Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Ants coming from the drain?

nater's picture

In the past day or so, we've had big black ants coming in the house, particularly in the bathroom. I spent a while watching them, and I coulda swore they were coming out of the drain. I smashed a few of them, and I looked down, and 4 or 5 more were right on top of the drain in the sink.

I poured liquid plumber down the sink, and am waiting to see if more come out. Is it really possible to have them coming up the drain? DW says she thinks they are coming from the drain too. We are on the sewer system, no septic. Any ideas? This is the only place I've seen them so far in the house.

(post #75832, reply #1 of 4)

You have no profile,  so no one can tell if it is cold where you are or warm right now.  Maybe it makes a difference with any questions you have.

Are they carpenter ants?  How big are they?

Can you go look around the roof area where that sink's vent pops out the roof?




Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?


Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?


Visit me at:



(post #75832, reply #2 of 4)

Central MO, just turned cold after staying above average for quite a while. I don't have time today to get up on the roof, but if they are coming down the vent pipe, they are going past the tub, toilet, and then up to the sink to come out.

This morning there was only 2 that I saw, and they could have been ones I missed on my killing spree last night. I tried to take a picture, but it came out somewhat blurry. I don't know exactly what carpenter ants look like, so maybe the pic will help.


(post #75832, reply #3 of 4)

maybe they look like this? I was just going to start looking around to id these critters myself. They have begun to appear regularly in our house. I believe they are carpenter ants but not to be confused with termites. I am not sure if there is really an effective means to get rid of them yet. There are as far as I know many advertised poisons not of which really work. .. and non of which I really want in my house... I dont mean to hijack your thread .. but thought I could piggy back my question onto yours. any help out there with these guys? I am in western MA and naters is in Long Island. Thanks


(post #75832, reply #4 of 4)

Well, if they are carpenter ants, you could do a quick search on the forum and get some more info than this. But, as a quick shot:

Killing the 10 ants on your sink isn't going to solve the problem. You've got to find the source and take care of it from there.

It may not be the case that they are traveling on the inside of the pipe. They could be getting to the bathroom via the outside of a pipe, or a cable and then climbing into the sink.

Provided that these are carpenter ants, these guys like wet and/or rotted wood to nest in. They don't eat it like termites.

You'll want something like Diatomaceous Earth ( or Boric acid/Borax to help prevent infestation. Insecticide isn't going to do much, and it becomes more problematic if you add kids or pets to the equation.

For a good primer on carpenter ants, try this:
Scroll about 2/3 of the way down for the section on carpenter ants.

Tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet ~ Horace

Edited 1/20/2007 11:34 am ET by FatRoman

'Man who say it cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it' ~ Chinese proverb