So, you have ants in your bathroom shower.
While the shower is supposed to be a clean place, ants just make it dirty and ruin the picture!
In this complete guide, you’ll learn:
- Why ants are in your shower or bathtub
- Ways to naturally kill them
- How to repel and stop them from coming back
- And more
By the end of it, you should have everything you need to put a dent in their population.
You can also leave a comment if you have any questions for me and I’ll be happy to help!
Feel free to bookmark this page so you can easily refer to it during your journey to rid your bathroom of ants.
Let’s get started.
Why are there ants in my shower?
There are many different reasons why you may see ants in your shower. Ants are constantly on the hunt for two things. They need food and water. Your shower provides them with both.
Whether you’re dealing with tiny black or brown ants, pharaoh ants, fire ants, or even carpenter ants, the shower houses a stable food source they can consume. Especially dirty and unhygienic showers. More reasons to do a spring cleaning, eh?
After you shower, you leave behind a trail of collected dirt from your body. You also leave behind excess water in your shower or bathtub. Both of these provide ants a steady supply of essential resources, which they need to survive.
The shower itself may also have a variety of other food sources that are attracting ants:
- Dead flies, flying termites, bathroom roaches, recluse spiders, or other pests
- Organic or homemade shampoo/body wash
- Food or other edible waste products in your bathroom’s trash can
- Soiled laundry
- Dirt or other edible material in your bathtub or shower
- Junk collected in your shower drain (dead skin, fungus or mold, fermented hair, etc.)
- Food and stagnant water in the shower
- Odors from the shower drain
- Mold or mildew scents
- Sludge in your plumbing
- They could also be seeking warmth or shelter
Any of these can bring ants into your bathroom, which may then lead them into your shower. It usually starts with a food or water source in the bathroom. Then the ants may discover more things to eat or drink in your shower.
Or perhaps they made a pheromone trail and are crossing through your shower on the way. There are many different reasons and it’s impossible to list all the causes of ants in the bathroom.
What are they attracted to?
Ants are attracted to the most disgusting things that we’d avoid. Fungus growing on dead hair in the bathtub. Dead skin or hair cells collecting in your drain. Used toothpaste on your shower floor. Any of the things that you hate, ants probably love.
They’re also attracted to odors and scents that are foul. Since the shower is a humid area, water makes wood or other materials rot or grow bacteria. This also acts as a chemical attractant that may bring ants into your shower or drain.
Whether the ants are crawling from the outside into your shower or the other way around, you’ll want to stop them and get rid of them as they’re unsightly. And they can always end up biting you if they crawl into your towel, clothes, or other toiletries.
How are they coming into my bathroom?
They usually enter the bathroom shower in one of three ways:
- Through a bathroom window
- Through cracks or crevices found in your home’s infrastructure
- Or through your home itself from another room
If you have a bathroom window, they can enter through the gaps around the window or through damaged window screening. Small ants can even squeeze through the screen, so just because it’s not damaged doesn’t mean you’re protected.
All homes also have natural cracks and crevices where ants can travel through to enter your bathroom. There could be a very long ant trail extending from the outdoors into your shower that goes through many different gaps in your home’s walls and foundation.
They can also enter your bathroom simply through the bathroom door. This is assuming that your house was already infested and they just happened to find their way into your shower.
Ants aren’t picky. As long as you have a source of food, water, and stable favorable temperatures, they’ll infest it.
Can ants come up through the drain?
Although it’s technically possible for ants to come out of the drain, it’s usually more like they’re attracted to something inside your drain.
Most homes and apartments have a trap on plumbing fixtures to stop rats, ants, and other drain pests from entering into the building.
Ants don’t have a way to travel from the outside into your plumbing system and then out of your shower drain. But rather, they found their way into your drain instead.
Food, waste, debris, hair, skin cells, fungus, mold, and mildew are all present in your drain, and the ants feed off of this. With the constant supply of water, they have a bountiful source of food to continue eating.
When you see ants coming out of our shower drain, these ants probably found their way through your bathroom and went into the drain to nest there.
When they come out, they’re likely foraging for food or were disturbed. This is Why are ants coming out of your shower drain.
So basically, these ants in your drain have a colony established inside the drain or nearby.
But more likely, there’s a colony nest under your bathroom floor.
They’re coming out to seek food or water. Or they were disturbed. You can get rid of ants in the drain quite easily. Keep reading for directions.
How do I get rid of ants in my shower naturally?
This is where we’ll cover some of the do-it-yourself remedies you can use to get rid of ants in your shower.
These are natural techniques, so you can avoid harmful resides and potions from chemicals. Feel free to try a few of them out and see which one works best for you.
Vinegar is a natural ant killer and the scent also repels and disrupts their pheromone trails. You can mix cheap vinegar with water in equal parts. Pour mixture into a spray bottle.
And then spray it directly on ants in your shower, drain, sink, or bathroom. This will kill them instantly after a few sprays.
Be sure to wipe up the dead ants and dispose of them in the trash. Don’t wash them down the shower, because they may get caught in your drain and this will just attract more ants to eat the dead ones.
You can also spray vinegar around your bathtub or shower walls to act as a natural ant repellent. This will keep ants away and also remove any chemical trails they left behind.
Another true classic, dish soap has been shown to kill ants by suffocation. It works very similar to vinegar.
All you’ll need to do is add a few drops of dish soap to a cup of water. Swirl it around to mix it up. Then pour it into a spray bottle.
You can spray the solution on ants throughout your shower to kill them instantly. Again, clean up the dead ants and dispose of them.
Don’t wash them down the drain. The nice part about dish soap is that it also cleans your shower walls and bathtub grime.
So you’re doing two things at once: killing ants and cleaning up your bathroom. Both of which will help keep pests out!
DIY soap traps
This is the same method as above, but rather than spraying the ants with dish soap, you’ll bu building soap traps.
What you’ll need:
- A few drops of dish soap (any brand)
- A shallow bowl
- 1 cup of water
How to make it:
- Add the water to the shallow bowl until it’s full.
- Add a few drops of dish soap.
- Swirl it around with your finger until the mixture is even color.
How to use it:
- Place the bowl around your shower and bathroom.
- You can make multiple if you have enough bowls.
- The ants will fall into the bowl and drown in the soap. Or they’ll be attracted to the sweet scent of it. This will also trap other pests like no-see-ums.
- Replace the bowl with new soap every week to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Be sure to cleanse it each time.
You can also make a natural ant killer using lemon juice.
You can buy lemons at the grocery store, or you can just use lemon juice. Add the lemon juice and water together in equal parts. Then pour it into a spray bottle.
Apply it directly to the ants to kill them upon contact. Wipe up the dead ants and dispose of them. You can also pour this mixture down the drain slowly to kill ants in your shower drain.
Boric acid is a natural powder that kills ants because it cuts them up microscopically. You can buy this powder at department stores and sprinkle it around your bathroom.
Here are some areas you’ll want to use it on:
- Bathroom door frames
- Shower perimeter
- Bathroom drawers and under sink cabinets
- Around the lining of your bathtub, shower, or toilet
- On your bathroom countertop (edges)
- Around any windows
Think of it as building a barrier to keep ants out. If they cross over it, it’ll cut them up.
Don’t put it anywhere where water may wash it away, or else you’ll have to keep replaying it. This may be difficult in the bathroom, but just be smart about it.
Boric acid damages their exoskeletons and it’s poisonous to ants but completely natural and safe for humans. You should still avoid contact or consumption to be safe. Keep kids and pets away from it. Don’t use it near food sources.
DE is another crystalline powder like boric acid that kills ants over time.
You can apply this stuff in the same way as above. When the ants come into contact with the powder, the crystalline structure of the DE cuts up their exoskeleton and dehydrate them.
Be sure to use a mask and gloves. You don’t want to breathe this stuff, so avoid inhaling and contact when possible.
Also, keep it out of direct contact with water. DE becomes useless when it’s wet. If you only plan to use this in your bathroom, I’d suggest going with boric acid over DE. Avoid contact with pets and children.
You can also use spices to line your shower or bathtub.
Since spices are cheap and easily affordable, you can replace them as needed. Spices also work whether they get wet or not. And they still retain their repelling nature even when humid. So they’re perfect for lining your bathroom.
All you need to do is line your shower, tub, or bathroom with a strong spice. Some of the most effective ones are cinnamon, cayenne, ghost pepper, sriracha pepper, and jalapenos. You can also use coffee grounds, lemon peels, lime peels, or orange peels.
All of these strong-scented deterrents should help bring down the number of ants in your shower.
You can also use essential oils to keep ants out. And they smell good.
Some of the most effective oils to use against ants are peppermint, lemongrass, lemon, lavender, cedar, and eucalyptus. Just add a few drops to spray bottle and then dilute the oil with water. Spray it around your bathroom to keep ants out.
Note that some oils are toxic to pets, so do your research first.
Also, they’re very potent in smell. So if you don’t want to smell this stuff every time you shower, you should dilute them before you spray them.
Don’t make yourself suffer, as some oils are extremely strong and scented. You’ve been warned!
How to get rid of ants in the shower drain
Ants in the drain are harder to eliminate than ants outside the drain because you can’t see them. If you’re able to remove the strainer, you can use a scrubber to clean up any residue and gunk collecting in your drain.
This may dislodge whatever the ants are eaten in there and get rid of the problem.
Otherwise, there are a few other methods you can use to kill off colonies of ants in there.
You can pour bleach down your drain slowly to dissolve and kill off any ants upon contact. This will take time to kill all the ants, but repeating it on a daily basis should reduce the number of ants in your shower drain.
Repeat until you see no more ants. If you want your bleach to last longer you can dilute it to get more per bottle. Note that you can’t expect bleach to always work 100% of the time.
Baking soda and vinegar
You can use vinegar and baking soda mixture to clean out your drain.
This will dislodge or eat up whatever gunk or debris may be collecting there. Without anything to eat, the ants should disappear also.
To do this, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the shower. If you’re able to remove the drain stopper, this will be a lot easier. If not, you’ll have to squeeze the baking soda down between the holes in the stopper.
After the baking soda is in, pour in 1 cup of vinegar slowly. This will react with the baking soda and clean up the residue lining your drain pipes and kill any pests and ants in the process. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with pharaoh, fire, black/brown, house ants, or carpenter ants. This mixture should be effective against all of them.
After 6 minutes, run clean water to wash away any dead ants and gunk collecting in your drain.
Also, if you’re able to remove the hair stopper, you should be using a scrubber to clean up the plumbing along with the banking soda and vinegar.
How to get rid of ants coming out of the bathtub faucet
If you have ants coming from your bathtub water spout, you’ll want to apply the same methods outlined here.
The first thing to do is to dismantle the faucet.
After you remove it, you’ll get a clearer picture to see where they’re coming from:
- Check for ants behind the faucet adapter attached to your wall.
- Check for gunk or debris building up inside the faucet.
- And check for residue build up inside the plumbing behind the faucet.
You’ll want to see if you can pinpoint what the ants are eating or where they’re coming from.
For most people, all they’ll see slimy sludge and this needs to be removed. Clean up the plumbing using a scrubber, vinegar, and baking soda (check methods above). Dunk the sprout in a bowl of vinegar to soak it, then scrub it cleanly.
With these measures, you’re able to remove whatever the ants were attracted to in your bathtub faucet, but that may not be enough. If the ants are eating something further down the plumbing, you’ll need to get a professional.
How to get rid of carpenter ants in the shower
If you have carpenter ants in your shower, many of the methods outlined here should be sufficient to help control and bring down their numbers.
You can use vinegar and baking soda, lemon juice spray, and borax to kill them. Then use spices, essential oils, or DE to get rid of them permanently.
Be consistent and don’t let up until they’re gone. Ants reproduce quickly and you need to eliminate the nest completely if you want to eradicate them.
I also wrote this comprehensive guide on getting rid of carpenter ants. It may be helpful to you!
For other ants such as the tiny black or brown ones, pharaoh ants, or some other species, you can use the same methods.
There’s really no difference as they all work similarly against them.
Again, the trick is to rotate between them to see which one works best for your situation.
How do I get rid of ants permanently?
Ants are difficult to fully eradicate unless you destroy the nest.
You’ll have to find the nest, which can be located in many different places:
- Under your bathroom floorboards
- Within your wall void
- Bathroom cabinet crawl spaces
- Attic or basements near your bathroom
- Behind tiles or baseboards
- Cracks or crevices
- Shower windows
Depending on the season, the ants may leave on their own. They tend to seek shelter and come into homes during the colder months.
So even if you can’t find the nest, you can still reduce their numbers simply by practicing the methods on this page. And then just wait for them to leave on their own.
But if you can find the nest, that’s the only way to eliminate them permanently.
You can get more details from these helpful resources:
Did you get rid of ants in your bathroom?
By now, you should have everything you need to know about exterminating them from your bathroom sink or shower.
Be patient and use a few different remedies if one doesn’t work. No solution is 100% for every pest situation.
If you have any questions, leave a reply and let me know! Or if you have any other tips, share with other fellow readers!
What do think? Did any of these methods work for you?
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.