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Whrlp Master Tech
Whrlp Master Tech, Whirlpool Master Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 10392
Experience:  30 years Appliance Field 15 yr with Whirlpool Corp. 9 yrs Whirlpool Technical Assistance Line
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How can I get rid of the black ants in my dishwasher?

Customer Question

How do I get black ants in my dishwasher, they go down the drain when we run it but keep returning. Are they coming through the breather/air/ back flow on the sink. But then they would have to go through the trap and come in through the vent... or sewer ?

I am getting rather miffed about this, please advise.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Appliance Man replied 7 years ago.
They could be coming in the vent on the side of the dishwasher or could be climbing up the lower kick plate and into the front of the door. I would remove the lower front kick plate and see if there are ants under the dishwasher.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No ants in the house. I've used traps on both sides of dishwasher and under the sink where the drain and supply holes are. We have put vinegar in the dishwasher drain & have let it sit there for three days and the ants still come back. They are only in side the dishwasher never on the counter ,floor, sink. This is really baffling.

Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 7 years ago.

Can I get your units Model number to better assist you?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
sears kenmore model #665.1571591
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 7 years ago.

If you open the dishwasher door on the very bottom of the door you will see that you have a gap of about 1/2 inch (this is a air gap) that is where they are getting in to the unit.

They are getting into the dishwasher for the water left in the sump. When the dishwasher is not in use, this water is normal...

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

But wouldn't I have ants outside the dishwasher,on the floor,cabinets,counter top etc.??

Expert:  Neilwill replied 7 years ago.


If there are ants in anywhere they can smell food from hundreds of feet away. They are usually in the earth under the house and make their way up into the foundation of the home and in through cracks. I use a dishwasher cleaner every 6 months or at least once a year.

I know the answer is that the ants are coming from under or behind the dishwasher . They come up from the cracks in the floor boards under the machine where the floor in most houses are not finished. Or through a crack or hole in the wall just behind the dishwasher where you can not see it unless you remove the dishwasher.
I cure this problem without removing the dishwasher. Just get some boric acid powder from Home Depot. Buy it in a ketchup type squirt bottle or get an empty plastic ketchup type squirt bottle from a store fill it with the boric acid powder. (Do this filling out side your home and do not breath it in as you pour it in it makes dust fly in the air)
Then remove the kick plate below the dishwasher to expose the floor under your dishwasher and squirt a lot of it around under the machine on that floor.
replace the kick board plate.
In a few days there will be no ants FOR EVER! they walk in it and track it back to their nest and the whole colony dies. this is a permanent cure. This boric acid powder will be there forever if not disturbed. My kid spilled orange soda in his room and it got down in the cracks of his wood floors. ANTS. until I swept a little boric acid powder in the cracks. Done deal.

Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 7 years ago.

And you can get just regular borax also to kill the ants