Getting Rid of Ants in a Dishwasher

Category Ants
Bits of food and even water can attract ants to your dishwasher. Finding the way that they are getting into your home is an important step in getting rid of them. Many homeowners have found that Terro is a very effective product to use to treat the nest by having the invaders carry it back. This is a page about getting rid of ants in a dishwasher.


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October 13, 2012

How do I get rid of ants in the dishwasher without a lot of expense?

By Joan


October 15, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Squeeze bottle with 90% karo syrup and 10% 20 mule team Borax warmed for few seconds to dissolve. Out of the way of pets put dollops of this syrup near the dishwasher if not the entry point. Ants will eat and carry back to colony for days. This kills the queen and the colony. Queens can live for up to 20 years and produce many more queens. Colony must be killed not just the workers.

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November 24, 2009

I discovered ants in my dishwasher; I am a clean freak who rinses everything thoroughly before I put dishes in the washer. Any suggestions on what to do?


By Diedra from OH


November 28, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Any time you see ants, you can stop them for a long time with a product called Terro. It's a clear liquid that is basically a sweetener and boric acid.

You put a quarter sized drop on the cardboard they provide, set it down away from kids and pets, like under the sink and fridge, or on windowsills. They come to the "watering hole" and drink, which you will see just like an eclipse around the sun! It's clear in the middle and black around the edges.

Then, they go off and die, spreading the boric acid to the colony. It can be found in any hardware or department store, and is about 3.49 for a bottle that will last you at least 6 months to a year.


This stuff works wonders. Check it out on line. PBP

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 7, 2009

Has anyone heard of this and have any suggestions? My dishwasher is getting full of ants. When I open in the morning, it will be full of ants. I run a small amount of hot water in it and then drain. How are they getting in and how can I stop them?

CJ'S Mom


Ants in dishwasher?

You have to find where they are nesting. In my case, the cabinet next to the dishwasher had cereal which was infested. I threw it all out and bought plastic cereal keepers. Finally I found that there was candy in my daughter's bag in the hall closet, that was the attraction. They will gravitate to the water. You will need to get an exterminator, but must find the source of the attraction. (03/13/2005)


By mahopacnymommy

Ants in dishwasher?

You probably have a leak under your dishwasher. It could only be one small drip, but still a leak. You definitely should call an exterminator, but fix your leak. (03/14/2005)

By Kirsten

Ants in dishwasher?

Put Mule team 20 borax granules in the bottom of your dishwasher when not in use. They will "take it home" and it will kill the source. Best of all you can just run your dishwasher as normal, as the borax won't hurt you or your dishes/dishwasher. You can exterminate and kill once, but if the dirty dishes are the attraction and they (exterminators) don't kill the source then they will return time and time again. Dial Corp won't say it kills ants as they are not licensed as a pesticide, but it works. You can also go the 20 Mule Team site and find other uses for this product so if you don't use it all for ants, which you probably won't, then you have other neat things to make and do with it.


I also use a sugar, water, borax mixture to kill ants in other unwanted places. A milk cap filled with the sugar mixture and refilled for two weeks took care of ants we were fighting for almost two years. Good luck. (03/14/2005)

By Barbie

Ants in dishwasher?

Every year I get that problem. I throw bleach in the bottom of my dishwasher and that kills them for
a while. Wish I knew of another way also. (04/20/2005)

By Pat

Ants in dishwasher?

This is also a problem for us. Here's how I solve it. I take a Q-tip dip in an insecticide and run the Q-tip around the edges of the wood cabinetry surrounding the dishwasher and on the floor under the washer. Works like a charm. (05/09/2005)

By Deb

Ants in Dishwasher

You could also try putting granular lime all around your foundation. I tried this several years ago and "knock on wood", we have seen one ant in the house since then. (07/27/2005)


By Doreen

Ants in Dishwasher

I was having the same problem with tiny ants getting into the dishwasher. Since I heard that dryer sheets actually repel ants, I decided to stuff some under the cabinet lip near the dishwasher. Believe it or not, this worked and I haven't seen an ant since. (08/08/2005)


Ants in Dishwasher

I had this problem for a year or so until a friend told me to pour white distilled vinegar full strength (bought a big bottle really cheap) down the drain hole in the dishwasher and then let it run with no soap for a cycle.

I am happy to say I have only had to do this one other time between last year and now and they have been gone ever since. Hope that helps. (08/11/2005)

By Tanya

Ants in Dishwasher

Same problem with tiny ants around washer. Found a nest inside the top panel rear when removed. Just next to the vent. Ants may like the moisture. Removed and sprayed area. (05/24/2008)

By Mike

Ants in Dishwasher

I have used Boric acid. Found this on the net. Just go out and buy some 20 Mule Team Borax if you need more. It's in the laundry soap aisle in the grocery store. It's almost pure Boric acid, sold as a laundry soap booster. At about $3.00 per 2-4 pound box it's a lot cheaper than the commercial ant killer.

The best bug-killing bait I've used was a recipe whose source I cannot remember. I'll list it here:

I cut apart the individual "cups" from an egg carton and put a good spoonful of the mixture in each. Then I place the "cups" around under appliances, well out of the way of pets and kids. The sugar and fat will draw the bugs to the bait. Every spring I renew the bait.

I also sprinkle a little in the bottom of the dishwasher as the dirty dishes accumulate. The bugs are drawn to the dishwasher and walk through the borax.

By Jim T.

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November 24, 2009

How do I get rid of ants in dishwasher?

By annette from Rochester, MI


Ants in Dishwasher

My parents had this problem one year and no matter what they did the ants were still there. Finally my dad took the panel off the inside of the door and wow. The door is lined with cardboard and insulation. The ants had made a huge nest inside the cardboard and there were thousands. He ended up cleaning out, then spraying the inside of the door panel and replacing the cardboard. Hope it helps. (07/08/2009)

By Crystal

Ants in Dishwasher

Every few years I get carpenter ants in the kitchen. They may come in from under the dishwasher or some other place. I call an exterminator and he sprays areas in the basement and on the outside of the foundation. In a day or two they are all gone. The ants carry the material the exterminator uses back to the nest. The ants in the nest eat the material and they all die. (07/08/2009)

By Deanj

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