When it comes to food, ants can get anywhere in your home that’s not “ant-proof.” What do you do when you surprisingly see ants in your refrigerator?
If ants get inside your refrigerator, wash the compartments (door, shelves, drawers, containers) with soapy water or peppermint oil. The peppermint smell will stop ants from coming back into the refrigerator for food.
Seeing ants in your fridge is a terrible sight indeed — But don’t fret. Although most ant types are harmless, you won’t like to have any of them inside your refrigerator.
If you follow these tips below, you’ll have no trouble getting rid of the ants inside your fridge!
Why Do Ants Come in Your Refrigerator?
The ants are attracted to your refrigerator because there is food inside. Ant colonies are constantly searching for sustainable food sources, and a fridge is an ideal place to find that.
Primarily, the leftovers from your previous meals are stored in your fridge. Even if you use airtight food containers, they might still find food remnants.
Sweets, milk, juices, vegetables, and fruits are enjoyable items eaten by ants. And all of them can easily be found inside a household refrigerator.
Other reasons why ants can enter the refrigerator are:
- Dirty Door/Shelves: Dirtiness and unsanitary conditions are a perfect breeding ground for any pest infestation. Ants can be attracted to these conditions simply because this is where the natural food source of ants is.
- Presence of Other Bugs: Many kinds of other bugs, insects, and worms love to call your refrigerator their own — Why? Because the food inside is either easy access or free. Unfortunately, ants are so attracted to these bugs and insects. And will eventually, invade your fridge or freezer.
- Ownership: If you do not clean your fridge and maintain it properly on a regular basis, there will be more opportunities for these creatures to enter once they get in (either by accident or as part of their territory).
Now that we know that ants can get into your fridge, can they survive chilly conditions inside?
Can Ants Survive in a Fridge?
Ants can survive in the fridge for extended periods of time. It is true that the ideal temperature for ants would be a warm environment. However, they can still survive in the cold zone by hibernating, or diapause provided there is sufficient food supply.
The colder temperature actually helps these ants to hibernate without freezing.
The ants will go inactive (become slow) inside the refrigerator to preserve their energy.
Since general temperatures within refrigerators mostly remain between 3-5 degrees Celsius (37.4-41 °F), ants tend to survive and even thrive in the refrigerator. And as long as they are not frozen, the colony’s survival is pretty much assured!
However, if the temperatures get extremely cold, they might die off freezing.
Since we know that ant infestation can occur inside the fridge, how to stop it from happening?
5 Tips to Keep Ants Out of the Refrigerator
#1 Navigate the Ant Access Points
When an ant colony finds a gap through which they can enter into a refrigerator, they’ll use it every time.
The first thing to do is to find out what is letting ants into your fridge so that you can take steps to secure the entry points and stop them from entering.
Use ant baits to prevent ants from accessing the fridge.
#2 Seal the Small Entrances
If ants are present inside the fridge, the seals might not be working correctly.
To verify it, wash the refrigerator seals to clean off the dirt that might cause uneven closing of the door. Make sure no food containers are causing a disturbance in closing the door. If the sealing is still imperfect, you might need to get it changed.
Also, check out the fridge’s outer body if there are any cracks on the plastic. Seal the cracks with duct tape, putty, or Plaster of Paris.
#3 Keep Your Refrigerator Clean
By saying ‘clean’ — I don’t mean ’empty.’ Instead, your fridge should be squeaky, sanitized, and hygienic.
Basically, an unclean environment attracts ants. The more stains and mess on your refrigerator, the bigger chance ants have of making a home there.
Clean the shelves (door) with soapy water or use liquid spray that contains mint oil to prevent ants from coming back inside
A clean household will feel secure since you’ll know that if ants do invade your refrigerator or kitchen, it’s not just because of food leftovers (that’s for sure) but likely something else.
#4 Use Ant-Proof Food Storage Containers
If you don’t want to kill ants, there is a peaceful way to keep them out of the fridge.
Try using airtight containers for storing nuts, sauces, and other dried goods such as rice and flour. Food kept this way will still be fresh when it’s opened but will also be much less attractive to ants.
#5 Decrease the Refrigerator’s Temperature
As discussed earlier, although ants can survive in low temperatures, their activity decreases significantly.
Ants feel more comfortable in warm environments. To make them uneasy, lower the temperature by adjusting the thermostat.
Why Are There Ants in My Fridge Water Dispenser?
Ants often feel thirsty and need water for their survival. A fridge water dispenser is a sustainable source of water and humidity for ants. The water dispenser also contains remnants of coke and other sweet stuff that attract ants.
A water dispenser is the most vulnerable fridge compartment to ants and other insects.
Is there any way to fix this ant problem? Yes, there is — In fact, there are…
How to Get Rid of Ants in Refrigerator Water Dispenser?
Sprinkle camphor around the fridge water dispenser to get rid of ants. Since ants hate camphor smell, they won’t come back. You may also use boric acid or cinnamon oil to make ant repellent spray and use it on ant trails.
Another possible way is — Use a hot pepper to kill ants in your fridge, cut it into small pieces and mix some slices at the bottom of the water dispenser. Your ant problems will be gone instantly!
Good luck against those small creatures!