Ants in Chattanooga

Image via Flickr by iainrmacaulay

Ants. They’re tiny, they’re fast, and they can infiltrate your home anywhere and anytime. One of their favorite places to reside is in the bathroom, which provides an ideal environment for creating a nest. We will discuss how to remove ants in the bathroom.

Why Are There Ants In The Bathroom?

Water attracts ants. What better place to find a constant water source than the bathroom? With remnants of water standing in the bath or shower, and water in the drains, or even around the base of the toilet, there’s constant access to moisture, which ants need, especially when breeding.

Ants are industrious insects, and finding a way into your home is easy. When there are cracks and crevices in the flooring, walls, and baseboards, around pipes under the sink, around windows, and heating and air conditioning ducts, ants will find these entry points and use them to access your home. Not only will ants have access to water, but they will also have access to food sources and areas where they can build their nests.

If you see one or two ants scurrying around in the bathroom, chances are, there are many more nearby. Whether they’ve established a nest within your home or they’re coming in from outside in search of food or water, the chances of a full-blown infestation are high.

Types of Ants found in the Bathroom

There are more than 12,000 species of ants. Several stand out as the most common found in bathrooms due to the availability of moisture and potential food sources. These are carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants, odorous ants, ghost ants, and Argentine ants. Each of these species is drawn to wet, moist, and damp areas.

Flying ants may also find their way to the bathroom. These ants are in reproductive mode and have wings to assist them in finding a mate. It isn’t uncommon to have a swarm of flying ants in the bathroom if there are easily accessible entry points from the outside.

Colony Nest Location

Ants in the bathroom
Image via Flickr by treegrow

Ants build nests and create colonies in a variety of places such as behind walls, under flooring, and inside wooden support beams. Their main colony nest may be located outside the home, with the bathroom providing a secondary nest location. With either situation, it’s necessary to seal any entry points to prevent an infestation.

Outdoor colony nests, such as those for carpenter ants, use moist wood as the home base. Carpenter ants are found in tree stumps, rotting trees, and stacked logs. If carpenter ants have access to your home, the damage can be significant as they tunnel into wood materials, causing structural damage.

How to Get Rid of Ants

Several preventive measures can help prevent ants from entering your home. Begin by finding the entry points where ants are accessing your home. Next, look for an outdoor nest and destroy it.

  • Caulk and seal around window and door frames, receptacles, attic vents, ductwork, around pipes in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, and any interior and exterior cracks and crevices.
  • Clip shrubs and tree limbs that come in contact with your home
  • Remove any wood debris near your home. Replace any water-damaged or termite-damaged wood; this includes firewood, which are prime nesting areas for carpenter ants.
  • If any plumbing problems result in pooling water, such as leaking sink, shower, or bathtub faucets, have these replaced.
  • Don’t allow water to stand in the sink, shower, or bathtub.
  • Empty the trash can frequently.
  • Keep counters free and clear of food and place sugar-based items in containers because sugar is the main food source for ants.

Getting Rid of Ants Naturally

Once you’ve sealed the entry points into your home, you can concentrate on removing the ants already in your home. Several non-toxic methods are both safe and effective.

Two essential oils effective in eliminating ants without the use of chemicals are peppermint oil and tea tree oil. A side benefit is a refreshing aroma both oils generate.

A simple blending of the two oils makes a powerful solution to removing ants in the bathroom. To create a convenient spray, blend 20 drops of each oil and top off with water. To add an extra dose of power, add a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper.

Shake the bottle to blend the ingredients, then spray the ants directly. You’ll also want to spray the ant trails to address those coming into the bathroom through entry points. For additional coverage, moisten a cotton ball with the essential oil solution and coat the baseboards. A coating of the fragrant oil will help keep ants at bay.

Another option is to make ant baits. There are three common baits with each using a form of sweetness blended with borax to attract the ants. One bait trap contains maple syrup (heated), one with powdered sugar, and one with peanut butter.

Create traps using each of the three sweet ingredients and borax. Having a mixture of choices provides the opportunity to see the different types of ants in the bathroom. You’ll also target ants in the various stages of their lifespan.

Place the bait traps in several locations and leave them to do their job. If you have children or pets, using bait traps may not be an option. If you choose to use bait traps, keep the bathroom door closed while the traps are in place to prevent children or pets from wandering in and accessing the deadly treat.

Professional Services

Like any pest infestation, once it takes hold and the insects multiply, getting them out of your home can be a challenge. Ants are no exception. When you’re faced with an infestation, you can do your part using natural remedies to set the stage for contacting a pest control company.

With a scheduled inspection/assessment of the infestation, an expert technician will provide options for removing ants, implement a plan of action, and offer a guarantee for their services.

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