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How to get rid of ants in your closet


In this article, we have put together a complete guide where you will learn how to get rid of ants in your closet, around it, and all over the house. Let’s get started!

So you have found ants marching through your closet and all over your clothes. This needs dealing with quickly; you must act fast. Do not panic, though; you need to know the proper way to get rid of ants in the closet.

It is possible for ants to transfer disease if they have come into contact with some food. An ant infestation on your clothes is not a huge issue. However, it could be health-wise.

It is not very pleasant to have them in your closet. However, you will need to get rid of the ant infestation fast. There is a chance if you put on some clothes infested with ants, you could suffer a bite. That is something you do not want.

The question is, how to get rid of ants in your closet?

There are a few ways to get rid of ants in your closet. Ants are not attracted to anything in particular in your closet unless they can sense something sweet in there; unless you have Carpenter ants in your closet, they are attracted to wood and moisture. Most other ants are attracted only to sources of food and water.

Ant baits

The best solution to repel ants and the most commonly used to get rid of ants in the closet is with an ant bait; they lure the ants out of the closet and take the bait (which contains poison) back to the nest. It then gets fed to the whole colony. Eventually, the entire ant nest colony will die, leaving your closet and clothes free from ants.

How to protect your closet from an ant infestation

You can prevent ants from infesting your closet and the entire house by using other forms of pest control. You will attract more ants if your house is not clean enough; for example, food left around the house will encourage ants, and they could end up in your closet.

A word of warning about ant sprays

We feel you should know one of the essential things to know is not to use ant sprays or a

ny other insecticide directly on your clothes or in the closet.


Dressing and wearing clothes treated with insecticides that kill ants can lead to serious health problems.

Clothing can be treated separately, which we will discuss later in this article.

Why have ants infested my closet?

Ants do not feed on fabric and are not looking for new clothing. The most probable reason ants are in your closet is they are looking for food, like sugar, juice, syrup, water, and shelter. These will bring ants into the house.

You might have a crack in the wall or floor behind your closet that the ants are using, and the ants have got into your house and can move around freely.

When you are fighting ants inside and around the closet, please take a look underneath and behind it to make sure there are not any cracks.

We recommend sealing cracks up with Caulk to prevent another ant infestation.

What will attract ants to one piece of clothing?

Ants have an excellent sense of smell. They have around 400 smell receptors; mosquitoes have between 75 and 160, and bees have 175. This means that they are very efficient at detecting odors which will lead them to food on a much higher level than humans. Your laundry may not be smelly to you, but ants can smell it from great distances. 

If you have left candy in your clothing, that will attract ants. If you put dirty clothes back in the closet without being laundered, you could attract ants; they are attracted to sticky sweet food, salty sweat, and even soups if it has been spilled on clothing.

Suppose you have ants and food on clothing, place the dirty and infested clothes in a bag and seal it so ants cannot get out. Use a vacuum cleaner on the clothes outside, well away from the house, so the ants do not get back into the house. When you have finished, place all the clothes in the washing machine. The soapy water will kill any ants left. Check for any dead ants remaining on the clothes.

Only place the clean clothes back in the closet when the ant problem has been dealt with, and all the ants have gone.

Use vinegar in the closet


Ants do not like the smell of vinegar. Use a wet towel, soak vinegar into it, and wipe the inside of the closet.

 Home remedy ant repellents

It helps to put lavender and peppermint in the closet as repellent ants dislike them. Your clothes will smell nice too, try to buy them as a natural product. There are detergents that have a lavender scent that will stay on the clothes, which helps with repelling ants.

Other home remedy repellents include an unbroken line of chalk that forms a barrier, as does Turmeric, Black pepper, Red chili pepper, Baby powder, White vinegar, Vaseline (which you can put on doors and windows), and Diatomaceous Earth.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a white powder it has sharp particles that can break an insect’s exoskeleton, the powder becomes absorbed by the insect, and it causes dehydration and death.

Place Diatomaceous earth around the outside of your closet and along the ant trail if you see one and near any cracks to cure the ant problem.

Boric acid ant bait

You can make an easy DIY ant bait at home with Boric acid mixed with honey and maple syrup. Please leave it in areas that are infested with ants. This DIY mix works in the same way as other baits.

How does Boric acid kill ants?

The worker ants take the Boric acid back to the ant colonies and feed it to the other ants in the colony. The poison in the Boric acid mix affects the ants’ nervous system and exoskeleton, leading to the death of the ants, queen, and colony.

How safe is Boric acid?

Boric acid has low toxicity if eaten or gets on the skin; in the form of Borax, it can cause vomiting, can be damaging to the eyes, and is a skin irritant. It can cause nausea, stomach aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. With this in mind, keep children and pets away when using Boric Acid or Borax.

Soapy Water


Why buy ant traps when you can use this cheap remedy to kill ants and destroy the pheromone scent trails they leave. Destroying the trail prevents other ants from the ant colony from following the trail back to the closet.

Place a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Add some mint and citrus peel if you can, and spray lightly along the trail if it is safe to do so.

Use baking soda and dish soap

Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with baking soda in a half-filled bucket of water. Please give it a stir, and spread it thinly in a line along where the ants are entering.

Cayenne pepper

Sprinkle some Cayenne in the area the ants are, like countertops or baseboards. The ants will soon relocate as it tricks them into thinking there is no sugar for them.

If you locate their nest, a good form of DIY pest control is sprinkling the pepper down the ants’ hole.

How to get rid of Carpenter ants

An invasion of these ants can be severe. They can cause serious damage to your property. If you discover piles of broken wings and ants with long bodies, chances are you have Carpenters.

You may spot fecal pellets (similar to sawdust). You may even hear them rustling in the walls of the building. You can get rid of them using the following methods:

  • Bait them with Boric acid. Ants like sugar, so you can turn this against them. Use the boric acid method we described to you previously. Keep children and pets away during use.

  • Vacuum their nests out of infested walls if you can get to them.

  • Call in a professional exterminator. Professionals can drill holes in the wall and blow in diatomaceous earth, silica aerogel, or boric acid inside to eliminate the infestation. They may also use a Pyrethrin spray.

How to get rid of worker ants with lemons

Lemons are strong and acidic, and best of all, ants do not like the smell of them—squirt lemon juice inside your closet and around door thresholds, cracks, and windowsills to prevent ants.

How to prevent ants in the home

The first thing to do is find the ants’ entry points to get into the house. Check for cracks in the walls and foundation that pests can get through. Check door frames and windows for cracks and crevices. Ants can get through the most minor gaps.

If you find a trail, you can follow it to find out where the nest or ant hills are, hopefully. These can then be treated with an insecticide or boiling water poured into the nest or ant hills.

Remove moisture in the closet

Moisture can be another reason you are attracting ants in the closet. You should remove all the clothes from the closet and clean the area exceptionally well. You need to remove the moisture inside the closet to prevent ants.

Your moisture problem in the closet will encourage not only ants but cockroaches and bed bugs; they are attracted to mold and moisture.

Get rid of your garbage regularly

Food is one of the main reasons ants will visit your house and yard. They will find food to eat in the garbage. Eliminate the problem by regularly emptying the trash. Ensure the lid of the bin closes tightly.

Wash out trash cans frequently, particularly indoors, to help keep the pests at bay.

Keep your home clean


To eliminate ants in the home, you must remove their food source. Ants will eat tiny crumbs of food and will be attracted to a spilled sweet drink, and so will other bugs.

Here are some tips for you to try:

  • Sweep and mop the floor often.

  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink; wash them straight away.

  • If you spill sugar, wipe it up—store sugar in an airtight container.

  • Rinse off the residue on containers. Pay close attention to jam/jelly jars, pickle bottles, sauce bottles, syrup, and honey jars.

When should you call for professional help?

If you have searched everywhere and cannot find where the ants are coming from, and you have not found their colony either. Despite using a repellent, the ants have returned, and it is time to consider professional help to eliminate these pests.

Professional pest control experts have the knowledge and products to eliminate ants.

And finally,

If you have ants in the closet, it usually means that there is a bigger ant issue somewhere close; it could be outside or inside. You need to check around your entire house for ants. There can be a problem in the home, like cracks in the walls, and ants love to get into those tiny gaps to hide and build their ant colony. Keep your home clean to deter the pests.

Now about the question of how to get rid of ants in your closet, the best pest control option is to use store-bought or DIY ant bait. Once they get the ant bait, they will take it to their nest, which will lead to the poisoning of the ants.

You do not need to worry about your clothes. They are not part of the meal for any ants. They are often just passing through your closet to their actual destination. Check all your clothes for stains and any leftover food that could be around because that can be an excellent attraction for ants.

In the article, How to get rid of ants in your closet, we presented a few DIY ways of fighting ants in the closet, but if you do not think you are capable of fighting ants, then call a professional; please do not leave it for too long. Ants can get out of the hand very quickly.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

Read more here.

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