to get rid of them.

This may come as a surprise, but ants are not interested in that pair of Gucci jeans, or the Boss shirt you have been hiding away for special occasions.

Unlike many other bugs and pests, ants don’t eat fabric so your clothes are safe.

The most common reason for ants to be inside your closet is often the most simple reason; they are passing on by. Ants often use spaces behind wardrobes, closets, and chests of draws to move around your home.

They will often take the path of least resistance, with the highest protection, which can sometimes be your closet.

It is best practice to pull out your wardrobe and check behind it, there will often be a space behind, along with the skirting board which the ants use to pass through the walls and into the room. If you have a closet, the same principle applies, find the hole, get it sealed.

If you notice that the ants are hovering over a certain garment, usually the one you wanted to wear, you have to think about why they are there in the first place.

As I have previously mentioned, ants aren’t interested in fashion, but they are interested in food. Sugar, juice, and syrup are just some of the reasons why ants are attracted to particular pieces of clothing.

If you are looking to avoid these pesky creatures getting into your clothing, check your closet for spillages that have accrued throughout the day, and if you find any, get those clothes into the washing machine.

When it comes to ants, it’s not personal, they just want food and free reign of your house to march through towards their next feeding spot.

How Do I Get Rid of Ants in Closet?

We have covered the “why,” now let’s look at the “how” concerning removal rid of ants from your closet and clothing.

A word of warning before we go on – it is advised that you don’t use ant sprays and insecticide sprays inside your closet or onto your clothes. They are harmful, so you would want to avoid these chemicals getting saturated into the material on your clothes.

If spraying is needed for any reason, then it is best practice to call in a professional. We will now cover a few of how you can deter, defend against and defeat ants that stray too far into your home.

Clean Up

Ants are masters of seeking out food, wherever it may hide. They march for hours around your home, looking for easy sources of food to scavenge and bring back to their nest.

Ants are attracted to sweet smells, most are omnivorous, and will consume pretty much anything, however, if there are sugary treats left out and about in our homes, this is where we are most likely to find out persistent little friends feasting.

Make sure you are keeping on top of your home cleaning, as well as regularly washing your clothes that you have been wearing out and about. You will be surprised when you find that half-opened sugar packet or your half-opened pack of gum in your old jacket.

If you focus on keeping your wardrobe clean and your house free of residual food sources, this will reduce the likelihood of ants straying in from the outside.

Use Ant Bait

Using ant bait is one of the most common ways for us to kill off the ants in our wardrobes and closets. There are two ways in which you can get your hands on some ant bait:

  • Buy it ready for use
  • Make it yourself

Pre Mixed Bait

If you are looking to save yourself the hassle of mixing the bait from scratch, there are a great number of baiting options out there.

The Terro T300 liquid ant killer pod is an exceptional bait kit if you are looking for a simple to use ant bait solution. The bait works in a very simple way, it attracts the ants to the bait pod.

once inside, the ants can grab some bait and take it back to their nest. The bait is sweetened to ensure that it’s attractive to the ants.

Once inside the ant colony, they will start to feed on the bait (which, of course, is poison). This simple exposure technique is a bit of a slow burner, however, it is highly effective for killing off ants.

The poison works slowly, shutting down the ant’s digestive systems until they eventually die, and due to the sharing of food amongst ants. This means that the whole colony will be affected, not just a few.

If you are looking for something which is slightly more accurate and easier to apply in harder-to-reach areas, the Combat Syringe is a fast and effective way to kill off ant colonies, without having to leave pods all over your house.

The Combat Max works in a very similar way to the Terro, however, it simply leaves the poison in a glue-like substance, which will attract the ants to feed.

DIY Bait

A simple way to mix ant killer yourself is to get hold of some boric acid, mix it well with honey or syrup and leave some in more prominent ant-infested areas, this works in the same way as the premixed poisons above.


Ants can be a nightmare. However, with the right precautions and some forethought, they can be avoided.

By keeping a clean home and using some of the methods described above, you can prevent and kill any ants that dare to stray into your closet.

Just be mindful that once you have killed off the infestation, you wipe away the pheromone scent trails that the ants have been using to travel. This will deter any more ants from following in the steps of their forebearers and getting back into your closet.

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