Ants are pesky little creatures, especially when they enter your home and end up all over the place. Specifically, you may find ants in your bathroom, which is a concern. Fortunately, there is a reason, as well as a number of solutions, for this seemingly bizarre occurrence.
What Substances in Urine Attracts Them?
As it turns out, many species of ants are attracted to urine. More precisely, the glucose content in urine attracts the ants, as do the conditions of many bathrooms.
In other words, in some people, usually those with Type 1 diabetes (diabetes mellitus), their pee has a high content of sugar. Ants use sugar as energy, just as humans use food, so it is no surprise that they enjoy glucose from urine.
If you find ants surrounding your urine and you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, consider consulting a medical professional to figure out if you have diabetes. When your kidneys are not working properly, they do not regulate your glucose properly, which leads to it ending up in your pee.
Although this is not healthy for you, it is great for ants, who see the glucose as sugar that you would find anywhere. If you have ever had sugar ants in your kitchen, this is the same process.
What Else Attracts Them to the Bathroom?
Apart from the glucose in urine, other factors attract ants to your bathroom, most prominently the surrounding environment. Many bathrooms are damp and are thus great places for certain types of ants to live, including large carpenter ants.
Houses, specifically bathrooms, provide ants with the three big necessities: food, water, and shelter. Specifically, some ants thrive in damp, moist conditions such as rotting wood and furniture.
Ants may also be escaping the elements outside, especially in wet and rainy conditions. Most ants are experts at finding little cracks in walls and ventilation ducts and sneaking right into your home.
Items in the Shower: Fragrant shampoos, soaps, and other shower products may attract ants to your bathroom, so be sure to keep the tops of any bottles sealed and contained. Refrain from leaving any shampoo or lotion residue on the surfaces of your bathroom as this can also attract ants.
Toothpaste, foods, and drinks may also attract some types of ants, as well as other insects such as cockroaches. Keep in mind that any items you throw away can also attract bugs such as ants, so remain mindful of your wastebasket to prevent any unwanted four-legged visitors.
Objects Outside the Bathroom: If there are any natural objects, such as bushes, trees, stumps, and more, they can give ants a path to enter your bathroom as well as your house. Firewood, soil, mulch, and other natural elements are places where ants like to colonize, so be sure to place them far away from your bathroom to prevent them from entering.
Although the main things that attract ants are inside the bathroom, namely glucose-rich urine and soap products, there are also a variety of factors that attract them from outside.
Crevices in windows and walls to your bathroom provide ants an entry point, which allows them to reach these foods and shelters.
How Can You Keep Them Out?
As you can see in the section above, you can keep ants out by sealing up any cracks or slits in walls or windows, although you may need to take added steps to keep out stubborn insects.
Non-Hazardous Solutions: If you discover your ant problem early on or if it is still containable, there are a few solutions that you can try. These are only for low-grade ant infestations and may not work with all sorts of ants, although they are worth a shot.
Cleaning your bathroom with vinegar or potent essential oils, such as peppermint or lemon, can ward off ants naturally. Another natural method of keeping ants out is by dropping cayenne pepper near holes or slits in walls and windows.
These solutions will not kill ants and may help repel them. Although ants love sugar, they hate all sorts of spices, including black and cayenne pepper, mint, chili pepper, and many more.
Another non-hazardous solution to get rid of ants is to plant lemon juice, orange peels, or coffee grounds near areas of entry or where you find large concentrations of ants.
Remember that these solutions may not work depending on the type of ants you are dealing with as well as a variety of other factors, including the climate and the conditions in your area.
Hazards of DIY Solutions
Keep in mind that these solutions can actually make your ant problem worse if the ants like your spices or oils. If you see that your DIY ant defense is not working, consider calling in a professional to find and solve the issue.
Do not spray insecticide indoors without proper professional consultation, as this too can do more harm than good. Outdoors, however, insecticide products can help to solve your ant crisis.
How Do You Get Rid of Ants?
If you reach the point where preventing ants from entering your house is no longer possible, you need to focus on getting rid of them once and for all. Although it is a nice thought, preventing all ants from entering your house is not always in your control, although you can take measures to limit their presence.
Ant Killer Products: The first and most direct form of defense against ants is physical destruction in the form of ant killers. There is a variety of commercial ant- and insect-killing products, which may work effectively for your situation, although there are also easy at-home options for getting rid of ants.
One common form of ant killer is silicon dioxide, which essentially sucks the oils out of ants as well as other insects and dries them out. It is also known as diatomaceous earth and is not a poison, although it is dangerous to inhale.
Another commercially available product targeted at killing ants is ant traps, which effectively trap the ants in a sticky solution. If you decide to use these products, be sure to keep them out of reach of curious pets and children as they can harm them.
Vinegar and water are an excellent combination for killing ants on site without spreading any harmful chemicals in your house. You may also want to spray a lemon juice and water solution near any places where you believe that ants are entering.
Getting Rid of Ant Hills: If you want to clear your home of any ant hills, there are a few ways to go about it. Anthills are often the source of large populations of ants that you find in your house and solving the problem before ants end up in your house can save time and effort.
Ants can not survive boiling water. Combining a bit of liquid detergent with a boiling pot of water and then pouring it down an ant hill can end ant issues. Other solutions that you can pour down ant hills are cider vinegar and water mixtures.
Another less violent problem-solver to rid your property of ants is to simply flood an ant colony with a hose for a few minutes every day, consistently. The ants will not usually die, but will instead decide to leave and find a home elsewhere.
Refrain from pouring gasoline or other harmful, flammable chemicals down any ant hills as this is not only dangerous but destructive toward the existing grass and nature surrounding the hill.
What Kinds of Ants Are Common in the House?
Although there are some 12,000 ant variations across the globe, there are three most often found inside houses. Knowing which type of ant you are dealing with can speed up the process of getting rid of them.
- Argentine Ants: Argentine ants colonize in moist environments and like to colonize near food sources. You will often find these ants in bathrooms due to their proclivity for wet conditions. Although Argentine ants do not pose a direct health threat, they can contaminate food and bring a musty smell into your house.
- Carpenter Ants: Unlike Argentine ants, carpenter ants are quite large in the ant world at over half an inch in length. These ants love cold, damp environments and often build their nests in wood. Carpenter ants, in large numbers, can damage property, just the same as termites. For this reason, they can cause damage to houses, namely wooden ones.
- Sugar Ants: As the name suggests, sugar ants like sugar, which they simplify to glucose. The term “sugar ants” encompasses a broad variety of ants, and there is no single definition of what a sugar ant is. You may find sugar ants around your bathroom, as they sense and follow the glucose in your urine.
Ants that are attracted to glucose are also attracted to some people’s urine as it has some trace amounts of glucose. A variety of other factors attracts ants to bathrooms, including shampoos, lotions, liquids, and food.
There are a number of actions that you can take to prevent ants from entering your house as well as several ways that you can get rid of them once they are inside. You can destroy ant hills safely and even without killing ants, if you wish.
There are three common types of ants that enter houses and with the right plan, you can get rid of all of them. Whatever path you take, there are options to solve your issue.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.