There is nothing worse than walking into your bathroom to find bugs crawling all over the floor and bathtub. It doesn’t matter if the bugs pose a danger to you or not — they still look creepy! Plus, having them around can be a sign that your bathroom may need a good scrub. Most people associate bug infestations with filthy homes. While this can sometimes be the case, it’s not necessarily true.
They’re usually drawn to damp, dark, dirty places because that’s where they’re most likely to find food. What’s more, they may carry some diseases you surely don’t want to catch. Therefore, if you’ve spotted small bugs in your bathroom, here are all the steps you can take to get rid of them ASAP!
What Are the Small Bugs in the Bathroom?
As unpleasant as it is to admit it, bugs are everywhere. Experts estimate that there are a staggering 1.4 billion insects per person on this planet! While the vast majority of them are vital for maintaining a healthy ecosystem, some of them can be pretty destructive. They can sneak into your home and ruin everything, from your clothes to your food and furniture.
Bathrooms, in particular, are the perfect place for bugs to congregate. Several species thrive in dark, humid environments like bathroom drains and sinks.
1. Bed Bugs
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From their names, you’d guess that bed bugs primarily live in beds. And this is the case. However, it’s not uncommon for you to find these little critters in the bathroom as well.
Bed bugs are small, brownish insects that are about the size of an apple seed. However, they can swell up to twice that size, especially if they’ve recently fed. Like fleas, bed bugs are classified as parasites, meaning that their diet primarily consists of blood. Though they have no problem feeding on animals, humans are their primary target.
Overall, health authorities don’t consider bed bugs as dangerous. They don’t transmit any bloodborne diseases, so you’re unlikely to catch a life-threatening illness if they bite you. However, it’s not uncommon for people to experience allergic reactions to their saliva. The bites can cause skin irritation, which can, in turn, develop into a severe, secondary skin infection.
So, if you notice bed bugs crawling on your bathroom walls or around the shower, you should take immediate action to get rid of them. First, understand that there is a high chance they didn’t get there on their own. As mentioned, bed bugs prefer to live in beds. Therefore, it’s likely that you’ve ferried them to your bathroom, on your skin, or on your clothing.
Fortunately, you can remove any stragglers clinging to your body with a quick shower. You can also use the showerhead to wash away any bed bugs you’ve found nesting in your tub or sink. And after you’ve cleaned your bathroom, you should immediately go inspect your bed or any dirty clothes you have lying around.
These are the most probable sources of bed bugs, and until you’ve cleared those, it’s unlikely you’ll get rid of the issue.
Ants are another unwanted guest you’ll frequently find in your bathroom. These six-legged critters are drawn to moisture, which they collect to take back to their colony. Therefore, you’re most likely to find them around leaking taps or drains.
There are several different ant species you can commonly find in your home, including house ants, pavement ants, pharaoh ants, and carpenter ants. None of these species are poisonous, but they can cause serious damage to your property.
Carpenter ants, in particular, have some pretty intense burrowing habits. If you get enough of them infesting your walls, they can wreck your piping, chew through electrical wires, or even dislodge your bathroom tiles.
Plus, though they may not carry any life-threatening diseases, a lot of people are allergic to them. Soldier ants are no strangers to biting when they feel threatened. The bites aren’t too painful, but if they get infected, they can trigger a rash and skin inflammation.
This is why you should take action the moment you notice any ants in your bathroom. If you allow the critters to spread, they could cause some hefty property damage you’ll have to pay a pretty sum to fix.
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Cockroaches are one of the most common types of pests found in the average American home. These brown, oval menaces most frequently infest bathroom pipes, sneak in via windows, or crawl into your home through drains. Though you’re most likely to find them in your kitchen, it’s also not uncommon for them to mill around your bathroom.
This is because bathrooms offer plenty of water, moldy growth for them to feed on, and a steady supply of warmth to help them survive the winter. Usually, roaches move around in groups of between 1‒40. While this may not seem bad, it’s a huge issue when you consider how quickly they can reproduce.
Females can lay clutches of about 128 eggs, which can take just 28 days to hatch. So, spotting just one of these suckers likely means you already have a nasty infestation.
The second reason roaches are such dangerous parasites is their ability to transmit illnesses. Roaches survive on a steady diet of rotten food and often move around areas infested with feces. Therefore, their skins are hotbeds for dangerous pathogens like salmonella, cholera, dysentery, and even typhoid fever! In other words, they are the last thing you want crawling all over your towels and toothbrush.
Consequently, if you spot just one cockroach, take care of it immediately. These parasites are incredibly difficult to kill, so early action is vital for keeping your home infestation-free.
Arachnophobia is the most common type of phobia in the world. Between 3‒15% of the world’s population report being deathly afraid of spiders. On the one hand, this is somewhat understandable. Spiders look like something straight out of your worst nightmare. However, the truth is that most of them are completely harmless.
You may be surprised to know that having a spider in your home can be beneficial. House spiders feed on various invasive insect species like mosquitos and flies. So, if you don’t bother them, they will act as your very own home pest control. Plus, by eating mosquitos, roaches, fleas, and flies, they help stop the spread of life-threatening illnesses like malaria and Lyme disease.
With that being said, not all spiders are benign. Depending on where you live, you could find some pretty dangerous species squatting in your bathroom. The brown recluse, the black widow, and the hobo are three of the most common species of venomous spiders in the United States. Just one bite from any of them is enough to cause serious pain and, in rare cases, even lead to death.
Therefore, in case a particularly scary spider has taken up residence somewhere in your bathroom, be sure to get rid of it ASAP!
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You may have seen these tiny brownish insects buzzing around your bathroom and mistook them for tiny flies. However, they’re an entirely different species of insect called gnats. They’re a pretty common house parasite you’ll find around your kitchen or near the trash can since they feed on decomposing food. Nevertheless, they’re also pretty common in bathrooms since they’re attracted to damp, moldy areas with rotting woodwork.
Gnats are fairly harmless to humans and don’t carry any diseases. However, they can cause allergic reactions in some people, especially if they get into damp clothing. So, to avoid a huge infestation, it’s important to always drain any stagnant tap water you have in your sink. You should also regularly empty your laundry basket so that the gnats don’t get into your clothes.
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Silverfish are pretty much the crawling equivalent of gnats. They’re tiny, have a brownish silver color, and are more of a nuisance than a threat. Like gnats, they’re also drawn to your bathroom because of high humidity levels. They primarily feed on starchy compositions, which are most commonly found in shampoos, dandruff, paper, and tile laminate glue.
However, unlike gnats, silverfish do tend to bite, especially if you pick them up with your bare hands. Their bites aren’t particularly painful, but they can cause a rash if you’re allergic to them. So, if you spot this insect crawling around your bathroom, use gloves or paper tissues to remove them.
What’s more, make sure to take care of the infestation as quickly as possible. While these insects are primarily solitary, they do breed quickly — so that one silverfish you’ve spotted running around can quickly become twenty in just a couple of weeks.
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Along with spiders, centipedes may be the creepiest crawler that can infest your bathroom. These long brownish insects usually pop up around wintertime, seeking out warm, humid environments to escape the cold. They also generally prefer quieter areas to nest, which is why they’re more likely to shack up in your bathroom rather than your kitchen.
Overall, they’re not really dangerous to humans. They do have a nasty bite that can trigger some intense allergic reactions. However, they don’t carry any harmful pathogens the way cockroaches do. But they do have a pretty long lifespan, so getting rid of them quickly should be a top priority.
Centipedes can live upwards of six years and lay 35 eggs. Some species can stay dormant for years, slowly multiplying in your walls until you’re overrun.
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Mosquitoes are one of those pests you’ll find everywhere, not just in your bathroom. However, because the humid, steamy environment in bathrooms mimics conditions in swamps, the world’s most annoying bloodsuckers will frequently be drawn to your bathroom.
They will usually nest there, laying their eggs and waiting to ambush you for an easy meal. In fact, they’re notorious for their ability to reproduce at an alarming rate. Females can lay between 50 to 500 eggs in their first breeding cycle. The larvae reach maturity in just 10 days, and they’re ready to mate a staggering 28 hours after they emerge as adults.
As if that wasn’t unsettling enough, these nasty insects carry some of the worst pathogens known to man. Mosquitoes are vectors for malaria, Zika virus, dengue fever, and yellow fever, to name a few. Every year, these illnesses kill around 750,000 people worldwide and sicken millions more. These shocking numbers are the reason the CDC named mosquitoes the deadliest animal in the world.
So, it goes without saying that you should absolutely take care of any mosquitoes currently infesting your bathroom. Their bites are not only unpleasant to deal with, but they can seriously jeopardize your life.
Why Do I Have Small Bugs in My Bathroom? 3 Possible Causes
Most people think bug infestations happen because a home is filthy. While this can sometimes be the case, it’s not necessarily true. Bugs can appear even in the cleanest and most well-maintained bathrooms for several reasons.
As mentioned, most insect species that infest human residences thrive in damp, warm environments. Dripping taps give them access to plenty of water. Meanwhile, the build-up of steam that occurs after every shower creates the ideal temperatures for nesting.
Plus, bathrooms contain important food sources for many insect species. For example, cockroaches love munching on leftover toothpaste found on toothbrushes.
In summary, bathrooms are the warmest and most comfortable piece of real estate for any bug looking for a permanent residence.
2. Clogged Drainpipes
As much as they like it, roaches can’t thrive on a diet of toothpaste alone. Most insect species primarily feed on food waste that you regularly flush down the kitchen sink.
And since the pipes in your house are all connected, it’s not uncommon for that waste to end up in your bathroom — along with the bugs. What’s more, if your bathroom drain gets clogged, this could cause an even bigger infestation, as the insects congregate around the food source.
Therefore, it’s vital to regularly clean and maintain your drainpipes. It will not only keep away pesky critters but also keep your plumbing in top shape.
3. Open Crevices
Sometimes, bugs don’t end up getting into your bathrooms through the plumbing. Sometimes they sneak in through unseen cracks.
If you have a faulty window in your bathroom, several bugs can exploit it to get in. Likewise, broken drainpipes or crumbling walls also provide insects with various entry points into your home. So, if you’ve considered all other possible causes, take a look at your doors, walls, and windows to see if they need replacing.
How to Get Rid of an Insect Infestation
So, you’ve discovered a colony of creepy crawlies living in your bathroom. The question now is—how do you get rid of them? Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to remove all insects from your residence.
1. Use a Dehumidifier
Since insects love damp, warm environments, the first step is to make your bathroom as inhospitable to them as possible. The best way to do that is with a dehumidifier.
This brilliant gadget collects excess moisture from the air and condenses it into liquid water. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce moisture levels in bathrooms as well as improve air quality. However, keep in mind that a dehumidifier won’t make your bathroom completely dry.
Bathrooms are areas with constant running water. Therefore, the best a dehumidifier can do is reduce moisture levels and keep the worst infestations at bay.
2. Fix Your Plumbing
If you’ve noticed a bunch of bugs around one specific drain, then there is a good chance that the drain may be clogged. In that case, you may have to do a bit of plumbing to clear the blockage.
You can do this yourself using a standard plunger and a basic drain cleaner solution. But if the obstruction is too severe, you may want to consider contacting a plumbing service.
3. Clean Regularly
As established, a filthy home isn’t the sole cause of a bug infestation. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to keep your home as clean as possible. In fact, keeping a tidy bathroom is the best way to keep insect numbers down until you can figure out a way to permanently exterminate them.
4. Hire a Professional
As good as some DIY solutions are, they’re often not enough to take care of the problem. This is especially true with persistent pests like roaches, which are notoriously difficult to kill.
So, instead of letting them multiply uncontrollably, think about hiring an exterminator. It may end up costing you a pretty penny, but it’s a small price to pay for a bug-free home.
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