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How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom (Ant Removal Guide)

Ants are a pesky problem that can be difficult to deal with, especially in the bathroom. 

They invade the bathroom, crawling over your toothbrush and toiletries as you try to brush your teeth or take care of business. 

If you want to get rid of them, it is first and foremost important to understand why these pests have invaded. 

From moisture ants, carpenter ants, and black ants, it’s time for you to learn how to get rid of them from your home once and for all!

Why are there ants in my bathroom?

Ants may be in your bathroom because they are trying to find a source of food or water. If you have a leaky sink, toilet, or bathtub that stays wet all the time, ants will be attracted to it and eventually invade the entire space.

Warm, moist wood attracts ants

Wood in the bathroom is perfect for ants to nest in. It’s easy to dig through and form. The warmth and moisture of wood can attract different types of ants, especially when it comes to your bathroom. 

Moisture ant infestations are common in bathrooms because these types of insects feed on water sources like leaky faucets, clogged drains, etc.

ants working together 2

Cracks in the walls/floor

Ants often find their way into your bathroom because of cracks in the floors or walls. If there are any, seal them up as soon as possible to prevent ants from getting inside and living somewhere between a crack.

If you have tiles covering your floor, you can look for any broken tiles. Tiles with cracks are typical entrances for ants, as they can easily squeeze through even tiny holes.

Also read: How to get rid of ants in the walls

Ants That Invade Bathrooms

There are several types of ants that like to live in and around your home. One species is the moisture ants (also called sugar ants), which usually invade bathrooms because there’s a lot of moisture in this room (hence the name). 

Moisture ant colonies typically contain thousands upon thousands of individual members who work together to share resources and create new nests when needed.

Ants that frequently invade bathrooms:

  • Moisture ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Black ants

Moisture ant

Moisture ants are one of the most common types of ants in homes. They usually feed on sweets, but can also cause damage to plants and wood structures.

They’ve often been seen nesting under rocks or in rotten logs, where the conditions are filled with moisture. You can spot a moisture ant by its yellow color.

pharaoh ant (1)

Carpenter ants

Carpenter Ants are attracted by water because they need moisture for drinking as well as construction sites for their nests.

If you happen to have any leaks or moist areas around pipes, then that may attract these pests indoors through various entry points such as gaps in exterior doors or open windows/vents.

carpenter ant

Carpenter Ants are notoriously difficult to remove because they can be found in large numbers and also nest outdoors as well, which makes it easy for them to travel within the walls or even through electrical wiring between your home and outdoor nests. 

The most effective methods include using ant bait traps indoors where you see activity near food sources, sealing entry points around windows/doors with silicone caulk/weather stripping foam insulation among other things.

Black ants

Black ants are also known to be attracted to bathrooms because of moisture. They also like sweet food and sugar.

Black ants are, as their name suggests, black in color. They’re not very big, but they can create large colonies that’ll keep coming back to your home. Therefore it’s important to act quickly, once you spot these little bugs.

army ants

How to get rid of ants in the bathroom

If you’re experiencing an ant infestation issue in your bathroom it could also mean there is some sort of crack somewhere allowing for an ant’s easy entrance into the area where most people store their hygiene products (like under sink cabinets).

It doesn’t matter what type of ant infestation problem is causing these critters to invade your bathroom, there are steps you can take right away to rid yourself of the pesky pests.

Read more: How to get rid of ants in your home

1. Identify what attracts them

Ants have a very strong sense of smell. They can be drawn to the food and moisture that’s being produced by things like dish soap or shampoo bottles, toothpaste containers, shaving cream cans, sponges, or rags with soapy residue on them. 

Ants are also attracted to water leaks as well since they need access to water just like any other living thing does. 

If you have an outbreak of ants in your bathroom sink or bathtub drain, check for signs of moisture accumulation or leaks – particularly if the problem emerges following a significant rain when the environment outside has more water through fractures and holes.

2. Follow the trails to the source

When ants find something they’re interested in, they’ll let the rest of the colony know, and they’ll let them know where to find it.

They do so through pheromones.

Ant trail pheromones are chemicals that they release to create a trail. The trail will guide other ants to the destination of the discovered treat. When more ants come through, they’ll enhance the trail by releasing their own pheromones, this way always strengthening the pheromone scent.

By simply following the ants on the trail, you’ll be able to find the source of the problem.

3. Clean up your bathroom/house

One good thing to do, that you should always do when dealing with some sort of pest invasion, is to clean up any crumbs or food particles. Make sure you wipe down your sink, bathtub, and any other elements.

4. Seal off cracks

Ants are able to get in through cracks so you must seal off all of them with caulk or plaster. This will help prevent ants from entering your home. Look for cracks in the floor or on the walls.

Ants may also come in through near the drain, so take a good look at this too.

5. Remove/Kill the colony

The final thing you want to do is remove the entire colony. Please keep in mind that killing just the ants that have invaded your home will not solve your problem. At least not in the long run. If there are ants in your home, it means there’s a nest nearby. 

The best way to get rid of an ant infestation is by removing their food source and getting rid of all the queens. You can do this using different remedies such as insecticides or natural alternatives.

The most effective way is to call pest control though.

How to keep ants away

After you’ve dealt with the ants in your bathroom, it’s time to make sure they don’t come back. There are a few steps you should follow, to ensure that you won’t have future issues.

To keep ants away, you should:

  • Keep the toilet clean
  • Keep the shower/bathtub dry
  • Replace broken tiles
  • Fix your plumbing
  • Ensure proper drainage

Keep the toilet clean

Ants will be attracted to the moisture of the toilet, and sometimes even the germs. For this reason, you should make sure that your toilet is clean.

Keep the shower/bathtub dry

Ants are looking for water to drink, so keeping your shower/bathtub dry will prevent them from entering. If you have a leaky faucet or another source of water that is continuously dripping into the tub then it may be best to just replace the fixture if ants continue showing up even after taking proactive measures.

fixing shower in bathroom

Replace broken tiles

To prevent future ant invasions, you need to seal their entrances. Some of the most common ways ants get into your bathroom are through holes in broken tiles. Take a good look at your bathroom floor and replace tiles that have cracks in them.

Fix your plumbing

Ants will invade your bathroom if there is a leak in one of the pipes. This water drip will attract them and they’ll have to get rid of it themselves, by fixing that leaking pipe or using ant traps to kill them off.

adult male plumber in working overall fixing sink in bathroom

Ensure proper drainage

Another way to prevent ants from invading your bathroom is by ensuring proper drainage. Ants are, as stated many times, attracted to moisture, so make sure there isn’t any standing water in the sink or tub and that the drains aren’t clogged with hair or other debris. 

You can fix a drain yourself, but if you’re not comfortable doing this then call a plumber instead.

How to kill ants in the bathroom

If you’ve had enough of the ants that keep invading your bathroom, it might be time to figure out a way to kill them off completely.

This is done by either poisoning the invading ants, which will then poison the colony, or by going after the nest directly.

There are multiple ways to kill ants, both natural and chemical. Pick the one you prefer for starters, and evaluate along the way how well the process is going.

Sometimes you need to try different methods to have success with ant extermination.


Insecticide spray is an excellent choice, as it comes in aerosol form and will penetrate the cracks where your bathroom ant infestation runs rampant. 

Ensure that you purchase a product designed for indoor pest control because outdoor sprays won’t be effective against ants inside your home. Indoor sprays work by suffocating or poisoning pests on contact with their strong chemicals,  which means they need direct access to the bugs. 

If you’re lucky, the ants will travel back to the nest carrying the poison, which can result in the death of the entire colony.


When borax comes into contact with an ant, it penetrates the protective exoskeleton of the ant and absorbs water from its body. The borax crystallizes inside of the ant, dehydrating it to death. 

This is extremely fast-acting for some species like fire ants, but borax can also kill slowly by poisoning ants. 

When borax is eaten, which causes the ants’ digestive system to stop functioning. This will make it so the ants won’t be able to get the nutrients that are essential to survival. This can take from hours to days to kill off individual ants, and weeks for borax to work its way through the whole colony.

Essential Oils

To get rid of ants in the bathroom, one option is to use essential oils. Essential oils are a great way to keep ants out of the area where you sleep and relax, without using any harmful chemicals or traps that might harm your family’s health. 

Peppermint oil works very well against most ant species including black carpenter ants, while lavender is said to work effectively on odorous house ants. 

Essential oils can be used for both indoor and outdoor ant control when diluted with water (or another safe carrier). It’s important never to put pure essential oil directly onto an insect because it could cause irritation, suffocation, or poisoning since they don’t have lungs.

Cinnamon oil is also one of the popular oils to use against ants. It’ll mainly repel them, but can in higher concentration kill ants as well.


Some people swear by vinegar as a remedy against ants, while others claim it has no effect. If you have it in your kitchen already, you can give it a try, but don’t expect it to work right away.

About Teodoro Pittman

Teodoro is a nature and animal lover. He specifically focuses on insects, such as ants, bees, and the like. In his free time, he takes care of his own ant farm, where he analyzes their behavior. Teodoro has spent the last 7 years studying the intricate behavior of these small creatures.

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