Have you spotted ants around your kitchen sink?
It’s hardly a secret: ants love kitchens. And when there’s plenty of moisture and food particles to go around, they won’t be in any rush to leave.
No matter if you’re dealing with a few of them or an entire colony, one thing is certain:
Ants are not welcome in the home you love and work hard to maintain, and they can quickly become a problem if you don’t address the infestation right away.
Fortunately, there are practical, tried-and-true methods to get rid of ants in your kitchen ‒ and you don’t always have to resort to ant repellents, either. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why your home has ants and how you can win the war against the ants around your kitchen sink.
So, without further ado, let’s finally say good riddance to those creepy crawlers and reclaim your kitchen, once and for all.
Are Ants Dangerous?
Sure, knowing there are ants in the kitchen can be unsettling and gross, but are they really a big deal? Why are ants such a problem, and are they dangerous?
While ants may not make us shriek and jump for the countertops the way mice or cockroaches might, they aren’t as harmless as they seem.
Like termites, ants eat wood. If allowed to colonize into the hundreds or thousands, they can harm the walls and foundation of your home.
This is most common with carpenter ants, which are found worldwide and reside indoors and outdoors year-round. But there are many other types of ants that can invade your home, some of them rare, and some of them poisonous. Even the common house ant can contaminate food and preparation surfaces, release noxious odors into the air, and spread harmful bacteria and disease.
How do ants even get into your house, and why are they so attracted to your kitchen? We’ll explore that next.
Why Are There Ants Around Your Kitchen Sink?
When it comes to removing ants in the kitchen, it helps to understand why they’re attracted to it in the first place.
Simply put: Ants love the kitchen because it harbors all different types of food ‒ and ants have A LOT of colony mates to feed.
From sugary foods to salty meats and bland carbohydrates, ants eat it all. Leaving food out ‒ even small traces or crumbs of food ‒ is enough to attract one ant, and eventually hundreds and hundreds more.
Ants can easily find their way through the smallest crack or hole in your kitchen wall or window. You can put your best foot forward to keep food properly sealed and stored. You can even sweep your kitchen floor three times a day; but until you seal these cracks, holes, and entryway, the ants will continue to invade your kitchen.
When there is one ant, always assume there are hundreds more nearby. Ant colonies settle wherever there is a food source in close proximity ‒ especially during peak season.
What time of year do ants come out, anyway?
Ants are pretty dormant in the wintertime, but once warmer weather rolls around, an ant colony will begin to hustle and bustle, infesting anywhere there is food. Ant colonies are most active throughout the spring and summer months, but they can appear in the fall and winter.
With all that said, if you have unfortunately spotted one or two ants around your kitchen sink, now is the time to be proactive and get down to business… because those ants HAVE GOT TO GO.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen
Ant repellents are a surefire way to eliminate ants and nip potential infestations in the bud, but you have concerns about releasing chemicals and toxins into your environment.
There are natural solutions to effectively repel and eliminate ants. So, here’s how you can win the war against ants and give them the boot they deserve!
Keep the Sink Dry & Clear of Food
Ants love a cool, moist environment, which means the garbage disposal is their idea of paradise. And because the colony needs a major food source nearby, the kitchen sink quickly becomes an all-inclusive resort with an endless buffet of food scraps and poured-away beverages.
Whether you’ve washed the dishes or given your hands a quick scrub, wipe down the kitchen sink after using it. Designate a towel to wipe the sink dry. Keep it as dry as possible when you’re not using it, and don’t forget to wipe down the sides and countertops around it.
This is also an opportune time to check your sink for leaks or clogs. Even if the pipes are technically under the sink, they can still accumulate or leak water and subsequently attract ants.
Keep the inside of your sink as clean as possible, as well as the area underneath it. Pour baking soda and hot water down your kitchen sink once a week to break down food particles. Rather than keep a waste bin under the sink, consider investing in a larger trash bin with a step-on component to open and close it. Or, take out the trash more frequently, wash the bin once in a while, and give the floorboard under the kitchen sink a thorough sweeping a couple of times a week.
Reduce Moisture in the Kitchen
Minimizing dampness in your kitchen combats not only ants, but mold and mildew, as well. Still, any kitchen is prone to moisture, especially if you live in a humid climate or have a washing machine and dryer in your kitchen. So, what can you do?
Kitchen cabinets above the sink, dishwasher, and oven can accumulate moisture from the running hot water or steam. Store fresh produce and food packages as far away from these areas as possible. This will help you preserve your food longer and also keep moisture to a minimum.
Check your dishwasher for ants. Between dirty dishes and food particles to cracks or holes in the unit itself, your dishwasher can attract ants more than your kitchen sink can.
Do you live in a humid climate? Is your home constantly infested with ants and other bugs?
A dehumidifier can help, but running one constantly can rack up your energy bills. How long should you run a dehumidifier? It will depend on how much you utilize your kitchen. Generally speaking, you should run it anytime you start to cook until all the warm air has cleared out of the kitchen afterward.
If you decide to invest in a dehumidifier for your kitchen, click here to learn how to keep your monthly energy costs down without compromising the efficiency of your dehumidifier.
You can sweep your kitchen rigorously and store food in airtight containers all you want ‒ ants will continue to find their way into your kitchen until you seal cracks and holes in your walls and windows.
If you’ve spotted ants around your kitchen sink, chances are they snuck through a crack in the adjacent wall or the window above. These are the first areas you should check, but make sure you give the rest of your kitchen, as well as your entire first-floor, a thorough inspection for air leaks.
Rule of thumb: If air can get through a hole or crack, an ant can probably squeeze their way through it, too.
Seal all potential points of entry to keep the ants out (and better manage your energy bills in the process… click here to discover other ways to save more on your heating bills!) Concentrate on areas closest to the windows and doors. You can use ant-proof sealants, but standard silicone caulk works just as well.
Inspect the Wood Near or In Your Kitchen
Have you exhausted your efforts and continue to find ants around your kitchen sink? Are ants creeping and crawling around the wall trimmings or where the wall meets the floor? Can you think back on a water leak or burst pipe that occurred near your kitchen?
The sink or moisture levels in your kitchen may not be to blame. Ants love wet wood, and there may be an infestation happening inside your kitchen walls because of wood rot.
Although it can be an arduous task, it may be beneficial to open up a suspect wall and check for an ant infestation, especially if the wall is close to or in the kitchen.
Do you notice ants going for the wooden spoon or wooden chopping board near your kitchen sink?
If you keep wooden objects near your kitchen sink, ants will gladly absorb any minuscule amount of water that wooden object has absorbed. If you’re dealing with an ant infestation, remove all wooden apparatuses near the kitchen sink and keep them away until the infestation has cleared.
Set Up Ant Bait
Ant bait may be able to clear out an ant infestation on its own. But it’s not a bad idea to set up liquid ant bait under your sink or near the windows and doors as a preventative measure after the fact.
Ant bait contains a sugary toxin. Ants will mistake it for sugar and unknowingly carry it back to their colony, subsequently removing it. So before your kitchen attracts the entire colony, ant bait can help you put a kibosh on the infestation.
**With ant bait, you need not worry about releasing harmful chemicals into your environment, but you should be cautious if you have small children or pets around.**
Reclaim Your Kitchen & Win the War Against Ants
Ants around your kitchen sink? BE GONE!
At the first sign of ants, employ these tips and practices so they don’t invite themselves over to dinner and take over your kitchen in the process.
Looking for more tips on pest control and how to keep the creepy crawlies out? Stay tuned to our blog for more, or tell us about how these tips helped you put an end to a recent ant infestation! We’d love to hear from you.