How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom
Keep your home toxic-free by using natural remedies to rid your bathroom of ant invaders searching for food and water.
It's not your bath gel or fruity soaps they're after. The ants that seem to hold conventions in your bathroom are there other reasons: water and food. Drains with stagnated water and the musty odors emanating from delicious dead hair send signals to ant colonies. Locating the origin of the ants and building a blockade at the entrance are just the beginnings of ridding the bathroom of these pests. Environmentally friendly remedies should control the infestation and allow you to reclaim your bathroom.
The Vinegar Solution
Locate the entry point, which usually is a windowsill or vent leading to the exterior. Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Spray from the inside of your bathroom. If you can, spray outside where the ants come into the house. The odor of the vinegar destroys the attracting scent. Trace their tracks back to where the queen lives, and give it a good shot of vinegar as well. Do this several times. Turn on the vent in the bathroom to rid the room of the vinegar smell, which diminishes in a short time.
Just as scorpions are repelled by lavender, ants turn around when specific herbs are in their path. Put a line of bay leaves or strew cloves at the entry point. Cut a muffin paper down to about 1/2- inch in height and fill it with cinnamon, cayenne pepper or peppermint leaves. This doesn't solve the exterior problem but it does keep the ants out of the bathroom.
Combine water and dishwashing soap in a spray bottle and squirt the entry point. Ants are diverted because the soap destroys the pheromone trail that's leading them to the bathroom. You'll have to do this several times, reapplying when the soapy water dries. Use the same treatment on the outside of the house to deter the ants.
Essential Essential Oils
Ants smell through their antennae. The food-hunting ants detect a source and mark the route from the nest to the food. The nesting ants get into line, smell the food and march toward it. That path must be disrupted, and essential oils create a shield between the hungry ants and the food or water.
Combine the ingredients in the spray bottle and saturate the entry point. Repeat frequently until the ants do not return.
Pour a cup of vinegar down the bath or shower drain to neutralize the scent of hair and dilute the standing water. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Flush the drain with cold water.
Things You Will Need
- 1/4 cup purified water
- 1/4 cup vodka (no sipping)
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 15 drops tea tree essential oil
- 7 drops citrus or 1 to 3 drops clove essential oil
- Spray bottle
Inspect the pipes under the sinks and the toilet for dripping water. It's an ant attraction. Close all bottles securely, and wash off any soap or shampoo that has dripped on the bottle exterior.
Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.