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How To Get Ants Out of Your Closet

Black Ants

Your closet is the last place you want to find yourself fighting off an ant invasion.

Opening your closet to the unsettling sight of ants crawling everywhere is a daytime nightmare.

Could the ants be eating away your clothes? Is it possible to get them out of your closet? Will you need a new wardrobe?!

Don’t panic. This article is all you need to rescue your closet.

Those tiny black bodies and their sheer numbers are enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine but look on the bright side; your clothes are safe!

As hard as it is to believe that head-on, the ants aren’t there to eat away at your clothes.

In this article, we’ll explore every crack and crevice of an ant invasion, highlighting everything you need to know to keep ants away from your closet! But first, you have to get rid of them.


Ants may be in your closet for food, or they might use your closet as a shortcut. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: these ants will sting (if possible) when threatened.

Furthermore, they may damage your property (specie-specific) and potentially attract other critters. So getting rid of them as soon as possible is a must.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Use artificial or homemade (boric acid) ant baits.
  • Use essential oil sprays and insecticides.

Once your closet is free of ants, you must ensure they won’t knock on your door again anytime soon. Talcum powder, chalk, essential oils, vinegar, and bay leaves will cover that part for you.

And above all, cleanliness would go a long way in keeping ants at bay. So make sure you clean your closet thoroughly every once in a while!

Having ants in your closet is a serious problem. Depending on the type of ant in question here, it can mean bad news.

The following article provides every key information you need to know to keep ants away. That includes why you have an ant problem, how you can get rid of them, preventions against them, and the issues that might arise if you don’t get rid of them quickly.

Why Do You Have an Ant Problem?

To tackle such situations, you need to understand why you have an ant invasion in the first place.

Why your closet, of all places? Well, the answer to that question may be because of the following:

1. Food Sources Are in Your Closet

Woman Checking Her Closet Infested By Ants

The most probable reason would be that your closet has something ants like: food! An ant’s die-hard motive is to find a good food supply. That could include crumbs on your closet’s baseboard or food stains on your clothes!

So if you find them nibbling away at something on your shirt, they’re likely trying to move through the fabric to get to the food!

2. Your Closet Is a Shortcut for Ants

Trail Of Ants Heading Toward The Closet

Another possible reason is that the ants might be using your closet as a shortcut.

Ants have this habit of choosing the safest path with the least resistance. And your closet may very well be that path.

3. The Ants Live in Your Closet

Open Closet

This last possibility is specific to the ants that have invaded your personal space.

Ants like the carpenter ants will carve away at your wooden furniture to make room for their nest (that, in this case, is your closet).

So if you see wood shavings underneath or inside your closet or hear a weird, hollow noise upon knocking on some parts of your closet, you either have termites or ants.

How To Rid Your Closet of Ants

Once you have figured out the reason behind the ants in your closet, it’s time to get rid of them. Here are a few proven methods that will help you with your problem:

1. Clean Up

Cleaning Up The Floor

Ants love food. Wherever they go, it’s almost always because of food. Cut off any food supply near your closet, and you’ll begin to see lesser ants daily.

But be mindful, as ants are experts at hunting out food. You’ll also need to level up your cleaning when dealing with them.

The food sources may include crumbs on your closet’s floor. Or perhaps even food stains on your clothes.

To start with, you’d need to wash your clothes thoroughly. If you see a group of ants nestled around one particular clothing, they’ve likely struck a gold mine. Take it out, remove the ants (try vacuuming them), and wash it thoroughly.

Depending on the type of food stains, you will have to become a professional launderer for the day!

2. Use Repellants

Peppermint Essential Oil

Scented sprays like peppermint work wonders in keeping ants away from your clean clothes. Mint essential oils can even kill ants.

To make this handy spray, pour 2 cups of water into a clean plastic bottle. Add about 20–30 drops of peppermint essential oil and shake well.

To prevent any mishaps in the future, try spraying your newly washed clothes with peppermint spray.

Scented Sprays Are Good DIY Repellants

Scented sprays with essential oils effectively stop ants from crawling over your clothes and give the latter a nice aroma. It’s a win-win situation!

3. Use Ant Baits

Boric Acid

This method is for someone looking to find a quick solution to the problem without putting in too much effort.

Ant baits work by killing ants once they are ingested. So if you leave some in your closet, the ants will bring it to their nest. This bait cuts the source of the problem, as the ant colony feasts on it.

Remember, targeting the root (their nest) is key to good riddance. If you fancy making an ant bait at home, try mixing in boric acid with some sugar. It’ll work just as well!

Be Careful With Boric Acid

Keep boric acid away from children. It is proven to be harmful if ingested!

4. Spray Insecticides

Spraying Insecticide

Once you’ve evacuated your clothes from your closet, spray insecticide to kill the ants. The insecticide residue will also ensure no ants will wander in the future!

Use Insecticide As Directed on the Packaging

Do not use insecticides directly on your clothes, as they are harmful. Only put your clothes back into your closet once the insecticide’s smell subsides.

How To Prevent Ant Attacks in the Future

Getting rid of ants in your closet is tough, but it gets easier after this. You’ll need to be considerate of the reasons mentioned above to prevent ants from returning.

Here are the five techniques that guarantee the elimination of ant problems:

1. Pay Attention to Cleanliness

Man Using Washing Machine

Poor practices may attract ants into your closet. After you get rid of the said ants, the best way to ensure they won’t return would be to clean your clothes and your closet.

This includes efficiently removing food stains using the right detergent at the right temperature. Try emptying your closet every once in a while to clean it.

2. Cover Every Entry Point

Sealing Cracks

Inspect your closet. Examine every inch of it. Check for cracks, gaps, or openings that might allow ants to enter.

Seal these gaps using an appropriate sealant. Try using a kneadable epoxy putty. It’s easy to make and will be set within 5 to 10 minutes.

This will ensure no ants enter or exit your closet except the main door.

3. Use Talcum Powder or Chalk

Using Talcum Powder

Both chalk and talcum powder work best to cut off the pheromone trail left by ants.

Pheromones are substances secreted by ants that help them to communicate with one another.

So if you outline the door with talcum powder or chalk, it will effectively cut off the “Hey look! I’ve found food!” message that one ant might signal to another at the entryway of the closet.

Diatomaceous earth works just as well. Sprinkle some on areas you know the ants have infested, and leave some on their trail too.

Once done, you can rest assured knowing they won’t return anytime soon.

4. Clean Your Closet With Vinegar

Bottle Of Vinegar

Vinegar works best with water to remove the scent left off by the ants’ trail. This would throw off the coordinates of wandering caused by ruining the traces of pheromones.

Ants also hate the smell of vinegar and will never come near it.

5. Try Using Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves

Ants detest the smell of bay leaves. So if you know where the ants are coming from, or perhaps even where their nest is, tape a piece of the bay leaf there and wait for the ants to run away.

Problems Caused by Ants

Upon knowing that ants do not come to damage your clothes, you may think, “If they’re not bothering me, shouldn’t I leave them?” That’s an excellent question you need an immediate answer to.

So here are some of the problems you might face if you leave your ant problem as is:

1. Health Risks

Ant Bites

Ants, like other insects, are capable of biting. While their bites might not be serious, they may cause an infection if not treated.

Moreover, some ants come equipped with a fully functional stinger. Their venoms can cause serious health problems, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, dizziness, chest pain, etc.

Don’t Ignore Ant Stings

Seek immediate medical attention if you face allergic reactions to the sting.

2. Property Damage

Carpenter Ant

As mentioned before, ant species like carpenter ants will destroy your property.

If you have a wooden closet, and the ants you see are carpenter ants, you can bid your hearty closet farewell if you decide to leave the problem as is.

3. Attraction of Other Pests

Lizard On The Wall

Ants are a viable food source for many other insects. Even if your ant problems comprise harmless ants, failure to take immediate action would mean you’re welcoming other pests too.

These pests include beetles, flies, spiders, and even lizards.


While ants won’t directly cause problems most of the time, the sight of an army of critters crawling over your clothes is terrifying.

Apart from personal distaste, ants can cause many other problems too. Their stingers (if they have) can cause serious pain. They may damage your property and invite other pests to crash at your place.

Primary ant infestation is frequent because they have found a food source that may nourish their nest.

In your closet, these might include food crumbs on the floor or food stains on your clothes. They might use your closet as a shortcut or live there (if the ant in question is a carpenter ant).

You can get rid of ants in your closet with the help of ant baits, homemade essential oil repellants, and a cleanliness check.

If you don’t fancy a similar ant problem in your closet in the future, you should close any gaps, clean the interior often, sprinkle talcum powder, and put vinegar or bay leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Frequent Ant Infestations Mean?

There is a colony inside or outside your house. Ant infestation will continue if you don’t eliminate the ant colonies.

Would Getting Rid of Ants Only Do the Trick?

No. To prevent future infestations, you must wipe off any pheromone trails left behind. A simple soapy solution or vinegar water would do the trick.

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