Ants can be a real nuisance and they can even show up at your bed during the night. While it’s unpleasant at the time, there are some easy steps you can take to get rid of the ants and stop them from coming back in the future. Keep reading and we will teach you how to keep ants away from your bed.
Why are there ants in my bed?
Ants in the bedroom are pretty unpleasant, but ants in bed are a real nightmare.
Unfortunately, like a lot of creepy crawlies, ants will come into your house to shelter from bad weather and predators, and if they find that the conditions in your room are perfect for them they will likely not feel the need to leave again. In particular, odorous house ants (otherwise knows as sugar ants) are often found inside homes.
Food is the biggest attractor to ants, so any little crumbs you make in your bed are a prime candidate for attracting ants.
Also, ants tend to shelter inside during rain and storms, so if they’ve been rained on they may come looking for shelter in your bed.
Temperature is another big factor, as the generally warm and cosy surroundings of your bedroom will be appealing for ants who might otherwise be fighting against cold temperatures outside.
Why do ants go straight for my bed?
Ants often follow trails that other ants have laid down before them which will lead them directly to food sources. If you leave sweet food out in the open near your bed, you can expect them to end up in your bed eventually.
As it’s common for people to eat snack foods in bed, the left over crumbs attract ants which then go straight for your bed!
Can ants infest a bed?
An ant infestation is incredibly unlikely if you just have a few ants coming into your room for food occasionally.
In order to avoid this you should make sure your bedroom is clean and free from crumbs, as well as doing all you can to keep any ants outside.
Always make sure to wash your sheets regularly, as dirty bedding can attract ants and other nasty creatures such as bed bugs.
If there are many ants around it may be a good idea to take steps towards preventing them from coming into your room at all – this way they aren’t going to get chance to infest your bed.
See below for tips on how to keep ants away from your bed and out of your room.
Can ants live in your mattress?
Although it is uncommon, unfortunately the answer is yes – ants can live in your mattress. Mattresses can even become an ant nest in extreme cases.
The best thing to do to prevent ants from living in your mattress is to place use a waterproof mattress protector to fully encase your mattress.
Will ants crawl on you at night?
It’s not surpristing that ants crawling on you at night is a common fear.
Unfortunately, it is possible for ants to crawl on you at night, especially if they are attracted to the heat of your bed.
Keeping spiders away while you are sleeping is generally not too difficult, but ants are a whole different beast.
Carpenter ants and sugar ants are nocturnal (as are some other ant species), making it particularly likely that any ants that have made a home in your bedroom will come out and crawl around while you are sleeping.
Fire ants are also nocturnal, and have a nasty sting which may even wake you up if you find them crawling on you at night.
The good news is that if there aren’t many ants in your room, it’s not likely that they’re going to take much interest in crawling on you while you’re sleeping!
Is it dangerous to have ants in bed?
Is it safe to have ants in your bed? Although the answer is no, it’s really not too dangerous to have a few ants crawling around on you once or twice.
In most cases if you get bitten by ants it will only be an annoyance and won’t cause any serious problems.
However, some ant species may pose a more serious threat.
Fire ants, for example, have a nasty sting that can be quite painful and may even cause an allergic reaction in some people.
If you find that you have been attacked by ants at night , the best thing to do is clean up any ant bites as soon as possible using a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain.
You should also speak to a doctor if you are concerned that there may be any infection.
Which types of ants do you generally find in your bedroom?
Odourous house ants are commonly found in homes. They have a distinctive coconut smell when they are crushed which can actually smell quite rotten and unpleasant. They are brown or black in colour and around 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 mm long.
Carpenter ants are found accross the USA and build their nests in wood sources. If you have damaged wood in your home then you may find Carpenter ants damaging your property and even making their nests in your home. They tend to be reddish black and just over half an inch long.
Fire ants in your house can be a real problem as they have a painful sting and some people are allergic to them. They tend to build nests near structural foundations and can enter buildings through cracks.
How to keep ants away from your bed
The first thing to do is eliminate any food crumbs from your bed. This means washing your sheets and never eating snacks in bed. Once a few ants have found their way to your snack leftovers and made ant trails to your bed, you are going to find that more ants follow. As with most things, prevention is easier than cure so be sure to wash your sheets every week and cover any food that you leave out of the fridge.
How to keep ants out of your room
Fix any cracks
To keep ants out of your bedroom, the best thing you can do is make sure that there are no cracks or gaps in your walls, floor or ceiling which might allow them entrance.
If there are cracks or gaps in your floor, try using filler such as woodfiller or polyfiller to block them off.
You can also take steps to ensure that ants do not build nests anywhere near you bedroom so that if they do find their way into your room, they will be unlikely to stay long.
Check for nests
Check your garden or other outside area for any ant nests and remove them as soon as possible. You may also want to seal off any other potential entry points such as drains or cracks in your home.
Put away food
Make sure to cover and put away any food, as ants are attracted to any accessible food source.
Where to store food at night to prevent ants
Don’t leave snacks out on your bedside table! Even if they are in their wrapper, this means they will be within easy reach of ants and can attract them into your room. Keep all your food in the fridge and put it away in cupboards at night before bedtime.
Do not leave any dirty dishes in the sink overnight and if you do happen to see ants in your bedroom, throw out any trash or leftover food right away.
Ants will eat anything so they might be attracted to anything that they can find.
Clean your room regularly
Finally, clean your room (and your entire house) thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner. Be sure to move any furniture or other items out of the way to avoid leaving any ants behind.
If you have a carpeted floor then you may get ants crawling around unseen and eating any food spillages, so be sure to vacuum up regularly.
If you take these steps, over time you should find that ants stop coming into your bedroom. If not, then there may be an even bigger problem than just a few ants!
Natural ant repellants
Once you’ve taken the steps above, there are also some natural ways that you can keep ants away which won’t harm your family or pets or leave any chemicals in your home.
Peppermint is a natural insect repellant. You can use mint plants around the home as a natural way to get rid of ants, and also a great way to have fresh mint herb for cooking.
Alternatively, peppermint oil mixed with water and applied to doorways and windowsills can help to keep ants out of your home. Just a few drops will be enough.
You can also grow plants which repel ants such as garlic, lemongrass or lemon thyme. Just plant them near entry points from outside, such as your windows or doors so that ants prefer not come into your home.
Another option is to put leftover citrus fruit peels in areas where ants are active.
If you manage to keep ants out of your bedroom but find that they have taken up residence elsewhere, then place a whole orange outside to get rid of them. You should also wash your floor thoroughly.
If you find ants in your cupboards or elsewhere in the home, mix lemon juice with water and pour it over an ant trail.
Most ant species use ant trails to find their way around, so destroying these trails using lemon juice will prevent them from finding their way back to your bed.
Ants do not like hot cayenne pepper because it burns their feet. This will help repel them from coming back to a certain spot.
Will salt keep ants away?
Ants hate salt. If you make a trail of salt along the ant’s path, its smell will be enough to make them turn around and look for somewhere else.
Salt is a great alternative if you don’t want to use chemical ant repellants, but it works best on the surface of the ground rather than deep inside cracks or crevices so that ants can actually see it.
Tips to remove ants from your bed
Using a vacuum cleaner is the safest and easiest way to remove ants from your bed.
Bedroom ants should first be removed entirely using the vacuum cleaner to suck them from any small crevices. Remember to immediately empty and change the vacuum bag once you are done to prevent the ants returning out of your vacuum cleaner!
The next step is to wash your sheets on a hot wash with a bleach based detergent in order to kill any ants remaining in your sheets. Make sure to also wash any dirty clothes so that you can be sure you have removed all the ants.
Ensure any food spills and crumbs are cleaned up from around your bed and bedroom area. Stop eating in your bedroom going forwards.
Then, depending on the size of the ant problem you may decide to place some ant deterrant, such as peppermint essential oil, at any places where you spot the ants entering the room.
To really stop ants from coming back to your bed you may need to find and destroy their nest. You should ask pest control for professional help with this.
Natural ant killer
Once you have found an ant problem in your home you are probably going to want to kill them. A natural ant killer will be the first thing to try to get rid of ants.
One of the best home remedies for an ant infestation is vinegar. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which can kill ants.
Mix a solution of half white vinegar and half water. Then, just put your vinegar in a spray bottle and get rid of the ants by spraying it directly on them for instant death. You now havee your own ant killer spray!
You can also spray it wherever you see anthills. The smell of vinegar can also repel ants so you should try to place the repellents throughout your house.
You might have heard of using ground cinnamon to kill ants before. Unfortunately, it’s a myth that cinnamon suffocates ants.
However, this home remedy works really well at repelling ants! Just mix three tablespoons of ground cinnamon with one cup of water and place it in a spray bottle. Then, just spray the ants with it and they are unlikely to come back to the same spot.
Over the counter ant repellants and killers
Ant Repellent Gels
There are a lot of ant repellents or gels out in the market nowadays. You can find them at your local hardware stores. These gels have been combined with chemicals that ants hate such as mint, eucalyptus, peppermint and menthol just to name a few.
What you need to know about these gels is that they usually come in tubes and look like toothpaste. You only need a small amount of gel on your fingers and you simply apply it on top of ants’ path such as near the doors, windows and other entry points.
Ant Killer Chemical Baits
It is possible to purchase chemical ant baits which will poison ants which come to the bait. The baited ants then transfer the poison back to the ant colony.
Chemical ant bait is an effective way to get rid of ants but obviously it involves actually killing them rather than simply deterring them from coming into your room.
There are sprays that can kill ants on contact. Most of them contain chemicals which are mixed with water in a spray bottle, and you literally spray it where you see the ants to get rid of them.
What you need to look out for when buying an ant spray is that it has been specifically designed or recommended by pest control experts for getting rid of ants inside the home.
Ants usually go looking for food at night so you should apply ant spray on their path after dark, near doors and windows. You can also put small pieces of chalk or chalk dust in areas where they are active to prevent them from coming into that area again.
Ant powder is also useful for killing ants. You can buy it at hardware stores. This powder contains chemicals which are toxic to ants, and they will usually transfer the powder back to their nest where it will kill other ants in the colony.
Will Vaseline keep ants away?
Vaseline is made of petroleum jelly, which you can use to make a smooth, sticky barrier which many ants will struggle to climb.
However, vaseline isn’t particularly convenient to leave all around the house as it will make your surfaces sticky. Any really large ants, such as carpenter ants, may also be able to climb over the jelly.
Does Vicks Vapor Rub repel ants?
If you have just started noticing ants appearing in your house, then placing a little Vicks Vapor Rub at their entry point may be enough to deter the ants from coming in to your room as it’s strong menthol smell is unpleasant to ants.
Pest control to remove ants
If you find yourself with a recurring or large ant problem within your home then the best thing to do is get in touch with your local pest control service. They will have access to chemical treatments to eliminate the ants which are not available from the store.
Does hot water kill ants?
Yes and no. Hot water will kill the ants that it immediately touches (especially hot, soapy water) but it isn’t a great strategy to use in dealing with an ant problem in your home. This is because it’s simply encouraging the ants to move to a different place – and you could even find them setting up a nest in your bedroom!
Conclusion: Ants in your bed? How to prevent and cure.
There are many ways to prevent and get rid of ants from your bed. You can use a variety of home remedies, over the counter repellants or pesticides. Whichever method you choose, it is important to be consistent in applying it and to target the ants’ entry points into your house.
Now that you know how to keep ants out of your bed, you can finally get a good night’s rest!