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Ants in Well Water

Eoghan McCloskey

Though earwigs are the insects most commonly found in water wells, ants or indeed any insect species that lives near a water well may forage inside the well. These insects should be controlled as soon as they are observed, They can carry bacteria and other contaminants that can present sanitation issues for your well water supply. You can easily control ants foraging in a water well using a well-designed control strategy.

Ants in Wells

The easiest way to confirm an ant infestation in your water well is to simply observe the ants themselves, but ants do not always make their presence known so conspicuously. Check faucets, pressure sprayer, showerheads and any other water appliances in your home for insect parts, and inspect all outdoor components of the well system for evidence of ant activity. You can often follow the ants you observe in order to find the ant mound from which they are coming.


Careful preventative steps can eliminate an ant problem before it even occurs. Water well parts manufacturers offer insect-proof well caps that are designed to deny insects entry into the water well. Have one of these caps installed on your water well, and maintain it regularly to ensure that it stays in good working order. Eliminate any ant mounds you find in the yard with a granular insecticide to prevent the ants from traveling near the well.

Control and Removal

If you find ants in your well water system, you need to employ reactive, rather than preventative, control measures. Flushing out the entire well system is typically sufficient to remove ants and ant parts in the system. But a critical secondary measure is to disinfect the well system using a shock chlorination procedure. This procedure eliminates any bacteria in the well water that the ants might have carried in with them. Shock chlorination can be performed at home; but because of the potential dangers of adding chlorine bleach to your water supply, it is sometimes preferable to have a professional perform the chlorination.

Preventing Future Problems

Preventing future ant infestations in your water well essentially involves exercising control on the entire outdoor area around your well. Keep lawns close-mowed, and eliminate tall weeds or other tall vegetation. Regularly clean up or remove woodpiles, leaf debris and other potential harborage sites for ants and other insects. Eliminate any anthills you find in your lawn, and have your well cap inspected at least annually to make sure that it is in good enough working order to prevent ant entry into the well water.