To most people, ants in the kitchen are a nuisance and not much more. But if you find that ants are making their way into your dishwasher, it’s time to take action. These tiny insects can cause a lot of damage to your appliance and make it unsafe to use.
Ants are attracted to food particles left behind on dishes and utensils, so they often find their way into the dishwasher after someone has used it. They also like to live in warm, dark places where they can build nests and raise their young. A dishwasher provides all of these things, so it’s no surprise that ants love them!
Are you wondering how to get rid of ants in dishwasher issues? Then keep reading because you’ve come to the right place.
What Are Ants?
Ants are small insects related to bees and wasps.
Ants are small, six-legged insects that belong to the order Hymenoptera, which also includes bees and wasps. Ants belong to the family Formicidae, which include all of the ant species in North America. An ant’s body is divided into three sections: head, thorax (middle), and abdomen (rear).
Most ants are social insects. They live in organized colonies and work together as a group. Ants can be found almost anywhere on Earth. They live in every type of habitat, from deserts to rainforests and everything in between.
Ants are social insects. They live in organized colonies and work together as a group. Ants can be found almost anywhere on Earth. They live in every type of habitat, from deserts to rainforests and everything in between.
Due to ants being so small, they are often overlooked. Most of the time, ants are considered a nuisance pest and in some cases, they can even be dangerous to people or pets. However, for the most part, ants are considered very important to a healthy ecosystem. This is because they help the environment by recycling dead plants and animals.
Inside the home, though, ants can be serious pests. This is because they are known to invade buildings and homes looking for food or water.
Ants can bite or sting if they feel threatened or trapped, but they don’t have large enough jaws to bite humans or pets unless they’re attacking in large numbers. The most hazardous thing about ants is that they can carry pathogens on their bodies known to spread food-borne diseases like E. coli, salmonella, and Shigella.
Most ant infestations begin outside, but ants can enter your home through tiny cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and even through electrical outlets. They can also gain access to your home by entering through small holes in pet food bags or other packaging materials that contain sugar or grease.
There are more than 12,000 different species of ants worldwide, but only about 200 species have been documented in the United States. The most common species include:
- Black garden ants
- Carpenter ants
- Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta)
- Sugar ants (Camponotus spp)
Of these ants, the most common ants that have you questioning how to get rid of ants in dishwasher issues are black ants and carpenter ants.
Let’s learn more.
Why Do I Have Ants In Dishwasher?
Ants can get into the dishwasher after invading your home.
Ants are a common pest in many homes, but when they get into your dishwasher they can be a real disaster. They can get into your dishwasher and start to build their nests and cause damage to the machine, spread food-borne illnesses to plates and utensils, and cause overall stress and anxiety. If you notice ants in your dishwasher, it is important to know what kind of ants you have so that you can get rid of them before they become a problem.
The most common types of ants that will have you asking how to get rid of ants in dishwasher issues are likely going to be common black ants or carpenter ants. Both of these types of ants have different habits so knowing which pest you are dealing with will help determine how best to get rid of them.
Black ants are large, black-colored ants that can be found in many parts of the world. They are considered to be a pest because they feed on organic matter and can cause damage to plants and crops. If black ants get into your dishwasher, they can cause damage to the motor and other components of the machine.
Carpenter ants are one of the largest species of ants in North America. They can grow up to 1/2 inch long, making them easy to spot when they enter homes or buildings for food or shelter. These ants are known as carpenter ants because they prefer wood as their main food source and as a place to build their nests. Carpenter ants usually build their nests in wood structures such as decks, porches, or roofs, but they also may build them in hollow walls or inside furniture such as chairs or tables.
Carpenter ants will often chew through the wood so they can access the cellulose inside which they use as food for themselves and their young. If carpenter ants get into your dishwasher, they can cause damage by chewing through plastic pipes causing leaks that could ruin your machine’s electronics system.
Why You Might Have Ants In Dishwasher
If you’ve noticed ants in your dishwasher, you may be wondering why they’re there and how to get rid of them.
Most ants find their way into your dishwasher after already finding their way into your home. This is because ants are attracted to food particles left behind by dirty dishes. If you don’t clean your dishwasher regularly or if you leave water sitting in dishes after they’ve been cleaned, this can attract ants. You’ll also attract ants if you leave food out on counters or floors that have crumbs on them.
Along with dealing with ants in dishwasher issues, you may see other signs of ant activity around your homes such as trails leading up doorways and along walls and floors. Other signs of ants in your home that could wind up being ants in dishwasher include:
- Dirt piles around their nests
- These look like little mounds of sand or dirt and can be found outside or inside homes.
- Mud trails along walls
- These look like lines made by a finger dipped into wet cement, but they’re actually made by worker ants carrying small pieces of food back to their colonies.
- Ant hills in your yard
- These are mounds that appear suddenly, usually in areas where lots of moisture is present (like near leaking pipes). They can grow very quickly in size and some ant hills can house thousands and thousands of ants.
Are Ants In Dishwasher Dangerous?
Ants are known to spread pathogens that can cause diseases to people.
According to the National Library of Medicine and a study conducted on ants, ants can carry and transmit diseases to people. The most common disease carried by ants is leishmaniasis, which causes fever and skin lesions. Other types of illnesses include:
- E. Coli
- And different fungi
Typically, ants spread these diseases by walking through unclean or contaminated areas and picking these pathogens up on their bodies. They then transmit these pathogens and germs to food or utensils that people then eat off of. But can ants contaminate the dishes in the dishwasher?
The answer is yes, ants in dishwasher issues can lead to contamination of clean dishes. This poses a problem for those who use their dishwashers on a regular basis because it means that there are more ways for bacteria to spread from one person’s dirty dishes onto another’s clean ones. This could cause food poisoning or other issues for those who eat off of dishes that have come into contact with ants in dishwasher.
How To Get Rid Of Ants In Dishwasher – A Step By Step Guide
Getting rid of ants in the dishwasher is a process.
Your dishwasher is a warm and moist environment, which is perfect for ants to thrive in. If you have noticed ants around your dishwasher or in your dishwasher, you must take steps to get rid of them.
Many people believe that ants can be controlled simply by using an ant repellent spray or insecticide, but this is not true. Many types of ants have developed a resistance to many chemicals and insecticides, and often the ants in dishwasher issues you’re seeing are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your ant problem.
Luckily, there are some simple things that you can do in conjunction with using products like insecticides and ant repellent sprays to get rid of ants in dishware issues safely and effectively.
1) Clean your dishwasher thoroughly
The first thing that you should do is clean your dishwasher thoroughly from the inside out. Take all the dishes out, remove the racks and wash them thoroughly with soap and water. This will help in removing all the food particles left behind by previous washes that ants may be attracted to. You can also use baking soda or vinegar to clean properly if needed and to help remove ant scent trails left behind by scout ants.
2) Run your dishwasher without any dishes inside
After cleaning your dishwasher thoroughly, run it empty for a full cycle. When running your dishwasher, put it on Sanitize Mode (if this is an option) and consider using vinegar and boric acid mixture in your dishwasher. Vinegar and boric acid are harmless to people, but the mixture is not only repulsive to ants but deadly.
3) Clean up food spills around your dishwasher
Now that your dishwasher is clean and free of ants, it’s time to do some damage control around your kitchen. If you have ants in your kitchen or if you find their trails around the kitchen, they probably followed these trails to get into your house. If you have any food spills on the floor or countertop near the sink, wipe them up right away with soapy water and clean them with vinegar later.
If there are any crumbs or food leftovers on the countertop or tabletop near where you keep your phone chargers or laptop chargers or other electronic devices, make sure that these items are stored in ant-proof containers so that ants won’t be able to crawl inside them. If there are any holes in wallpaper or gaps around electrical outlets, fill them up with silicone caulk to help keep ants at bay.
4) Avoid leaving dirty dishes in your dishwasher for too long
The longer you leave your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, the more attractive your dishwasher becomes to ants. When you load your dishwasher, be sure to load it with pre-rinsed dishes to help reduce the smell of food. Ants and other pests like roaches have a very strong sense of smell and can be easily attracted to your dishwasher if dirty plates are left sitting for too long.
5) Start Using Those Ant Repellents
Use products like ant repellents, sprays, and ant trap to monitor your progress. If you’re not sure which products would work best for your situation, we have listed several below that we recommend.
Best Products For How To Get Rid Of Ants In Dishwasher
There are plenty of products you can use to get rid of ants in the dishwasher.
Getting rid of ants in a dishwasher can be tricky, especially because you are dealing with pests in the direct vicinity of where you store plates and silverware you eat from. It’s important to use products you trust that will not only work but will also be safe for you and your family.
Below are a few different products we recommend for how to get rid of ants in dishwasher
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring substance that is made from fossilized diatoms and it works by piercing the exoskeletons of insects with sharp points. When the exoskeleton is punctured, it dries out, causing the insect to dehydrate and die.
To use this to get rid of ants in dishwasher, simply sprinkle a light layer on surfaces where you have seen ants or other crawling insects. DE will kill ants on contact. You can also place the powder in areas where you have seen or suspect ants may be nesting to prevent infestations from reoccurring.
We also like that Diatomaceous Earth is perfectly safe for people, pets, and the environment.
Harris Cleaning Vinegar
Harris Cleaning Vinegar is a natural product made from apple cider vinegar and water that has been infused with lemon oil. It’s easy to use and has many uses around your home. For example, you can use it as an all-purpose cleaner for floors, walls, and surfaces, as a glass cleaner, as a grease cutter for pots and pans, as an odor eliminator; as a wood conditioner, as an air freshener with no chemicals, as an ant repellent, and more!
To get rid of ants in dishwasher using Harris Cleaning Vinegar, first remove all food scraps from your dishwasher before wiping down the interior of your dishwasher with warm soapy water. Next, use a towel and wipe down the dishwasher using the vinegar solution. Allow it to dry before running a cycle in your empty dishwasher.
Finally Fresh Dishwasher Cleaner
Finally Fresh Dishwasher Cleaner is a safe and natural product that you can use to clean your dishwasher and keep it ant-free.
To use this product, remove the bottom rack from your machine and wash it in hot soapy water and set it aside to dry completely.
Pour three caps of Finally Fresh Dishwasher Cleaner into two gallons of hot water and run the empty dishwasher on the hottest cycle possible (usually “pots & pans”). Don’t put any dishes or silverware in this cycle — just fill up with rinse aid and let it run through its normal cycle as usual after this one is complete.
Active Dishwasher Cleaner And Deodorizer
Active Dishwasher Cleaner And Deodorizer is another product you can use to help keep ants out of dishwasher by keeping your dishwasher clean. To use this product, first clean out any leftover food or debris from inside your dishwasher using a clean towel or sponge.
Spray Active Dishwasher Cleaner And Deodorizer onto a clean towel, then wipe down all surfaces inside and outside of your dishwasher using a second clean towel or sponge. Make sure you don’t spray it directly onto any electrical parts or wiring!
Let the product stand for at least ten minutes before turning on your appliance again and running an empty cycle on high heat for about 15 minutes (this will help kill any remaining insects).
Other Products You Can Use To Control Ants In Your Home
Along with using products to get rid of ants in your kitchen, you should also use products to get rid of ants around your home and yard.
The best way to get rid of ants is to use products that kill them on contact and prevent them from returning. There are many products available for ant control, but some are better than others for different situations. Here are some tips for choosing the right product for your needs.
Natural products are often safer than chemical pesticides because they don’t contain toxic chemicals or harmful additives such as propellants or solvents. Natural pesticides may also have fewer restrictions compared to chemicals when used outdoors or around children or pets due to their lower toxicity levels. But natural products aren’t always as effective at killing ants as chemicals because they take longer to kill ants than chemicals do.
With that being said, many chemical products can be safe and effective when used as directed on the label. Whichever method you choose to take, be sure to do plenty of research first. It can also help to ensure you know which types of ants you are dealing with.
Last, keep in mind that most ant infestations begin outdoors. This is true even for ants in dishwasher issues. With that noted, it’s important to look for ant control products you can use outdoors in your yard as well as indoors to protect your home.
Take a look below at some of the products we recommend for ant control around your property and inside your home.
Wondercide Natural Products Indoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide Natural Products Indoor Pest Control Spray is a great way to get rid of ants not only in your dishwasher but around your kitchen. The spray has a natural insecticidal formula that kills the ants on contact without being harmful to people, pets, or the environment.
This spray works by using natural essential oils to repel insects like ants, roaches, spiders, and more. When the ants smell the scent of these oils, they will avoid the area because they don’t want to be near it.
Raid Essentials Roach and Ant Killer Spray
Raid Essentials Roach and Ant Killer Spray is a great product for getting rid of ants. The spray comes in a can that holds 16 ounces of liquid and is easy to use. The active ingredient in Raid Roach and Ant Killer Spray is sulfuryl fluoride, which kills the ants by interfering with their nervous systems. It also has an odor to it that ants don’t like, which makes it more effective.
To use Raid Essentials Roach and Ant Killer Spray, simply shake the can well before using it. Then spray it along the baseboards in your home, in cracks and crevices wherever you have seen ants or where you believe they are coming from. If there is an ant infestation outside, spray under porches and around doors leading into your home to keep them from getting inside.
EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer
EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer is a powerful, non-toxic, and natural insecticide that kills ants, roaches, fleas, mosquitoes, and other crawling insects. It works by contact or ingestion. The active ingredient in EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer is 2-Aminoethanethiol which is derived from garlic.
This product is made with no synthetic chemicals, artificial dyes, or fragrances. It contains no petroleum-based solvents, propylene glycol, or ethylene glycol ethers. This product is safe for humans and pets when used as directed on the product label.
Terro Liquid Ant Killer With Borax
No products found.
Terro Liquid Ant Killer With Borax contains boric acid which is an ingredient that kills ants by dehydrating them and causing them to suffocate on contact. The best thing about this solution is that it does not contain any harmful chemicals which means it won’t cause any harm to you or your family members if they accidentally come into contact with it while playing around the house or touching other surfaces where the liquid has been applied.
It’s important to remember that ants can travel up to 50 feet away from their nest in search of food. That’s why it’s so important to treat areas where you see ants regularly, such as along walls or near windowsills or doors. The key to using this product effectively is treating every area where you see ants regularly with Terro liquid ant killer with borax.
Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of Ants In Dishwasher
Vinegar is one of the best cleaning agents for ants in the dishwasher.
Ants can be a nuisance, especially when they choose your dishwasher as their home. These tiny pests can make it hard to get your dishes clean, but there are a few ways to get rid of ants in dishwasher issues using home remedies.
Use Essential Oils – You can use essential oils to repel ants from your dishwasher. Some of the most effective essential oils that work for ants and other pests include peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil. You can use these oils by soaking them in cotton balls and placing them around the inside of your dishwasher door or along the bottom of the door where it rests on the floor. The smell will help keep ants away from your dishwasher.
Try Vinegar – Ants don’t like the smell of vinegar so you can use this to your advantage by making your own homemade vinegar cleaning solution. To do this, add about one cup of vinegar to every load of dishes that you wash in the dishwasher. This should help kill any remaining ants that may be left behind after treating the ant infestation with other methods such as borax or baking soda.
How to make your own ant repellent spray
Mix equal parts of water, vinegar, and dish soap. Spray the solution on the ants, where you suspect ant trails have been, or on areas around your house where you’ve seen ants. The vinegar and dish soap will kill the ants, while the vinegar will remove any scent trails that might attract more ants in the future.
How to make your own ant trap to monitor ant infestations inside your home
To make your own ant trap to help you monitor your progress and keep track of any ants coming and going around your dishwasher, you will need to follow the below instructions:
To monitor these pests, place double-sided tape along the perimeter of where you think ants might be nesting. If you see an ant stuck on the tape after 24 hours, then this indicates that there is an infestation nearby and you will need to continue treatment to prevent ants in dishwasher issues in the future.
Preventing Ants In Dishwasher – Best Practices
Ants can cause damage to your dishwasher, so it’s important to use steps to get rid of them.
Ants are capable of causing a lot of damage to your home, especially if you have an ant infestation in your dishwasher. Ants can cause a variety of issues with your dishwasher, from clogging drains to ruining the electrical components inside the machine. This can lead to expensive repairs or replacements.
Worse, ants can lead to contamination of clean dishes and even spread serious diseases to people.
If you want to keep ants out of your dishwasher, follow the below best practices:
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in your dishwasher overnight
- Run your dishwasher frequently using vinegar or boric acid wash
- Clean your dishwasher routinely using vinegar, bleach, or alcohol
- Use a form of year-round pest control to keep ants at bay
- If you do find ants around your home, work to find the source of the ant infestation
- Store food and garbage properly
- Get rid of ant hills nearby your property
- Ensure your home is properly sealed
- Contact a professional pest control agent if the problem persists
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.