Where do ants go to the toilet?

Where do ants go to the toilet?

By Nicky Phillips

If you’ve ever wondered what ants do when nature calls – wonder no more.

Ants, scientists have discovered, don’t use an outhouse to relieve themselves but prefer the comfort and convenience of an ensuite.

Ants, like humans, use indoor toilets. Credit: Steven Siewert

After studying colonies of ants for two months, German researcher Tomer Czaczkes and his team found the tiny insects establish dedicated areas, or «toilets», to relieve themselves inside their intricate nests.

The team kept 21 colonies of black garden ants inside plaster nests, feeding them a sugar-based food laced with dye that resulted in a similar-coloured waste.

The coloured patches in these plaster ant nests are ant «toilets». Credit: Tomer Czaczjes

Far from being piss-ants, the coloured waste patches showed the lab specimens would only defecate in the corners of their homes.

«These patches never contained other waste material such as uneaten food items, or nestmate corpses. Such waste was collected in waste piles outside the nest,» said the researchers.

«The coloured patches are best described as ‘toilets’,» they said.

While it would be fun to assume ant’s good toilet hygiene is driven by their desire to be tidy, their behaviour has developed because it offers an advantage.

«Social insects have developed several strategies for dealing with waste and faecal matter, including dumping waste outside the nest and forming specialised waste-storage chambers,» said the researchers.

One possible explanation for the ant’s orderly living areas is to reduce the amount of disease-spreading bacteria. However, having toilets inside the nest may suggest pathogens aren’t a big problem, said the researchers.

«In some cases waste material and faeces are put to use, either as a construction material or as a long-lasting signal, suggesting that faeces and waste may not always be dangerous,» he said.

The findings have been published in the journal PLoS One.


How Do You Get Rid of Ants?

When you are standing in the shower in the morning, probably the last thing that you want to see is a stream of ants walking through the tiles to join you. Although this is far from a pleasant surprise, it is actually fairly common.

Ants come to the bathroom seeking out moisture and debris in the pipes that they can feed on.

Before you call a pest control company, consider the source of the ants. Pest control measures may kill the ants, but if there are structural deficiencies in your bathroom that are allowing the ants to get in, they will come back again.

Use these plumbing tips to get rid of ants in your bathroom.

Seal the Shower

The wood studs in the walls behind your bathtub or shower stall need to stay dry. If there is a leak around the tub or shower, water will seep into the walls and get the wood studs wet. The warm, damp environment of the wood studs is very appealing to ants, and they will make their way into your home to find that enticing aroma. You may need to call a plumber to seal your shower.

In order to get rid of ants for good, you need to close up any leaks that could let them in.

  • – Inspect the caulk around your tub or shower for cracks.
  • – Pay special attention to the spaces between the tiles and around the rim of the tub.
  • – Make sure that the shower is completely dry, and then seal the cracks in the caulk to prevent leaks.
  • – Add a dab of caulk anywhere that there is a crack or a hole.
  • – Gently smooth the caulk over. You can do this by just using your finger (although you may want to wear a glove). Allow the caulk to dry for a full 24 hours before you use the shower again.

Keep it Clean

Certain species of ants have a very strong sense of smell and are attracted by the scent of hair and skin cells. Of course, your shower is a prime location for skin and hair cells, and this attracts ants to your shower. You can combat this by scrubbing the shower weekly and pulling the stopper to remove hair balls.

Don’t Feed the Beasts

You can deter ants by not providing them with a meal. Keep all food in the kitchen. Beyond that, don’t dump cups of coffee or juice down bathroom drains. That residue in the drain will be a nice snack for the ants.

If you already have ants in your bathroom drain, you can clean out the drain to get rid of them. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, and then pour ½ cup of white vinegar down the drain. The mixture will bubble and foam, cleaning out the residue that is lining the drain pipes. Wait 10 minutes, and then flush the drain with hot water.

If this solution seems to work temporarily, but then the ants come back, and then it is probably time for you to have a professional drain cleaning. A plumber can use a hydro-jet to thoroughly clean all of the debris and residue from the drain.

If you can’t get rid of ants in your bathroom, call Scott English Plumbing. We will repair any cracks or leaks in your bathroom plumbing and clean your drain pipes completely with our hydro-jets. You don’t have to share your shower with the ants.

Just call Scott English Plumbing to schedule a service visit today.

Get help for your: bathroom plumbing | Other Service: hydro-jetting


How to Get Rid of Ants in Plumbing

Things You’ll Need

1/2 cup baking soda

See also:  Steam Cleaning, How to Use Steam Cleaners, Cleanipedia

1/2 cup white vinegar

Disposable caulk gun

Ant bait stations

Ants are attracted into the home by food sources. Keep the kitchen and other rooms clean and free of food crumbs or empty food and beverage containers. Vacuum and mop frequently to avoid an accumulation of food spills and stains. Be persistent with ant control methods for at least one month to ensure the entire colony is gone. Enlist the help of a professional exterminator if your efforts aren’t bringing results after six weeks.

The sink drain might be the last place you expect to find ants, but plumbing areas can be enticing to the pests. Food and grease buildup inside drains and pipes attracts ants to the steady food supplies. If the crafty critters build nests in, or near, your house, providing easy access to plumbing, your pipes can be a regular hangout for ants without you even knowing it. You can get rid of ants in plumbing by cleaning drains and pipes to remove attractive conditions while controlling ants to remove the infestation.

Step 1

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain where ants have been spotted. Follow the baking soda with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let the solution bubble inside the drain for 10 minutes to loosen food and grease residue.

Step 2

Heat 1 quart of water to a boil in a cooking pot. Slowly pour the boiling water down the drain to kill ants inside and remove the substances attracting them.

Step 3

Kill ant nests and colonies in the walls around pipes with borax powder. Use a disposable caulking gun to pump borax into the wall by way of the space around pipes underneath the sink.

Step 4

Position commercial ant bait stations inside cabinets under sinks and any other enclosed area near plumbing fixtures. Replenish the bait stations with new ones as instructed by the manufacturer.


Do ants go to yhe toilet

Why Do I Have Ants in My Bathroom?

The quintessential uninvited picnic guests, ants show up in all kinds of other places as well. Particularly where food is involved. So when you see an ant in your kitchen or other places where you have food, it’s really not a surprise.

But why in the world would ants want to hang out in your bathroom? Unless you’re eating sandwiches in there and dropping lots of crumbs, it’s hard to imagine why ants would have much affection for the room where your toilet, shower and sink are located.

Keeping your bathroom clean and disinfected is one of the first and most important steps toward keeping your entire home free from pests. However, there are a few factors present in bathrooms that really can’t completely be avoided if you actually use your bathroom.


No matter what you do, it’s impossible to keep a bathroom dry! Just as the name implies, this is the place for taking baths and showers, as well as flushing the toilet and washing your hands. Not only that, unnoticed water leaks can cause wood and other materials to decay, which may act as a source of food for ants. Of course, taking care of leaky fixtures and wiping up water spills is important, but really it’s not likely that you can keep your bathroom completely water free.

Skin Cells/Hair Cells

Each time you walk into the bathroom to brush your teeth, wash your hands, shower, or comb your hair, you are creating a trigger that may draw ants in. Disgusting as it sound, ants are attracted to the chemical odors in your bathroom, scents coming from your drain, and even fermented hair. That’s why bathrooms are one of the most common places in the home that ants like to turn into their homes.


Various odors emanating from the bathroom can act as a draw for ants. The bathtub or shower drain filled with hair is disgusting for us, but acts as a favorable place for stagnant water to collect. In fact, ants consider this to be a source of food and are highly attracted to the scent the drain gives off. Even if you can’t smell it, the ants can.

Houston Ant Control Solutions

Because of moisture, odors and other attractions, ants clearly love your bathroom and probably aren’t going to stay away on their own. And for every ant you see? There could be hundreds or even thousands of ants hiding in the walls that you can’t actually see. Even just one ant that seems like a stray may be a sign of an ant infestation.

Sealing up cracks and crevices is a good start to make sure that ants aren’t able to get inside of your bathroom or your home. And getting rid of the hair in your bathroom sink or shower drain will help to keep ants from being attracted in by the scent. But existing ant infestations that are simply left alone will not only stay in your bathroom, they are quite likely to grow. The best way to get rid of ants in your bathroom (and entire home) is to contact a pest control professional.

Cypress Creek Pest Control in Houston provides professional ant control treatments that are tailored to the specific characteristics of each ant species. This allows the nest to be found, the queen ant to be eliminated, and residual ants to be controlled. Contact Cypress Creek Pest Control professionals today for information or a quote.


Ants, music and toilet paper: A group behaviour explanation of panic buying

Pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets, where toilet paper is usually plentiful, is one of the striking images associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Some consider this panic buying and irrational behaviour. The disease does not appear to require the particular use of the tissues

Download article as PDF


Stay up to date with all of ING’s latest economic and financial analysis.

But if we consider an experiment with ants, and an experiment in choosing hit songs in pop music it is possible to get a better idea of how people make individual decisions when in groups. Individual behaviour in influenced by the decisions of others. As a result, the behaviour of any individual and a group made up of individuals can change quickly and unexpectedly.

Consider a colony of ants. Place two mounds with the same amount of food equidistant from the entrance to the ant colony. Then watch as the ants move to one mound or the other. Food taken by the ants is replaced to ensure the two mounds remain with the same amount of food. You may expect the ants to be indifferent to the two mounds. A 50:50 split in ant traffic would seem rational.

See also:  Detailed External Anatomy, Grasshoppers of Wyoming and the West

But that is not what happens. Most ants will go to one mound. The ants communicate with each other through chemical secretions. The experience of one ant in finding food will affect the decision of other ants. Still, there are a few rebels will go to the other mound. Slowly there are more rebels. Then, unexpectedly, traffic will change rapidly to favour the other mound.

Remember, both mounds are replenished so they are equally tempting. There seems no reason for the sudden change in behaviour. Over long periods, ant traffic will favour one mound and quickly switch to the other.

Their behaviour changes quickly and for no apparent reason. This is a classic experiment outlined by Paul Ormerod in his 1998 book Butterfly Economics. It is used as the basis of explaining how decisions by individuals are affected by the group they mix with. The fickleness of ant behaviour is used by Ormerod to help explain why it is difficult to control crime, divorce and family formation, and voting intentions between political parties.

Ormerod argues that in each case the behaviour of a society can change quickly between law-abiding to crime-ridden, from favouring long-lasting marriages to high divorce rates, and from favouring one political party to another. Using some diagrams showing how several factors can interact with each other, the dominant behaviour of a group can switch from one state (e.g. law-abiding) to another (crime-ridden) quickly. In fact, a group can be in either state given the same value of any single factor. For example, a society may be in either a law-abiding or a crime-ridden state even though the level of income is the same. There is not a simple, linear relationship between income and crime. The relationship is complex. It is non-linear and can suddenly break from one state to the other – just as the ants move from one mound of food to the other.

To understand what this may have to do with toilet paper, we should consider popular music.


Another classic experiment looking at how people make decisions when in groups was published in 2006 by Matthew Salganik, Peter Sheridan Dodds and Duncan Watts in the journal Science. The authors wondered why hit pop songs were so dominant in their popularity compared to songs that were not hits but were considered equally good. And yet it was difficult to predict which song would be a hit. The dominance of the hit song and the simultaneous unpredictability of it seemed contradictory.

The authors set up an experiment where people were asked to choose their favourite song from a list of songs they were unlikely to have heard before. They could then download the song they had chosen as the best. Some were given no guidance. Others were shown how many downloads had occurred previously for all the different songs.

Those who were given guidance were more likely to favour one particular song from the list. Those not given guidance were more likely to have a wider spread of choices. Furthermore, the song more likely to be chosen by the groups that was prompted with information of the downloads by others, were more difficult to predict. To be clear, the best songs rarely did poorly and the worst songs rarely did well.

The authors argue that the experiment shows that “experts fail to predict success not because they are incompetent judges or mis-informed about the preferences of others, but because when individual decisions are subject to social influence, markets do not simply aggregate pre-existing individual preferences. In such a world, there are inherent limits on the predictability of outcomes, irrespective of how much skill or information one has.”

To understand what this may have to do with toilet paper, let’s combine the ant experiment with this one.

Ant music

If a group of people can shift rapidly from one state to another and also the dominance of one opinion can be influenced by knowing the decision of others, why can’t a society shift quickly from not worrying about the availability of toilet paper to panic buying? You see the shelf with toilet paper get a bit low, then hear others are buying more than usual. Suddenly, everybody is trying to get toilet paper. As in the music experiment, your individual decision to buy toilet paper is influenced by knowing what others are doing. And as in the ant experiment, there is not a smooth transition from toilet paper plenty to toilet paper scarce. Behaviour changes quickly. It can be discontinuous.

Panic buying is not irrational. It is a function of how decisions are made in groups. Simply supplying more toilet paper may not solve the panic. The market for toilet paper is broken. Other solutions may be necessary. Rationing sales. Shaming hoarders. Calming words from a trusted authority. Each of these may have more effect in changing demand for toilet paper.

It’s easy to dismiss people as sheeple. It’s more complex. They like Antmusic.


How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom

While you may expect to find an ant here or there around your house during the Summer, discovering a whole swarm of them can be pretty distressing. And unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find a whole colony of ants taking up residence in different rooms in your house — including your bathroom. They might be harmless, but any unwanted visitors in your home like insects can be pretty gross. Getting rid of ants may not be as difficult as other household pests (we’re looking at you, bedbugs!), but it does require some planning. Keep reading to find out how.

Find the Cause

Before you start your battle with your new guests, it’s important to figure out where the ants are coming from. Often, if you have ants in your bathroom, it’s likely that a colony has made itself pretty comfortable somewhere in the bathroom, and they’re probably not coming in for a quick visit. Inspect your bathroom to see if you can find the colony, or watch the ants to see if they lead you there. If you’re lucky, the cause of your ant problem will be pretty obvious.

See also:  Electric Lamp, Types of Electric Lamp, Electrical4U

Identify the Species

Not all ants are alike, and identifying the type of ant you have could help in your fight against them. But it might take a bit of guesswork if you’re not an insect expert. Most ants you find in your bathroom will be either carpenter ants or pharaoh ants. Carpenter ants are attracted to moisture and wood, so they may actually be a sign of a bigger moisture issue. Pharaoh ants like warm spots for their nests, and their colonies can grow to be pretty huge.

Try a Nontoxic Spray

Sprays are great for killing ants on contact. There are lots of ant sprays available on the market, and they can also act as a deterrent for other ants to enter your home. But there are a couple of things to be aware of when using an ant spray. First, you should use a nontoxic spray in smaller, less ventilated areas like your bathroom. And second, they won’t get rid of your ant problem completely.

Set Some Traps

Even if you kill all of the ants you can see, they’re still likely to come back. Plus, those little creatures are so small and can hide almost anywhere. That’s why traps can be a good addition to your arsenal. Typically, they work by attracting the ants with «food» — which we know as poison. After they feed on it, they take it back to the colony and the idea is that they transfer it to the queen and kill the whole colony. And most traps are child-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about your children ingesting the poison.

Clean Your Toilet

The truth about ants is that they’re always looking for food. And as gross as it may sound, urine and other matter around your toilet is considered food. If you notice little ants around the edge of your toilet, this may be what’s attracting them in the first place. Consider upping your cleaning routine and keeping the area in and around your toilet especially clean. Even a quick wipe with a disinfectant every day should help curb the problem.

Ensure Proper Drainage

In addition to being attracted to food, ants are attracted to moisture — and your bathroom can harbor a ton of moisture. Try to make sure you never leave any puddles or reservoirs of standing water for long periods of time. If your shower has a drainage problem, consider getting it fixed.

Replace Broken Tiles

Cracked or broken tiles provide the perfect living situation for ants. The cracks allow them to hide out of sight and out of danger, and often cracks in bathroom tiles are also moist to boot. If you have an ant problem, whether you notice them in the cracks or not, it’s a good idea to replace the broken tiles. This can help you prevent the colony from spreading and making it their new home.

Seal Cracks

Keeping ants at bay from the get-go will help you prevent any future ant problems. If ants in the bathroom are a common problem for you, seal any cracks in the walls, floor, and elsewhere to give them fewer places to enter from outside and fewer places to live if they make it to your bathroom. You should also make sure your toilet has adequate caulking where it meets the floor.


getting rid of toilet ants

I’ve got a nasty case of toilet ants. What i suspect that means is the subfloor/ wax ring are shot and they’re there for the moisture. My toilet sweats like crazy and I usually leave a towel on the floor under it during all the months that the temp is above freezing.

This is a multi-part problem.
-I want the ants gone (probably eating up the subfloor)
-I will need to fix the toilet/floor
-and ultimately stop the toilet from sweating so bad that it’s wrecking the floor.

If I address the real problem, will the ants go away? Im not into using poisons.

I don’t know about toilet ants but the toilet wax ring replacement is a simple enough job. Usually you just need to unscrew the two screws on the sides, lift the toilet, set it aside and replace the wax ring. The hardest part is to put the toilet back in place while keeping the two screws in place, i’ve done it by myself but it’s much easier with a second pair of hands.

if you’ve never done it before you should look at how the screws are kept in place before reinstating the toilet. Some people use generous amounts of silicon on the outside part of the ring before installing the toilet to make sure there won’t be any leaks.

Now if the subfloor is already rotten it’ll become a bigger job but you won’t know until you remove the toile t and look.

Are you talking about CARPENTER ants i wonder?
these ant’s need wet wood making it easier to chew
to set up shop for an ANT Colony under your sweaty toilet.

There are things like borax and DE that will help repel ants in the future, once you fix the problem.

My parents had the sweaty tank problem bad when I was a kid. They installed a mixer valve so the tank fills with warm water. The valve was set to about room temperature, didn’t use much hot water. If anything it saved water because it got all the cold water out of the hot pipe so you didn’t have to wait for the water to warm up in the sink.

«You must be the change you want to see in the world.» «First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.» —Mahatma Gandhi
«Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.» —Francis of Assisi.
«Family farms work when the whole family works the farm.» — Adam Klaus


No comments

Добавить комментарий

Your e-mail will not be published. All fields are required.