How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher? Ants are one of the most common pests that can infest your home, and dealing with them can be extremely frustrating. Ants can be found on counters, in pet food bowls, and even in the dishwasher! 

Dishwashers may be a least expected place where ants would be found but in reality it could be a frequent problem for homeowners. 

How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher? Ants in dishwashers can be a problem if you don’t act quickly. Is your dishwasher infested with ants? Are you confused about what to do about these creepy crawlers?

Although having ants in the dishwasher is inconvenient, you can easily solve the problem yourself without calling for exterminators or using poisonous pesticides. Most people believe that running hot water through the dishwasher will kill the ants, but the truth is that ants can hide in cracks and holes during the washing cycle.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher?

How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher? We will provide you with such methods and solutions where there will be no need to use toxic insecticides or to phone exterminators to get rid of the ants in the dishwasher.

But first we will go behind the reason of where the ants are coming from?

Where are the Ants Coming From?

The first step in getting rid of ants in the dishwasher is to identify the type of ant you’re dealing with and observe their behaviour. Examine the ants carefully to see what they look like, what they eat, and where they come from.

What kind of ants are you dealing with?

Are they black ants, white ants, carpenter ants, odorous ants, sugar ants, or another type of ant?

What are the ants looking for?

Are they consuming foods that have been left on dishes in your dishwasher? If this is the case, you will eventually have to make it a habit to wipe away food scraps from your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Another option is to run the dishwasher immediately after loading the dishes.

What is the source of the ants?

How do they get into your dishwasher? Are they entering your home via the dishwasher drain, or are they already inside but entering the dishwasher via cracks in the wall or appliance?

Once you’ve determined what kind of ant you’re dealing with, why they’re in your dishwasher, and discovered their entry point (how the ants are getting in), you’re ready to eliminate the ants.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Dishwasher: Step by Step Guide 

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How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher? You can get rid of ants in the dishwasher using a variety of methods. We recommend that you use all of them for the best results.

Let’s get started with our step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Pour Vinegar Down the Dishwasher’s Drain

To get rid of ants in the dishwasher, use vinegar as a natural pest control solution. Ants are drawn to your dishwasher primarily because they can smell the food particles on the plates. Although vinegar will not kill the ants in the dishwasher, it will mask the odor of the food and disinfect the drain.

To get rid of ants in the dishwasher as well as any food residue, pour at least one cup of vinegar down the drain. It’s also effective to combine borax and vinegar. To keep ants out of the dishwasher, spray or wipe the insides with vinegar and borax after each wash cycle.

Step 2: Run the Dishwasher on an Empty Cycle

After thoroughly cleaning the dishwasher’s drain and interiors with vinegar, you must now run an empty wash cycle. This will ensure that there are no ants or food leftovers inside.

Step 3: Inspect Your Home and Find Where the Ants Are Coming From

Now that your dishwasher is safe, you should conduct a home inspection to determine where the ants are coming from and where their nest is located. 

If you eliminate the nest completely, dealing with the infestation and preventing it from happening again will be much easier.

Follow the ant pheromone trails to find the nest. In most cases, their nest is located outside the house, but depending on the type of ant, it can also be found inside the house.

Step 4: Applying Ant Baits

It’s time for ant baits after you’ve discovered an ant nest and their most common trails. Ant baits take a long time to work, but the results are incredible. The ant will carry the bait back to the nest once it has been discovered. The bait is made up of two ingredients: an ant-friendly food and a poison. When all of the ants in the colony (including the queen) have consumed the bait, the colony will die.

Because some ants prefer specific baits, it’s essential to figure out which species of ants have infested your home before purchasing an ant bait.

Step 5: Keep the Ants Out of the Dishwasher

Clean your drain

Cleaning your drain on a regular basis is an effective way to prevent these insects from appearing.

Delete the nest

To keep this pest from returning to your dishwasher, it’s best to get rid of its nest and solve the problem at its source. The ants will not build a nest inside the dishwasher because it only provides water and food. It shouldn’t be too far away, though, so you can use ant traps or bait to find them.

Keep Everything Clean

Cleaning the inside and outside of the dishwasher on a regular basis will keep these from appearing frequently and annoyingly. Keep everything dry, avoiding wet or rotten wood, for example, as this will only attract carpenter ants.

Remove debris

Remember that food scraps are the primary source of attraction for ants, so eliminating them is a good place to start. Remove any food residue from the dishwasher and clean with vinegar to mask the odor.

Furthermore, you can spray the dishwasher inside and out with diluted peppermint essential oil, which ants dislike and will keep them away. Check for any cracks or holes in the dishwasher or near the wall that ants could use to get in. If you discover any holes through which ants can enter, seal them as soon as possible.

How To Get Rid Of Ants Naturally?

How To Get Rid Of Ants? Most of the time, spraying toxic chemicals isn’t necessary for ant or pest control. If you catch the problem early, baking soda and vinegar should be enough to get rid of the sewer ants in Aa dishwasher. Other natural ant repellents include peppermint, lemon juice, cinnamon, diatomaceous earth, and cayenne pepper.


To make a natural ant repellent, combine 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with two cups of water. Fill a spray bottle with it and spray it near problem areas and potential entry points.

Lemon Juice 

To make a solution, combine one part lemon juice and three parts water. Spray this in problem areas to mask ant scent trails. To keep ants away, cover up the scent trails.


Culinary cinnamon may deter ants from a specific area, but it lacks the strength of scent to completely repel them.

The most concentrated form of cinnamon essential oil is one percent oil to 99 percent water, which can be used to make a natural ant repellent.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic powder that is deadly to ants. It’s made up of fossilized algae that ants find razor-sharp, but animals and humans find soft and powdery. Apply a thin layer of paint to the baseboards and any potential entry points.


Cayenne is a natural ant repellent because it irritates them. As a natural ant repellent, sprinkle a thin layer around any possible entry points.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds have a strong odor that ants dislike. When coffee grounds are burned, the smell becomes even stronger, so used coffee grounds are the best option.

If ants consume any of the coffee grounds, they will die from the caffeine. Sprinkle the grounds around areas in your kitchen where you’ve noticed ants for pest control. For the best results, replace them with fresh coffee grounds every day.

Additional Precautions You May Need to Take

Additional steps are required in some ant infestations (such as extra cleaning or hiring a professional pest control company).

Infestations of this type include:

Carpenter Ants

These aren’t the typical tiny black ants you’d find at a picnic. Carpenter ants are larger and can nest inside your home, causing damage to your wood furniture and even your foundation. Carpenter ants will usually enter your dishwasher from behind the machine.

Their nests can be found under the dishwasher, under the floor, or inside your home’s walls.

Carpenter ants can cause significant financial and, in some cases, catastrophic damage, so you’ll want to act quickly. If you can’t get rid of the infestation quickly, consider hiring a pest control company.

Sewer Ants

If the ants are coming from your dishwasher’s plumbing, you may be dealing with sewer ants.

Food residue and grease that can build up in drains and pipes attract these ants, so in addition to the steps I shared above, you’ll need to clean both areas.

Black Ants

Black ants, as the name implies, are black in color, and depending on their size, you can tell if you’re dealing with little black ants or carpenter ants. The latter is noticeably larger in size.

Little black ants are approximately 1/16 inch long and dark brown to black in color. Their primary food source is other dead or alive insects, but they frequently enter houses in search of food because they are drawn to grease and oil.

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are small insects that are usually dark brown or black in color. They’re tiny, measuring only three millimeters or so, and can easily navigate tight spaces.

The majority of Argentine ants enter dishwashers by crawling through the drain pipe. They can, however, live near leaks and damaged wood.

Because they form sub colonies, this species is notoriously difficult to eradicate. You must set up numerous sugar-based traps to kill them.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are about three millimeters long and reddish-brown or yellow in color. They prefer to live in moist environments. Because of the proximity to water, this species frequently establishes colonies behind a dishwasher.

Pharaoh ants dig tunnels with their spit rather than sand and dirt. As a result, they can build nests in any void they come across.

When dealing with pharaoh ants, you must exercise extreme caution. When these pests are sprayed with insecticides, they divide into smaller colonies. If you use sprays or powders to kill them, you may unintentionally spread the infestation.

The best course of action for success is to set up traps. Pharaoh ants eat both sweets and proteins.

Sugar Ants

The term “sugar ant” is somewhat of a catch-all. It refers to any small ant species that only eats sugary foods. Many different species are classified as “sugar ants.”

Provide sugar-based traps to kill these ants. They are effective with poisoned sugar water and the majority of commercial bait products.

Odorous Ants

These names are derived from the pungent odor they produce when crushed. Odorous ants, which are about three millimeters long, can be difficult to eradicate. 

They not only build nests in hidden voids, but they also disperse to form small colonies, much like pharaoh ants. When it comes to odorous ants, bait traps are the way to go. 

Fortunately, their preference for sweet foods makes them easy to remove from your dishwasher.

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Can Ants Cause Damage to the Dishwasher?

Ant infestations are usually just a nuisance, and they don’t do much damage to the dishwasher. However, if you have carpenter ants in your dishwasher, they could be nesting in the void behind it, or in any moist or rotten wood nearby. Carpenter ants chew through wood and leave piles of sawdust behind, and their colonies can quickly grow. If you don’t deal with them properly, they can turn into a serious problem in a matter of weeks.

Should I spray pesticides in my dishwasher to kill ants?

No, spraying pesticides inside your dishwasher is not a good idea. These products contain harsh chemicals that could harm the machine as well as you and your family’s health.

Does vinegar kill ants?

If you’re a homeowner who wants to keep your home pest-free, you might wonder if an ant infestation can be treated with vinegar. Because vinegar has a strong odor that ants dislike, a vinegar and water solution can be used to repel ants. However, I believe that using vinegar is only a temporary solution.

Is boric acid safe to use for pest control?

Boric acid is a proven pest management solution that is used with incredible success. Surprisingly, this option is less expensive than other options and works quickly to eliminate your pest problems. When it comes to safety, humans and pets should avoid ingesting boric acid. So be cautious when using this product around pets and small children, who may inadvertently inhale or digest it if they come into contact with it.

How do you kill ants with borax?

Another effective ant killer is borax, which should not be confused with boric acid. If you don’t want to use borax directly in your home, there’s an easier and more practical way to get rid of ants. Simply combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of borax with 1/2 cup of sugar. To make a mixture, thoroughly combine both ingredients with 1-1/2 cup warm water. Soak a few cotton balls in the mixture before strategically placing them where you have seen ants. When your problem has been resolved, remove the cotton balls after a few days. Keep children and pets at a safe distance as well.

Wrapping Up – How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher?

As you can see, clearing ants from your dishwasher is not as difficult as you might think. All you have to do is learn how to extract them and then practice good kitchen habits in the future.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Dishwasher? In some cases, if your ant problem has become severe, you should consider hiring professional ant exterminators. They will solve your ant problem in one day, but if you decide to solve it yourself, try to strictly stick to our instructions.

Some ants are more hard to eliminate and require more time and effort, but they can also cause serious problems if left unattended.

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