Hot tubs can be a welcoming spot for many nuisance pests like ants and give tough time to people if they find a suitable nesting spot around the tubs.
Why Are Ants Attracted To My Hot Tub? Ants are attracted to hot tubs due to warmth, humid environments, attractive scents, chemical residues, flower pots, and clogged hair. Moreover, dirty or stagnant water, damp or decaying wood, tiny spaces, and cracks can also invite them.
A small number of ants do not pose any serious problem if they reach a hot tub to get moisture and increase their body temperature, but they cause damage after the invasion of colonies.
What attracts ants to my hot tub?
Different factors are responsible for attracting ants to a hot tub, including warmth and humidity. They are also attracted to dirty surfaces with clogged hair and organic debris stains.
Warmth or heat
Ants need a warm environment to survive and reproduce, as their bodies cannot tolerate cold conditions. They can reach your hot tub when the external temperature is low and the weather is cold.
Most commonly, people prefer temperatures between 98 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not ideal for ants as they need 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, they can survive at 102 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoy warmth by reaching their outer surface.
Its temperature decreases slowly when you turn it off and becomes favorable after some time if these insects even get inside it to seek heat.
You can see humidity around hot tubs due to the evaporation of water that can draw ants on the outer surface. They produce almost 5 to 6 liters of water in 1 hour if their surface area is 4 meters square.
The hot water releases moisture in the air and increases the humidity, potentially attracting nearby insects looking for a humid environment to live in.
Moreover, this moist heat can help hydrate insects and feels like therapy for their tiny bodies when they reach a hot tub to seek warmth and moisture.
Some people add aromatic fragrances or scents to water to enjoy aromatherapy and gain health benefits. It is a delightful experience and can help relax the body and soul when you soak in water.
Adding fragrances, like lotus flower, jasmine, and rose, can make your tub attractive to insects. However, some other scents can be repelling if you add basil, lavender, and lemongrass scents.
These spa scents last for a long and allure ants because their odor receptors are pretty strong and sensitive to the odor molecules. They get attracted to pleasant odors by following molecules.
Residues of chemicals
Hot tubs require cleaning and maintenance that involve the use of chemicals, like chlorine tablets, bromine powder, Biofilm removing chemicals and pH increases or decreases.
Calcium deposition is a common issue with hot water because calcium begins to accumulate on the sides after heating. These deposits can be inviting for ants as their bodies need calcium.
The residues of chemicals usually remain on the corners or surface of the tub and attract ants due to their strong odor and taste of chemical constituents.
It also depends on the quality of chemicals, as low-quality chemicals can leave impurities and residues behind. So, you have to ensure they are properly cleaned to make them unappealing.
Pots of flowers or plants
Some people decorate their bathing area by placing flowers or plants around the tub, which gives a beautiful smell to the surrounding areas and makes the environment cozy.
Their fragrance and beautiful colors can boost your mood, making you feel refreshed. Moreover, they can also be appealing to ants and allure their sensitive odor receptors.
In addition, they can infest the soil of potted plants and live there as they get food, moisture, and warmth in one place that seems to be an ideal environment.
Darkness under tub covers
Ants prefer to live in a darker environment that mimics their natural habitat, so they get attracted to places with darkness. Hot tubs have covers to keep dirt and debris out of them.
Moreover, these insects can get the underside of covers because these hidden areas provide darkness and humidity to survive without direct exposure to light.
These unwanted guests can infest the hidden areas and sneak under the corners of the tub or covers to remain out of sight of predators.
Cracks in tub
Old tubs can get cracks and crevices when they remain out of use for a long and dry out over time. Sudden refilling can also lead to crack formation due to changes in temperature.
It can also get cracks due to heavy objects when you put them inside abruptly. You have to fix them as soon as possible because they can get larger and cause leakage if you do not fill the gaps.
Moreover, they can also provide passage for ants to get inside and create problems for people after direct contact with the body.
Damp and decaying wood
Probably, you have seen a variety of hot tubs having cabinets made of wood or bricks that can provide additional space to keep your scents and cleaning agents.
The wooden material can get wet due to high humidity or evaporation of water in the surroundings and decay over time. This decaying and damp wood can become a nesting spot for ants.
These tiny creatures can chew the wooden material and build deep tunnels inside the material to accommodate their colonies within narrow chambers.
Clogged hair and stagnant water
Some people do not bother cleaning the tubs and leave hair in the drains, which can be appealing for ants exploring their surroundings for a nutrition source.
In the same way, dirty or stagnant water and fermenting hair give off a bad odor that can allure receptors of insects and invite them to your tub outdoors.
It is essential to keep them clean and avoid the accumulation of dirt particles and other organic debris in the drains that can attract ants.
How do I keep ants out of my hot tub?
You can keep ants away from hot tubs by making them unappealing for ants as they get attracted to dirty surfaces frequently, so you have to clean them regularly after use.
Remove the residues of calcium and organic debris like leaves and flowers if they accidentally fall into the water. Moreover, keep the potted plants at some distance to reduce the risk of infestation.
In addition, do not leave water in the tubs, as the odor of stagnant water can grab the attention of the nearby crawling insects. Fill the cracks with glue or other adhesives to seal the entry routes.
Use unappealing scents, like thyme, lemongrass, and rosemary, that can have a positive impact on your mental health and well-being but deter ants effectively.
Avoid their placement in areas having nests of insects in close proximity because they can quickly reach there for moisture and other reasons.
Furthermore, some hot tubs have designs with nesting opportunities for ants, so you have to keep those narrow spaces clean and frequently check to avoid their entries.
Which type of ants are attracted to hot tubs?
Most commonly, carpenter ants get attracted to hot tubs when the wood under it is damp and decaying because these wood-chewing pests make tunnels inside rotting wood.
Moreover, moisture-loving species of these insects also reach there in no time due to high humidity and condensed drops of water on the outer surface.
Other common outdoor species, including argentine, field, pavement, and tiny black garden ants, can also reach for beautiful scents and mineral deposits.
It serves as a temporary nesting spot for some insects that can spend many days under covers, providing darkness and a safe environment.