Check out this short and to-the-point guide on how to approach an ant infestation in the bathroom and keep the rest of your home safe.
Can You Find Ants in Your Bathroom?
While it is uncommon to find ants in the bathroom, it’s not impossible. All it takes is one severe infestation in your kitchen, pantry, or another part of your home. Once that happens, if left untreated, there’s no telling where the pesky little pests might set up nests.
Remember that high humidity won’t negatively affect all types of ants. Therefore, some of them might even seek out a bathroom environment.
Types of Ants That Frequent Bathrooms
Carpenter ants may be the most common bathroom occupants. They often nest behind tiles or bathroom walls. That’s because damp areas make it easier for carpenter ants to create a desirable shelter. And, it can also provide them easy access to other areas of your house.
Another type of ant that you can find in your bathroom is the Odorous ant. Although these ants don’t come for the damp environment and to nest, they can still come in search of food. And they have no trouble venturing far off from their colony to find it.
Is a Bathroom Ant Infestation Serious?
Well, let’s look at these two types of ants. Carpenter ants are known to be harmful to most homes. Their burrowing and rapid growth cycles can cause extensive damage to your bathroom walls, electrical wiring, and they can even cause tiles to fall off the walls.
Indeed, they don’t pose such an immediate threat as termites, but you still shouldn’t risk letting too much time go by before you do something about them.
Odorous ants won’t burrow away through your house. However, they carry bacteria. Apart from that, they also emit a very potent odor (hence the name) if stepped on or when dead. That can cause a lot of discomfort and make your bathroom into a less sanitary environment.
Targeting the Nest
The best way to kill ants is to target their nest. If you can locate it, then you should focus all your efforts directly on it. And by efforts, I mean using an insecticide to kill the ants inside the nest as fast as possible.
You can use various toxic and non-toxic sprays, baits, and other solutions to exterminate a nest. Most of them will start working within minutes. Therefore, there’s no need to call an exterminator. Of course, if the situation is out of control, then you should call a pro.
Killing Ants as You See Them
You won’t always be lucky enough to locate the nest, especially if you have a carpenter ant infestation, and they’ve built the nest behind walls. If that’s the case, you’ll have to kill them as you see them.
But, remember that you also have to kill the ants that you don’t see. In such cases, it’s better to go for a slow-acting or slow-release poison. I recommend using bait stations in this situation.
You can monitor the ant activity in your bathroom. By carefully following where they come from and where they’re going, you can make sure that the bait stations you set down will always be in their direct path.
That way, ants will carry the poisoned food back to their colony, thus spreading the poison throughout the nest. This method may take a bit of extra time, but it’s just as effective in the long-run.
Types of Insecticides
With insecticides, you always have but two choices. You can go with the synthetic options, which include various desiccants and poisons that target the nervous system of the insects.
These can be very powerful and get the job done in minutes if not seconds. They’re also quite cheap, so there’s no need to worry about money. However, you’ll want to close off your bathroom for at least a few hours while the treatment is working.
After that, once you’re sure you can’t see any more ant activity, be sure to wash the insecticide off so that you can allow your pet and kids safely back.
You can also use traps as an alternative. That’s more effective against ants that won’t nest in your bathroom. But if you’re dealing with carpenter ants, then baits are not an optimal solution. That’s because you won’t be able to get to the unhatched eggs, larvae, and other ants inside the nest, only those that venture into your trap.
Most ants take residence inside a home for a single thing – food. So, do you have any food sources in the bathroom? Some homeowners may keep pet bowls on the bathroom floor. That can be appealing enough to most ants to make them visit your bathroom or nest in it.
Is your bathroom close to a food source? Is it very damp, or do you have some leaks? Ants can also move into your bathroom to be close to a water source.
Of course, some species, as already mentioned, may move in and nest because they like damp environments.
Check each of these things and fix what you can to avoid having to spray the bathroom too often with a repellent. Also, you should block out any entry points such as cracks in the foundation and around the windows.
In some cases, the bathroom might be an access point for ants and not the nesting location.
Act Quickly and Keep Your Home Safe
Dealing with an ant infestation in your bathroom is much easier than treating for one in other areas of your house. You can use any type of insecticide you want much more safely since it’s unlikely that it will affect your food.
But the most important thing to remember is to check your bathroom thoroughly. Even if you don’t see ants roaming freely during the day or night, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Do this to prevent a more severe infestation and to prevent them from spreading unwanted bacteria.