Pest Away Tips

6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Dishwasher

Ants in the Dishwasher: Why They Infest and How to Get Rid of Them

Have you ever opened your dishwasher and found a trail of tiny ants marching across your plates and silverware? It’s not only gross but can be a health hazard as well.

These tiny pests can contaminate your dishes and food, and getting rid of them can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll discuss why ants infest dishwashers, and the best ways to get rid of them.

Why Do Ants Infest Dishwashers? 1.

Attraction to Food Particles on Plates

Ants are always in search of food, and your dishwasher provides them with a buffet of leftovers. Food particles on plates and silverware are a magnet for ants.

If not cleaned properly, the dishwasher can become a breeding ground for these pests. If you’ve noticed ants in your dishwasher, it’s important to clean out any leftover food particles immediately, so as not to attract more ants.

2. Presence of Water in the Dishwasher

Ants are attracted to water just as much as they are to food.

Dishwashers provide a regular supply of water for them to drink, especially if there are any leaks. You’ll often find ant trails leading from a water source, such as a sink or dishwasher.

3. Availability of Food and Water in One Convenient Spot

The combination of food and water in the dishwasher makes it an ideal spot for ants to hang out.

If your dishwasher is not cleaned and maintained regularly, it provides a perfect environment for these tiny creatures to thrive. 4.

Ways Ants Get Inside the Dishwasher through Gaps and Holes

Ants are tiny creatures, and they can get into your dishwasher through even the smallest gaps and holes. They are experts at finding entry points and will exploit any existing holes or gaps in your dishwasher to gain entry.

Keeping the dishwasher and the surrounding area clean and sealed up is a crucial step in preventing ants from entering. 5.

Ant Nests Located Outside or Inside the House

Ants nests usually exist outside, but some ants may prefer to create their homes inside your house wall insulation. Ant colonies may have already established in your home, and their scouts may have found a food source in your dishwasher.

Once a colony has established a food source, they will keep returning to it.

Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Dishwasher

1. Identify Entry Points on the Dishwasher

The first step in getting rid of ants in your dishwasher is to identify the entry points they are using.

Check for gaps or holes in the dishwasher’s door, around the seals, and the space beneath the dishwasher. If you identify any holes or gaps, seal them up using silicone caulk or any other waterproof material.

2. Use Boric Acid or Vinegar to Get Rid of Ants

Boric acid and vinegar are natural remedies that can kill ants.

Boric acid acts as a stomach poison, while vinegar destroys the trail of pheromones that ants use to communicate. Mix boric acid with powdered sugar (to attract ants), and then place it on a saucer or jar lid near the dishwasher.

Ants will eat the boric acid powdered sugar mixture and take it back to the colony where it will slowly kill them. Vinegar can be used to wipe down any surfaces ants have traveled on, disrupting their trail of pheromones.

3. Application of Ant Baits to Get Rid of Nearby Ant Colony

Ant baits can be an effective solution for getting rid of ants in the dishwasher.

Ant baits are readily available at most hardware stores, and they contain a slow-acting poison that ants will take back to the colony, killing it off slowly. Place the ant bait in areas where ants have been seen and replace them regularly.

This will break the ant colony cycle by eliminating the queens. 4.

Risks of Using Pesticide Spray to Kill Ants in Dishwasher

While pesticide sprays may seem like a quick solution to getting rid of ants, they can be toxic and harmful to your family and pets. Overuse of pesticides can lead to exposure to harmful chemicals, which can cause numerous health problems.

It’s important to avoid using pesticide sprays in your dishwasher and opt for natural remedies instead. 5.

Keep Dishwasher and Surrounding Area Clean and Dry

Maintaining a clean and dry environment around your dishwasher can help prevent ants from infesting it. Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the dishwasher overnight and remove any crumbs or food debris.

Wipe down the dishwasher’s interior and exterior regularly, especially after use. Keep the area around the dishwasher dry and clean, as ants are attracted to moisture.

Fix any leaks or standing water in the area. 6.

DIY Ant Bait Recipe Using Borax and Powdered Sugar

Another natural remedy for getting rid of ants is a DIY ant bait recipe using borax and powdered sugar. Mix equal parts of borax and powdered sugar and place it in a saucer or jar lid near the dishwasher.

The ants will be attracted to the mixture and carry it back to the colony, killing the ants.


Getting rid of ants in the dishwasher can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Identifying the entry points and keeping the dishwasher and surrounding area clean and dry are the essential steps to prevent ants from infesting it.

Using natural remedies such as boric acid, vinegar, and ant baits are effective solutions to get rid of ants. Pesticide sprays should be avoided as much as possible.

Try out the remedies above to eliminate ants from your dishwasher and create a hygienic environment for your family.

Steps to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher

Ants in the dishwasher can be a frustrating and gross problem. They contaminate your dishes and can even pose a health hazard.

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to get rid of them. In this article, we will discuss the essential steps to take to eliminate ants from your dishwasher.

1. Pouring Vinegar Down the Dishwasher Drain

One of the most effective remedies to get rid of ants in the dishwasher is vinegar.

Simply pour white vinegar down the dishwasher’s drain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then, run the dishwasher on an empty cycle to flush out the vinegar.

The vinegar helps to break down the trails ants use to follow their scent and interfere with their ability to communicate with each other. This process also helps to sanitize the dishwasher by getting rid of any bacteria present.

2. Running Empty Cycle after Cleaning with Vinegar

After cleaning the dishwasher with vinegar, it’s necessary to run an empty cycle to remove any remaining vinegar and debris.

This step helps to remove the ants and their leftover eggs or nests that vinegar may have missed earlier in the cleaning process. 3.

Inspecting Home to Locate Ant Nest

Ants can get into your dishwasher from other parts of your home. Therefore, it’s essential to inspect your home for nests outside the dishwasher to prevent more ants from invading.

Look for ants outside the dishwasher and follow their trails to locate their nest and eliminate them. 4.

Applying Ant Baits to Get Rid of Ant Colony

Ant baits are an effective way to get rid of ants in and around your dishwasher. Ant baits contain a slow-acting poison that ants carry back to their colony, eventually killing them.

Place the ant bait in areas where ants are spotted, and don’t forget to replace them regularly until the ants are eliminated. Be careful not to put ant baits in areas where children and pets can access them.

5. Keeping Dishwasher and Surrounding Area Clean and Tidy

Maintaining cleanliness and tidiness in and around the dishwasher is essential to prevent another ant infestation.

Properly store food and wash dishes immediately after use to reduce the availability of food scraps for ants. Clean the dishwasher regularly to remove any spilled food and debris that can attract ants.

Wipe down the dishwasher’s exterior, including the door handle, with vinegar or soap and water to disinfect it. Make sure no standing water or leaks exist around the dishwasher or sink.

6. Use of Diluted Peppermint Essential Oil to Keep Ants Away

Peppermint essential oil is a natural ant repellent that works great in keeping ants away from your dishwasher.

Dilute the peppermint oil with water and place it in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture on the dishwasher and surrounding areas, such as the walls, cabinets, and floors.

You can also soak a cotton ball with peppermint oil and place it in areas high in ant traffic.

Types of Ants in Dishwashers

1. Identification of Ant Species for Effective Removal

Different species of ants require different treatments for elimination.

To properly remove ants from your dishwasher, identifying the type of ants present is essential. Consult with a pest control professional to help identify the ant species in your dishwasher and determine the most effective treatment plan.

2. Little Black Ants and Their Attraction to Grease and Oil in Dishwasher

Little Black Ants are the most common ant species found in dishwashers.

They are attracted to grease and oil left behind from dirty dishes. Cleaning the dishwasher regularly and reducing the availability of food, especially oily and greasy foods, can help to prevent their infestation.

3. Carpenter Ants and Their Preference for Moist and Humid Areas

Carpenter ants are known for their preference for moist and humid areas.

They can make their nests inside dishwashers, especially those with leaky pipes or that are not cleaned often. Repairing leaks and ensuring the dishwasher is always clean and dry will help to prevent carpenter ants from infesting it.

4. Sugar Ants and Their Attraction to Sweet Bits in the Kitchen

Sugar ants, also known as pharaoh ants, are commonly attracted to sweet bits found in the kitchen and dishwasher.

They are the tiny, yellow, and brown ants that are drawn to sugar and syrups. Proper food storage, such as in airtight containers, and regularly cleaning the kitchen and dishwasher are effective ways to prevent their infestation.

5. Importance of Locating and Eliminating Ant Nest to Prevent Further Infestations

It’s crucial to locate and eliminate ant nests to prevent future infestations.

Ants can create multiple colonies, and if one colony is left untouched, it will continue to breed and infest your home. Finding the ant nest, whether inside or outside your home, and eliminating the colony destroys the ant’s ability to return to your dishwasher or home.


Getting rid of ants in the dishwasher requires a combination of tactics, including cleaning the dishwasher, keeping the surrounding areas clean and tidy, removing ant nests, and using natural remedies. Identifying ant species is essential for effective treatment, as different species require different treatments to eliminate them.

Follow the above steps to create a hygienic environment that’s free of ants and ensure your dishwasher is always clean and functioning correctly. In conclusion, getting rid of ants in the dishwasher requires consistent maintenance, regular cleaning, and the use of natural remedies to prevent future infestations.

Identifying ant species and locating nests are essential steps for effective elimination. Keep in mind that home remedies and non-toxic solutions are the safest, fastest, and most environmentally-friendly ways to get rid of ants in your dishwasher.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your dishwasher remains ant-free and create an altogether hygienic and healthy environment for you and your family. Stay on top of preventive measures and always be attentive to the cleanliness and maintenance of your dishwasher to ensure a bug-free kitchen and a healthier living space.

Popular Posts