If you own a washing machine, there’s a good chance that ants have taken up residence inside it at some point.
Ants are very sneaky insects and sometimes you don’t even realize it, and they take over your space. Creating their own little city.
When ants get into your washer, they usually will do more harm than good.
Although we don’t call for ants in our washing machines, we more often than not facilitate their invasion into our spaces, including our washing machines.
In this article, we are going to dive deep into everything you need to know about ants in a washing machine.
How ants get into your washer to what you can do about it.
Table of Contents
Why are there ants in my washing machine?
There are a few reasons why ants would enter your washing machine.
The most common reason is that they are looking for food and water. Just like we need those things to survive, so do ants.
If you have ever spilled any drink/food in or around your washing machine, there’s a possibility that the spill has attracted ants.
Another possibility as to why ants have taken over your washing machine is that they are always looking for a new place to build their colony.
So if they find that they can settle in your washing machine, they would.
Once they are in, they will start to build their nests and lay eggs if they are inside parts that don’t get access to water.
The next thing you know, you have an ant infestation on your hands!
What attracts ants to washing machines?
Ants don’t come unsummoned. One way or another we always attract them, whether we are aware or not.
The worst part is that ants release a chemical called pheromones which they use to call other ants nearby.
These are some common things that attract ants to our washing machines:
Bet you can relate to one or two.
- Spilled food or drink
- Dirty washing machine
- Babies clothing
- The smell of laundry detergent
- Washing machine location
- Sweat in clothing
1. Spilled food or drink
If you have little kids in your home who always throw and leave bits and pieces of food all around the laundry, that’s a sure way to attract ants to your washer.
Even when you sweep or use a vacuum cleaner, it’s possible you still will leave behind traces of food that ants can still chase after.
2. Dirty washing machine
A common thing that attracts ants is not keeping your washing machine clean.
Just like every other appliance in our home, washing machines need to be cleaned on a regular basis too.
If you don’t, all the dirt, grime, and mildew will start to build up and before you know it ants will come crawling.
The reason why ants might be attracted to your washing machine is that it provides warmth.
In the winter months, ants will go into hibernation to survive the cold.
But in the warmer months, they will come out of hiding in search of food and water.
If your washing machine is located in a warm area of your home, it might be attracting ants for the winter.
Some people might think that ants can’t survive in damp environments, but actually, some ant species are more than happy to feed on your laundry’s condensation mist.
They are called moisture ants.
They are attracted to areas where there is any form of moisture, both indoors and outdoors.
If your washer is located in a damp area of your home, like the basement, then you are likely to attract ants.
5. Washing machine location
The location of your washing machine can also be a factor in why ants are attracted to it.
If your washing machine is located in dampness, warmth, or food source, you could be inviting ants into your washer.
6. Babies’ clothing
Baby’s clothing is another laundry item that can attract ants.
The reason being is that babies often have food or drink spills on their clothes.
If you don’t wash their clothes right away, the clothes will attract ants to the area.
7. The smell of laundry detergent
Ants are attracted to the smell of food.
When you use sweet-smelling detergents for laundry, it tends to attract ants close by.
Even though ants will die in most detergents, the smell still attracts them. If only they knew.
8. Sweat in clothing
Sweat is another thing that can attract ants to your washing machine.
When you sweat, the sweat will get trapped in your clothes.
If you don’t wash your sweaty clothes right away or keep it in the right place, the sweat will start to attract ants and they will end up following your clothes into your washing machine.
Some Ants like the carpenter ant are attracted to the darkness. If your laundry room doesn’t have much light, that could be another reason why ants are attracted to your washing machine.
Can ants live in a washing machine?
Now that we know some of the reasons why ants might be attracted to your washing machine, you might be wondering if they can actually live in there.
The answer is yes, ants can live in your washing machine. If they have found their way into your washer, they will most likely build their nest there because it’s a warm and damp environment.
The only problem is that if ants are living in your washing machine, they will eventually come out when you go to use it. And no one wants ants crawling all over their clean clothes.
How long can ants stay in a washing machine?
The length of time that ants stay in a washing machine depends on the ant species.
Some ants can live for long periods of time without food or water.
However, most ants will only be able to survive for a few days without food or water.
So if you don’t use your washing machine for a few days, the ants will most likely die.
But if the ants are in the drum of your washer, they will die once you run a wash cycle because they can’t stand the detergent together with the turbulence a wash cycle generates.
Places in a washing machine ants can be
There are a few places in a washing machine where ants can lodge and hide.
If you see or suspect that there are ants in your washing machine you can check any of these places in your washer.
- The door seal: This is because the door seal is usually the warmest and dampest area in the washing machine.
- Behind the control panel: This is because the control panel is usually located near the door seal and is also a warm area.
- In the detergent dispenser: This is because the detergent dispenser is usually located near the door seal and is also a warm area. Moreover, the smell of the detergent sometimes attracts ants.
What kind of ants are in my washing machine?
There are a few different types of ants that might be in your washing machine. These ants are usually found in homes or places that facilitate their growth.
As you can probably guess, these ants are attracted to sugar and will often enter homes in search of it.
Sugar ants are attracted to sweet smells, which is why they are often found near the detergent dispenser.
These ants are attracted to moisture and can often be found near water sources like sinks and washing machines.
Flying ants are attracted to the outside of the washing machine where there is more light.
Ants are undesirable in washing machines because they can cause some damage to soft parts of your washing machine.
Also, they can cause stains on your clothes if rinsed together.
Can you wash ants out of clothes?
The good news is that you can wash ants out of clothes.
All you need to do is put your clothes in the washing machine and run a normal cycle.
The detergent washing liquid and water will kill the ants and they will come out in the wash.
Just make sure to check your clothes before you put them in the dryer.
How do I get rid of ants in my washing machine?
Ants aren’t insects we want to accommodate in our washing machines.
So you need to use efficient and effective ways to get rid of them anytime they find their way into your washing machine
Here are 5 effective ways to get rid of ants in your washing machine:
1. Closing entry points
There are usually entry points through which ants come close to your washing machine and finally into it.
One of the best ways to prevent ants from getting into your washing machine in the first place is to seal up any cracks or holes.
You need to inspect your washer for any possible entry point for ants, such as holes in the floor and walls.
2. Use a vinegar solution.
Vinegar is a great natural way to get rid of ants.
All you need to do is mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water and use it to wipe down the areas in your washing machine where you’ve seen ants.
You should also mop around the laundry room to get rid of any ants hiding in between the tiles.
3. Use a lemon solution.
Lemon is another great natural way to get rid of ants.
All you need to do is mix 1 part lemon juice with 3 parts water and use it to wipe down the areas in your washing machine where you’ve seen ants.
4. Use an insecticide.
If you want to use a chemical solution to get rid of ants, you can use an insecticide.
Just be sure to follow the directions on the label and only use the insecticide in areas where you’ve seen ants.
5. Call an exterminator.
If you’re struggling to get rid of ants in your washing machine, you can always call an exterminator. They will be able to identify the type of ant and develop a plan to get rid of them.
Preventing ants in your washing machine
The best way to deal with ants in your washing machine is to prevent them from getting in in the first place. Here are a few tips:
1. Keep your washing machine clean, both on the outside and inside. Wipe up any spills or dirt immediately.
2. Regularly check your washing machine for cracks or holes, and seal any that you find.
3. Store food and dirty laundry in sealed containers to prevent ants from getting to them.
4. Keep your home clean and free of clutter to make it less attractive to ants.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep ants out of your washing machine.
As established at the beginning of this article, you may encounter ants inside your washer one day. Now you can be assured not to be caught off guard as we have discussed in detail all that you need to know about ants in washing machines.
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