Ants in Walls: Detailed Control & Prevention Guide

Many people still believe that ants live only outside. Imagine their surprise to find ants in walls of their own houses. The truth is ants can easily settle down inside your house if the weather is too cold for them.

If your house has enough food and water, they can choose it over the dirt in your yard even in Southern states.

While they always live in groups and look too fast to catch them, you can easily get rid of this problem for good. Read the article and listen to my recommendations if you want to live without ants in the walls.

Guide to Happy Life Without Ants in Your Walls

Have you noticed signs of ant infestation in walls? You have to act immediately. These insects are quick to reproduce. While they don’t suck your blood like bed bugs or lice, these creatures are still dangerous to keep inside the house.

Ants are well organized, quick, and almost impossible to catch. They live in big communities and where you see one ant, you will see the others soon enough. Read my helpful recommendations and protect your home from this menace.

Ants climb walls

Why are there ants in the walls?

Before we discuss how to get ants out of your walls, I want to go to the very root of the problem. Some of us still believe that ants prefer to live outside, building their colonies in the mud.

 

Well, this is not entirely true. Ants can settle down anywhere they want, as long as they consider it their own safe space.

If there is enough food and water in your house, you can easily co-exist with an ant colony in wall without knowing it. For years they can hide, feeding in your kitchen, drinking water from the leaking pipe.

You will notice them with time. However, I recommend checking your house to make sure that there are no pests there.

The first thing ants are looking at in your house is food, the second is the place they can hide. You have to check all the gaps and cracks in the walls. If there are no cracks, ants will not be able to crawl inside.

Keep in mind that ants can easily live both outdoors and indoors. If your house can keep them safe, fed, and far from rain, strong wind, and other extreme weather conditions, they will definitely choose your house.

Apart from that, they can be attracted by the sugar or juice traces. If you leave crumbs on the table, ants can consider it as an invitation.

Ants in certain walls

If you notice ants coming out of wall, you don’t have time to wonder how they crawled there. Yet, they can live even in your bathroom. It does not have to be only a living room with wooden walls.

On the contrary, ants may prefer your bathroom or kitchen, even if they are made of brick walls, mainly because of the access to food and water. Pay attention to every possible trace that ants leave so you can find out where these insects settled down.

Brick Wall

Ants inside walls made of bricks are common in every state in the country. They can also hide under the pavements. Yet, they prefer to live between the bricks.

There are spaces to settle in. If you notice trails there, I do recommend sealing all the cracks before they infest the whole house.

Bathroom Wall

Ants like to be near the source of water, so the bathroom must be the second place you check, after the kitchen. Pay attention to ant holes in walls, near the showers, inside the pipelines with cracks, sinks.

Don’t forget to look under the bathtub if there is an empty place. Ants can grow big colonies there, attracted to the warmth and moisture.

Ants at the House

You have to fix the pipes if you notice leakage in the first place, seal all the cracks, and keep the room dry. Don’t supply ants with the water since they will accept it as an invitation.

If the ants are already there, use specific insecticide to get rid of them, place ant baits or dust them. Once they are gone, make sure that there are no cracks in the bathroom walls and no water for them.

Exterior Walls

You have to be extremely cautious about the condition of your exterior walls. Usually, that is the way that ants crawl inside. If there are trees around, and believe me, there are always trees around, ants can climb them and get inside through the crevices and cracks.

That is why you have to cut all the possible entrances for them. Make sure there are no crevices and cracks on the walls.

I want to underline it again – you can prevent ants in this direction. All you have to do is to cut unnecessary tree branches and fix all cracks there. If you find ants there, use insecticide. Once they are gone, you have to seal the wall for good.

RV Walls

Do ants live in walls of RVs? You will be amazed how many complaints I’ve heard from RV owners. Ants are small and can get into the RV using small holes and spaces.

If they realize there is food for them inside, warmth, and water, they get in as quickly as possible. After that, they will start to build nests.

The best option is to try to prevent ants, by keeping the RV clean and sealing all the possible entrances. Once they come in, you have to use all the weapons you have, including insecticide, traps, and chemical repellents.

Since ants don’t like some plants, like lavender, you can place the repellent with its aroma inside your vehicle.

Step by Step Guide on How to get rid of ants in walls

Ants are really tricky enemies to fight against. Unlike many other pests, they are almost unnoticeable and can hide until they create a colony so huge that you can’t fight without professionals.

I offer you detailed instructions on how to kill ants in walls by yourself. You have to follow the guide.

Step 1. Preventive measures

Before you start killing ants, you can prevent them from spreading around your house. The easiest way is to clean your house. Clear it from all crumbs ants can eat.

Make sure that there are no leaking pipes and no moisture on the floor or in any open spaces. Do not leave food uncovered overnight.

Once you are done with cleaning and fixing broken pipes, move to the walls. Check out cracks and seal them. There are lots of tools on the market. If you worry that ants are already their set traps.

Step 2. Inspect perimeters

If you notice the signs that ants are already in your home, you have to inspect everything carefully. Find out where they are coming from. I also recommend checking which type of ants you are dealing with so you can act against something specific.

There are insecticides made against different types of ants. Some of them contain different chemicals more effective for specific cases. Once you find out the type and accommodation, you can decide how to act better.

Step 3. Find the best ants killer

There are numerous options on the market. It depends on your own preferences. You can try the following:

  • Liquid spray. They are simple to use. All you have to do is to find the crack in the wall with ants inside and spray there. Choose the ant spray with the best reviews. Make sure it is compatible with the type of ants that live on your walls;
  • Contact sprays. They kill ants that contact them. You have to use it on all the ants or they will run away;
  • Non-repellents. This type of repellent is one of the most effective. Ant is already a target but it does not suspect this. The ant travels back to its colony and spreads the insecticide there, killing everyone around.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Walls Naturally?

If you don’t like using chemicals or have someone sensitive to chemicals in your house, I have a few recommendations on how to get rid of ants without them.

There are different natural ingredients that ants can’t stand. You can find them in oils, sprays, and traps. Spread them around the house and directly to ants’ nests. Use the aroma oil. You can rub it in place near the ants’ nest or place the aroma candle with its smell nearby. They are:

  • Cinnamon;
  • Peppermint;
  • Catnip;
  • Black pepper;
  • Cayenne pepper;
  • Bay leaves;
  • Garlic.

FAQ

insect ants on wall

Here are the most popular questions I have found online. I decided to answer them myself in order to ruin some misunderstandings and myths. If you have more information to add to my comments you can do it below the text.

Can Ants Live in Walls?

Yes, ants can live in the walls. If they have enough space there to create nests, they can easily bring the whole colony and start raising new generations there.

They still need food and water to survive. This is why they will have to come out of the shelter to get the food. Ants can place their nests vertically.

They don’t require much space due to the small sizes. Those ants that live in the area with severe winters and harsh winds, prefer to search for a safe shelter inside the house.

They can be attracted inside by the smells of something sweet, like drops of juice you didn’t wash from the table or floor.

Can You Hear Ants in the Walls?

It depends on your own ability to hear even the lightest sounds. Usually, ants don’t make any noises while moving inside the walls. This is why they are almost impossible to catch. However, you can still hear the sound of them digging through the wood if there is any in the walls.

Based on the structure of your walls and materials inside you can hear or not hear light rustling. I would not rely on hearing them. Start acting if you notice the slightest traces. At least, set the ant traps to check out whether the ants are there or not.

What Ants Will Nest in the Walls?

There are thousands of different species. Science classified over 13,800 of them. However, not all ants can live inside the house. Some species prefer to dwell outdoors.

The most popular ants in the US that can crawl in walls are black ants, sugar ants, acrobat ants, pavement ants, odorous ants, carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants, Argentine ants, and carpenter ants.

I recommend you to catch one of the ants and check out which one is it. It helps you to find the best insecticide for this specific type. If you don’t know the type, you may try the remedy from the ants in general.

Yet, it will be less effective. Based on the type, ants can choose different places to live in.

Can ants eat through drywall?

Drywall or as you may call it sheetrock is a favorite food of carpenter ants. Drywall is used in ceilings and walls as stuffing. Carpenter ants prefer this type of material mainly because it is made of foaming agent, fiber, and plasticizer.

While it protects the house from mildew and rotting, it gathers the moisture for itself. Ants consider it as the perfect spot that provides enough water. Once there is enough water gathered in the drywall, carpenter ants will choose this material as their home.

Ants in Your Walls: Act Like a Pro

No matter whether you have already had the same problem before or just faced it, this article may be helpful for you. It answers the basic questions we all may have about ants and their ability to build nests inside the walls.

I hope you will use my recommendations to get rid of them for good and prevent ants in the future. I strongly advise you to use only reliable insecticides or natural remedies that work. If you notice the ant in your house, you have to find out where it came from and act immediately.

Have you ever had a problem before? Which remedy was the most helpful? You can share your opinion in the comments below.

Also read

References

  • Carpenter ants(Government of Canada)
    https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/pest-control-tips/carpenter-ants.html
  • Ants(Illinois Department of Public Health)
    https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/structural-pest-control/ants.html
  • How to Stop Ants from Coming Into Your Home(Kevin Carrillo, wikiHow)
    https://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Ants-from-Coming-Into-Your-Home

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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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