Can Ants Live in Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposal is an electrically operated device that grinds solid food waste to pass into the drains without causing clogging inside the pipes. It is installed under the kitchen sink and collects the food waste into the grinding chamber.

Can Ants Live in Garbage Disposal? Ants can live in garbage disposal because they are attracted to the food crumbs, rotted food smell, moisture and damp places, prefer to live in hidden areas and make colonies near these areas due to leaky and cracked drain pipes. You can get rid of them by running the garbage disposal regularly, putting ice cubes and rock salt, cleaning the food remnants, and using white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.

Finding ants inside the kitchen is irritating and unhygienic, as they can get into your food and make it dirty. In addition, they can get into the kitchen through different sources and make their colonies.

Why do ants live in the garbage disposal?

They enter the kitchen and live in the garbage disposal for the following reasons.

Attracted to food crumbs

These units are installed under the sinks are designed to get and grind the food particles by running the spin disc and impellers. It will avoid the blockage inside the sink drains due to larger food particles.

Some food crumbs remain inside the device and stick to the wall making a thin layer over time. This is because ants are attracted to any food source and make their way to the food in different ways.

The sugar and other food crumbs attract these insects, which can live in this place.

The residue grease and the food stuck inside the unit can rot over time, which causes the insects like ants, cockroaches, and bugs to live inside this sink drain unit.

The worn-out garbage disposal unit allows the insects to live there and get food from the residue and greasy food layers around its walls.

They get out searching for food and return to their nests to have a dark and comfortable environment.

Rotted food smell attracts ants

The food particles inside it will root or decay over time if you do not clean it regularly, which causes a smell inside the sink drains.

This smell attracts the insects inside the sink drains, and they start living inside the garbage disposal. They stick to the walls and get the necessary food required to survive and grow.

Their sense of smell is strong, and ants like eating insects, oil, and grease layers, and they live in areas where they get all suitable things to survive.

Food smells attract them like nothing else; therefore, you find these insects mostly in your kitchen shelves, cabinets, and sink.

Presence of moisture

Some ants are attracted to high moisture levels, as they need water and moisture to live and lay their eggs in damp places.

A garbage disposal uses water to flush the food waste particles, and moisture is present inside the unit, which also causes them to live inside the sink drains.

They need a damp environment to reproduce, and the larvae grow faster in warm and moist places. After turning the device off, the water remains inside the unit, which attracts these insects to live there.

Water splashes inside this device cause ants to enter this place and take water to their colonies to store for later use.

Prefer to live in hidden areas

They prefer to live in hidden areas where nobody can see and kill them because no one wants to let ants in their kitchen.

It is installed under the sink, and often the area under the sink is closed or covered with a cabinet to hide the plumbing under this place.

They prefer to hide there to protect themselves and their larvae from predators. Therefore, you do not often notice the area under the sink or do not clean it more frequently.

It causes these insects to live in this hidden place and survive there as long as nobody notices them. Then, they will run towards other areas and protect their teammates when predators attack or see them coming from the sink drains.

Make colonies near it due to leaky or cracked pipes

The drain pipes or the P-traps under the sink can get leaky, which causes the ants to enter this place due to moisture and humidity.

The cracked pipes that connect this device or unit to the sink drain can allow them to enter this device, and they start living and making colonies or nests in this place.

They live inside the garbage disposal when you do not fix the cracks and leaks, and they start infesting the area under the sink with ants. They can build the colonies outside this unit and get into this device to get water and food.

How to get rid of ants in garbage disposal?

You can use different methods to get rid of them inside the garbage disposal, and some of these techniques are listed here.

Run the garbage disposal regularly

It is better to run this device regularly to prevent these insects from living and surviving in this place.

They start laying their eggs if you do not run this device more frequently, and the chances of their survival increase. 

You can run the cold water before putting the food waste inside this unit and turn the device on before washing the food waste.

Do not put large and hard food waste inside the garbage disposal because it can cause the device to clog and keep the food particles inside the device, which causes ants. Instead, run it properly to avoid any damage and keep insects at bay. 

Put ice cubes and rock salt

Professionals recommend putting ice cubes inside this unit, as the ice cubes will clean the blades and unclog the drain pipes.

Putting ice there can reduce the need to scrub the blades and other components to remove the food crumbs and sticky layers from these components.

Put two-three cups of ice cubes and add one-two cups of rock salt in this unit. Run cold water, turn the device on, and keep it running for 12-15 seconds. It will kill the ants due to the ice water and clean the unit.

Clean the food particles and use white vinegar

You can add white vinegar and salt to clean this device and remove the ant’s nests from this place without damaging the device.

White vinegar is a natural cleaner that does not contain toxic chemicals to damage the plumbing system and the cleaning unit, as it can kill and repel insects.

Pour a cup of white vinegar and salt inside the unit and keep it running few seconds to clean it properly. Leave the white vinegar and salt solution inside it for half an hour, and it will kill the ants residing there.

Use lemon juice and baking soda

Using lemon juice and baking soda to kill the ants and clean the garbage disposal is an effective way. It can kill them when they digest the baking soda within a few minutes.

You can add a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to get rid of these insects, as the reaction of vinegar and baking soda can cause the ants to die.

You can also use lemon juice and baking soda, which acts as a fast and effective solution to get rid of these insects.

What types are ants are present inside the garbage disposal?

Different types of ants are present inside the garbage disposal, such as argentine ants, fire ants, odorous ants, pharaoh ants, and pavements ants.

Odorous, argentine, and pavement ants prefer to live in areas with food sources like sugar and grease. They enter through different sources, such as from the open drains and cracks around the seal, and make their nest inside it.

Odorous ants are among the most common, and they can enter the kitchen to get food and go to the garbage disposal.

Pharaoh and carpenter ants are attracted to moisture and find moist and dark places to hide and live.

They can infest the area if you do not take immediate action when you notice them, as they can reproduce into hundreds within a few days.

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