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How do I Get Rid of Ants in My Refrigerator Water Dispenser?

March 24, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

When you think of ants entering your kitchen, you likely picture them creeping across counters or floors. However, one unexpected spot where you may discover the pests is in your refrigerator’s water dispenser. Read on to learn possible reasons you have ants in a refrigerator water dispenser and find out what you can do about the problem.

Why are there ants in my water dispenser? 

Like people, ants need water to survive. The water dispenser in a refrigerator is a constant source of water. A small leak can make the water dispenser even more appealing, so ants may be more likely to get inside if they discover one that is leaking.

In addition to moisture, a refrigerator water dispenser offers dark places for ants to hide. The water dispenser and refrigerator door are typically warm due to the insulation and mechanical components, so ants often prefer to congregate there.

Can ants ruin a fridge? 

One or two ants are unlikely to ruin a refrigerator. However, a large infestation might create significant problems. The ants could burrow along the water dispenser’s components and cause damage or move into other places of the refrigerator. Ants can also get inside a refrigerator’s refrigerant system and damage the entire appliance.

What attracts ants to a house?

Ants enter houses and apartments looking for food, water, and shelter from harsh weather. Infestations often start with one or two ants that serve as scouts. If they find a food or water source, the ants release chemicals called pheromones that attract more ants. 

Common types of ants in homes

In the U.S., two main types of ants are most likely to end up in your kitchen: little black ants and Argentine ants. Little black ants are about 1.5 to 2 millimeters in size and are dark brown or black. They prefer to eat oil, meat, fruit, grease, and other insects. 

Argentine ants are larger and have a size of around 3 millimeters. They can live in many places but are most problematic in California. These ants will also eat dead insects and are most attracted to sweet foods like juices and syrups.

How do I get rid of ants in my refrigerator water dispenser? 

Follow these simple tips to get rid of ants that have found their way inside a refrigerator water dispenser.

Clean Extensively Around the Fridge

Crumbs and debris around the base of the fridge can provide food for ants. Sweep the floor or vacuum with a hose attachment to thoroughly clean around the appliance and eliminate any potential food sources.

Clean the Dispenser

Take out any removable components from the water dispenser and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean them thoroughly. Allow the components to completely dry before you reinstall them.

Wipe Out the Inside of the Fridge

Spilled foods inside a refrigerator could draw ants to the appliance. If you’ve spilled something on the shelves, or if it’s been a while, remove everything and wipe all the shelves, bins, and drawers. You should also throw away any old food and wipe down items before putting them back inside.

woman's hands in a yellow rubber protective glove and a blue sponge washes, cleans refrigerator shelves

Fix Leaks

Don’t ignore that dripping dispenser. Call an appliance repair person to take care of the leak, so you’re not giving ants a convenient place to drink.

Practice Ant Pest Control in the Rest of the Kitchen

Give your kitchen a deep cleaning. Wipe off all countertops and the insides of cabinets and drawers. Clean the pantry and place dry goods like sugar and flour in tight-sealing canisters. Remove any shelf liner from the pantry and cupboards, as it can trap crumbs that attract ants.

Keep your kitchen garbage in a can with a lid. Take the trash out daily and frequently wipe out your interior and exterior cans.

Check the Back of Your Fridge

Slide your refrigerator away from the wall. Use a flashlight to check the coils and the components at the bottom for any signs of ants or other pests.

Call the Pros

If you have ants in your water dispenser, you could have pests hiding elsewhere in your kitchen or around your home or apartment building. Licensed pest control professionals can identify secondary infestation sites and use treatments to address ants wherever they hide.

Calling a licensed pest control professional is especially important if you discover ants in a refrigerator’s mechanical components. Dealing with the infestation as quickly as possible can reduce the risk of the pests permanently damaging the appliance.

Pest control services

If you have ants in your fridge water dispenser, Hawx Pest Control can help. Our licensed pest control technicians will thoroughly inspect your kitchen and home’s exterior to find entry points, develop a treatment plan, and use state-of-the-art technologies and high-quality products to address the infestation. You can also count on our knowledgeable technicians to share tips on reducing the risk of ants returning and recommend a preventative maintenance treatment schedule as needed. Call Hawx Pest Control today for a free estimate. 

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