What To Do If You Find Ants In Your Dishwasher

When pests like insects or rodents are invading your home, they always seem to find their way into the kitchen. This makes sense, as pests are seeking sources of food, water, and warmth, and your kitchen is going to have these items at plentiful levels. But you might be surprised to find that some pests, such as ants, are seeking these types of things inside your dishwasher. You might believe that you properly clean your dishwasher or that the appliance gets too hot to be a home for ants, but that's not always the case. So what can you do about this problem? You can take steps like using a cleaning solution inside the appliance, washing out the filter, using bait traps nearby, and figuring out where these insects are entering the home and kitchen.

So why do ants want to go into a dishwasher? These pests certainly don't want to be inside the machine while it's running because of the large amount of water that's present. However, after it runs through its cycle, the insects find the interior of the appliance quite hospitable. After it runs, even if you make use of a drying cycle, there's still some moisture inside the machine, which attracts ants. Additionally, the dishwasher may still have some food particles in the filter or on the interior which also draws these pests. Ants are tiny insects, and even a crumb of food is attractive to them.

Proactive steps you can take to combat ants inside your dishwasher

If you have a significant number of ants in your dishwasher and you want to eliminate them quickly, you can spray ant poison anywhere you are seeing them, including tracking them back to where they are entering the home. If you use this method inside the machine, though, be sure to thoroughly wipe it down afterward. Never spray these chemicals with plates or silverware inside; it should be completely empty, including any removable trays. Run a sanitary cycle with the dishwasher empty to wash away any remaining chemicals from the spray, as the sanitary cycle uses more water than a normal cycle. 

Because you're targeting ants inside your kitchen and around your family's food, consider natural ways to get rid of ants without poisons. Some pest control experts do not recommend using any pesticides inside the dishwasher, so a natural solution may be a better idea for you. One of the best options you can use is simple white vinegar. Create a spray that combines the vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio, and then spray the insects before wiping the bodies up. Vinegar is harmless inside your dishwasher. You also may want to remove the kickplate at the bottom of the machine and place bait traps or diatomaceous earth in this protected area, which should deter or kill the insects.

Measures you can take to keep ants from coming back to your dishwasher

Once you believe you have eliminated the infestation of ants in your kitchen and dishwasher, you should take a few additional steps to prevent them from wanting to return to the area. Start by thoroughly cleaning the dishwasher's interior. Clean the surfaces inside the appliance with a cleanser to remove any greasy spots or stuck-on food. Remove the filter in the bottom of the machine and wash it thoroughly to remove food and other particles that may draw ants. With the filter out, you may want to place baking soda and vinegar inside the drain for the dishwasher to break up any remaining food particles. Then, run a sanitary cycle for the machine to wash away any remaining cleaning product residue. To prevent ants from wanting to return, you should always rinse your dishes to remove any remaining food particles before placing them in the dishwasher if you're going to let them sit for a couple of days before running a cycle. Keep the door to the appliance closed at all times as well. 

Ultimately, you may need to call a pest control company in your area. These companies have experience dealing with infestations of ants, and they can do so safely, using methods that will protect your food while eliminating ants and preventing them from returning.