How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

Finding ants inside your dishwasher can be irritating. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to this issue.
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Finding ants in the kitchen is a common issue among many homeowners. No matter how clean or cautious you may be, there always seems to be at least a few ants that find their way inside your home and in the kitchen to search for food. Ants can make their way into any little corner and crevice inside your pantry or countertop. They can even get inside your dishwasher, which can be highly frustrating. If you are wondering how to get rid of ants in a dishwasher, there are a few things you can do to resolve this problem and prevent it from happening again. But first, it is essential to learn more about the cause of this issue.

Why and How Do Ants Get in a Dishwasher?

Most people who own a dishwasher do not fill it up and run it a few minutes later. Typically, we will wait until the dishwasher is completely filled up after adding plates and glasses to it throughout the day. During this time, as dishes with food remnants are added, ants will get inside. Therefore, it is no surprise that ants will want to go inside your dishwasher since it often contains food remnants.

The main reason why ants will invade your home is to search for food or water. And the dishwasher is the ideal place for them to find both. Ants will often invade whenever water is collected inside the dishwasher. That is especially true if there are any leaks present in the pipes. Food left on any of the dishes or silverware will also attract ants to your dishwasher.

Regardless of what type you are dealing with, ants do not need a lot of space to get inside your home and later inside your dishwasher. They only need a small hole or a crack large enough for them to get inside. For that reason, you should check the back of your dishwasher to see if there are any gaps that ants could use as an entry point.

Ants could also be entering your dishwasher through the plumbing holes or the side vent of the dishwasher. They could also make their way inside through the lower kick plate of the dishwasher. And since many homeowners tend to leave the door of their dishwasher open often, that makes it extremely easy for ants of all types to smell the food scraps and make their way inside.

It is pretty common for ants to come in from behind the dishwasher, especially when dealing with either carpenter ants or black ants. If that is the case, there is a good possibility that you may have an ant nest inside your home instead of outside.

Ant nests can be found under the dishwasher, underneath the floor of your home, or even inside the walls located behind your appliances or furniture. That can make it much more challenging to find the exact location of the nest.

Types of Ants

It is a good idea to recognize which types of ants Trusted Source 'Crazy ants' a threat in southern U.S. | CNN “Tawny crazy ants'” could change ecological balances in parts of the U.S., researchers say, largely because the ants can wipe out colonies of fire ants. www.cnn.com are invading your space. Doing so will help you take care of the problem faster and easier. It will also help you learn if there are any underlying issues with your home you need to address. Three species of ants commonly invade households: Sugar Ants, Black Ants, and Carpenter Ants.

Sugar Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

Sugar Ants is a term that describes several ant species that are attracted to sugar or other sweets.

They are small and black insects that have three pairs of legs and long antennae. These ants do not pose much harm to your house and are not known to cause any structural damage. Their main objective is to search your house for food. They often invade kitchens to search for any sweet treats they can take back to their colony.

However, they can eat through paper, plastic, or cardboard. Another problem with sugar ants is attracting other pests inside your homes, such as spiders or centipedes.

If you wonder how to get rid of sugar ants in the dishwasher, you should start by completely eliminating any sugar or sweet substances from your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.

Black Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

Their primary food source is either dead or alive insects.

Black ants are tiny, usually around 1/16 inches, and as the name suggests, these ants are black. However, they are also prone to go inside houses to search for food. These ants are often attracted to grease and oil. That is why they are often found inside dishwashers because many people will leave oil or grease residue on their pots and pans.

If you are wondering how to get rid of black ants in the dishwasher, you will need to put in additional effort to keep your kitchen and your dishwasher clean. Work on eliminating all oil or grease residue from your dishes after preparing food so that it does not end up inside your dishwasher. You can also use any of the recommendations in this article to eliminate black ants from your dishwasher.

Carpenter Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

They are often ¼ to 3/8 inches in size and are usually black or brown.

Carpenter ants are much larger than black ants, and they can cause more destruction to your home than black ants or sugar ants. These insects are at home in moist or humid environments. Therefore the area inside or around your dishwasher is the perfect place for them to live. They tend to establish colonies inside rotting wood, and you can usually spot a carpenter ant invasion due to the sawdust left behind.

Carpenter ant colonies can grow at a rapid pace and if they are left unattended. These colonies can reach as many as 50,000 inhabitants within a few weeks. If you are wondering how to get rid of carpenter ants in the dishwasher, you will first need to find out where the colony is located and eliminate the cause of the problem from there.

Pharaoh Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

Pharaoh ants are also one-eighth inch in length.

However, they are yellow. They can also be hard to control since their colonies will split to increase their survival rates. This typically happens whenever they are attacked by pesticides or other remedies, including natural remedies like vinegar and baking soda. These ants are often found living in furniture or any other place that provides them with adequate protection. Pharaoh ants are another species that like to live in moist areas, so they are likely to end up in your dishwasher as well. Aside from calling in a professional, the best treatment for these ants is to use ant bait traps.

Odorous House Ant

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

These ants are around a one-eighth inch in length, and they can be either black or brown.

These ants can be challenging to control because they create subcolonies that can get out of hand. They typically live outside in moist areas, which makes the pipes or drain of a dishwasher a suitable environment for them. Odorous House ants will create their colonies in walls, homes, or inside of hidden areas. If possible, it is best to treat each colony separately for best results with controlling these ants.

Argentine Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

Argentine ants are also one-eighth inch in size and are either black or dark brown.

These ants can be found in moist locations as well, such as inside logs or mulch. They tend to eat sweet items such as honey and consume insects like aphids that stay around fruit trees. Argentine ants will create subcolonies, and that makes them difficult to control. They are highly likely to be found crawling in the drain of a dishwasher.

How to Get Rid of Ants: Introduction

There are a few things you can do to help eliminate ants Trusted Source The trick to getting rid of ants for good (it’s not a spray) - The Washington Post For permanent control, you need to get rid of the whole colony, including the queens and the grubs that are growing into the next generation of worker ants. www.washingtonpost.com from your dishwasher. You can try them all to find out which is the most effective for your situation. Some techniques may be more successful than others for different types of ants. Therefore, you must know what type of ants you are dealing with before attempting any of these techniques. Remember, carpenter ants are the most destructive. So, if you discover that you have carpenter ants inside your dishwasher, you must take care of the problem as soon as possible.

Clean Your Kitchen

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

You can use a solution of water and vinegar to spray on your countertops and other surfaces as a natural pest deterrent.

The best way to eliminate ants and other pests from your kitchen and make sure they do not enter your dishwasher is to clean your home and inspect it for any entryways thoroughly. If you can find where ants enter your home, you can take care of the problem before it gets out of hand. It will be much simpler to deal with an ant infestation if you can eradicate the nest.

To locate the nest, you will need to follow the ant trails. Typically, you can find their nest outside your home, but depending on the type of ant you are dealing with, the nest could also be located inside your home.

When cleaning your kitchen, make sure that all the food scraps and other food residue are cleaned from your kitchen table, countertops, the stove, sink, and any other surface where you may keep food. That is the main step to take to avoid attracting any type of ants into your kitchen.

Remove Food Remnants in a Dishwasher

Taking the time to remove all food scraps from your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent ants from entering the drain. If there is no food, oil, or grease in the dishwasher, there will be no need for any ants to get inside. It is an additional step, but it can be incredibly beneficial.

Flush the Drain with Vinegar

You can use vinegar to clean out your dishwasher’s drain and eliminate ants from your appliance. Vinegar is a natural solution you can use to prevent ants from taking over your dishwasher. Ants of all types are attracted to this appliance because they smell the food residue left behind on your dishes. While vinegar will not kill the ants, it will help mask the smell of food scraps while sanitizing the drain.

To flush your dishwasher drain using vinegar, you should pour one cup of vinegar in the drain. That will get rid of ants and clear away any food left behind in the drain. Another option is to combine vinegar with borax either in the drain or in a spray bottle to wipe down the inside of the dishwasher after each use. That is another good way to prevent ants from entering in.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

The baking soda can also help eliminate the smell of food, oil, or grease left on your dishes.

Alternatively, you can also pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain if you have ants in the kitchen Trusted Source Search BBC Crunchy and curvy, these ample-bottomed queen ants are as prized in Colombia as caviar. But to find them, you’ll have to make it past thousands of soldier ants. www.bbc.com . And when the baking soda is combined with vinegar, a chemical reaction occurs that causes the mixture to foam. That helps to successfully clear away any food or grease residue inside the pipes that may attract ants from the sewer into your dishwasher.

To use baking soda and vinegar to clean your dishwasher and eliminate your ant infestation, you will need to pour one-half cup of baking soda down your dishwasher drain. Then pour one-half cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain. Wait for at least ten to fifteen minutes, and then finish off by pouring some boiling water down the drain. It helps to finalize the process of clearing away any food or grease residue.

Run an Empty Dishwasher for One Cycle

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the drain and wiped down the interior of your dishwasher, you will need to run an empty dishwasher for one cycle. It will help guarantee there are no ants left behind or any food residue and scraps left inside the dishwasher or drain.

Use Ant Baits

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step-by-Step Guide

Ant bait will work slowly; however, the results are highly effective.

Once you find an ant nest, it is time to purchase some ant baits around the areas they frequent the most. Whenever an ant finds a bait trap, they will carry the bait back to their nest for all the ants to consume. The bait contains a type of food the ants like to eat and a poison that will kill the entire colony off over time.

Some ants will only take the bait from certain types of ant bait. For that reason, you must determine what types of ants you are dealing with before you purchase ant bait. That will help to ensure that the bait you buy will work well.

If you have tried all of the above and are still having an issue with ants, or if large carpenter ants invade you, it would be best to contact your local pest control company for assistance. Carpenter ants can be very destructive to your home’s foundation because they typically build their nests inside the wood.

FAQs

Should I Spray Ant Deterrent In My Dishwasher?

Many people may think that using a powerful ant or pest deterrent such as Raid and spraying the interior of their dishwasher could be helpful with eliminating their infestation issue. However, it is not recommended that you spray Raid or any other toxic pesticide in your dishwasher. The natural method of using white distilled vinegar and baking soda should be good enough to wipe down your dishwasher and run through the drain. It is simple, effective, and you do not have to worry about how harmful it is.

Your dishwasher comes into close contact with the pots, pans, and dishes you and your family use each day while eating. Therefore, using anything that is considered toxic is a bad idea. Remember, if you have any concerns about what you should or should not use to clean your dishwasher, you should consult with a pest control expert for advice and assistance.

How Do I Know What Type of Ants I Have?

The most common ants that are found in the kitchen are black ants, sugar ants, and carpenter ants. We described the characteristics of these ants in detail in the sections above. Please refer to that section to learn more about what those ants look like and what type of environment they can be found in.

While those are the most common ants found inside dishwashers, other types of ants can invade your home and kitchen as well.

Final Thoughts

Finding ants in your dishwasher can be frustrating, and eliminating pests from your home can seem like a never-ending cycle if you do not know the types you are dealing with. It can also be difficult if you are unsure about which methods work best. It is essential to identify which types of ants are invading your home and then use the technique that will work best for that specific type.

If you are here because you are wondering how to get rid of ants in a dishwasher, we hope you find a viable solution to your problem here in this article.

References

1.
'Crazy ants' a threat in southern U.S. | CNN
“Tawny crazy ants'” could change ecological balances in parts of the U.S., researchers say, largely because the ants can wipe out colonies of fire ants.
2.
The trick to getting rid of ants for good (it’s not a spray) - The Washington Post
For permanent control, you need to get rid of the whole colony, including the queens and the grubs that are growing into the next generation of worker ants.
3.
Search BBC
Crunchy and curvy, these ample-bottomed queen ants are as prized in Colombia as caviar. But to find them, you’ll have to make it past thousands of soldier ants.
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