Tiny Bugs in Your Bathroom? Identification & Control
Author: Omar Alonso | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Bathrooms are the place we go to clean ourselves. So, it’s gross to find tiny bugs in your bathroom crawling out of your drains or perched on your walls. When you see them in your bathroom, it’s expected you’ll have some questions.
Where do these crawlers come from, and how should you deal with them? Read on to learn more about little black bugs in bathrooms and the best elimination and prevention strategies to keep them at bay.
Why are There Small Bugs in Your Bathroom?
Moisture is the main reason you have tiny bugs in the bathroom. The other reasons are food and good hiding places for various bugs. Humidity in the bathroom comes from standing water, leaks from plumbing fixtures, organic matter such as mulch outside your home, and rotting or moist wood in the bathroom.
Bugs enter your bathroom from other rooms in the house. Others will get in through cracks and crevices in the walls or floors, while some climb up rarely-used drain pipes from the sewer main. If your bathroom sits on the ground floor, a few bugs will enter through the windows.
After getting into your bathroom, they will hide under the sink, beneath the toilet, behind wall decorations or wallpaper, in vents, and the drain. If you have appliances in the bathroom, you can find them hiding beneath them.
Common Bathroom Bugs Identification
There are a few very common little black bugs in bathrooms, and it’s very likely that one of them are what you’re seeing. Let's get into some bathroom bugs identification with pictures:
Drain flies are the most common bug in bathroom drains. They are tiny and black with fuzzy bodies and small translucent wings.
While drain flies love drains, booklice love humid and moldy surfaces. They are wingless, have a prominent head, and can be gray or white. Booklice have a small body of about one millimeter, which makes them hard to spot.
A lot of times those tiny bugs in your bathroom are baby cockroaches. Roaches are easy to spot. But they are the hardest to eliminate once they set up camp in your bathroom. You’ll see them coming up from the drains and sinks, where they find water and organic matter.
Like roaches, carpenter ants are another hard-to-eradicate pest. They are common in bathrooms with a recent water leak or moist wood. These ants love damp wood and can spend a lot of time ruining your floors and house. What’s worse, they can spread to other parts of the house undetected until you have ants in your carpets, ants in your kitchen, and more.
Black worms may appear in the shower or bathroom in general after a flood or water leak. They prefer stagnant water near your shower drain and in pipes where they lay their eggs. More often than not, these are actually drain fly larvae trying to feast on the gunk in your drain and mature into flying insects.
Another common bathroom bug is the silverfish. This tiny bug loves bathrooms with cellulose-based materials such as toilet paper, wallpaper, and cardboard boxes. You can learn about the varieties of silverfish here.
How To Eradicate Tiny Bugs in the Bathroom
Tiny bugs in the bathroom are a nuisance. They are unsightly, and some facilitate the transmission of diseases and disease vectors. Fortunately, you can get rid of them in various ways.
Clean Your Bathroom Thoroughly & Empty the Trash
Cleaning your bathroom eliminates most food sources for bugs. Start by cleaning the toilet bowl with baking soda and add a disinfectant to keep it fresh. Use the same process to clean the sink.
If you have tiled floors in the bathroom, sweep loose dirt first. Then, spray an all-purpose cleaner on the floor and leave it for about 20 minutes to soak up any grime. Wipe the floor with a microfiber cloth.
Scrub the tile grout with a soft brush or a grout cleaning brush and bleach to remove bacteria and grime. Use the same process to clean any surfaces in the bathroom, including walls.
When cleaning the bathroom, look for hidden areas that you don’t reach when doing your daily cleaning. Take down the shower curtain and clean it.
Your daily cleaning routine should involve drying bathroom surfaces/floors, emptying the trash, and keeping the trash can covered to prevent bugs from getting inside.
Keep the Drains Clean
Cleaning the drains is the best way to eliminate tiny bugs in your bathroom that feed on organic matter. You can clean a drain pipe in several ways.
First, use a drain snake or a pipe brush to dislodge any organic matter in the drain pipe. Get a long drain snake or pipe brush to clean out as much dirt as possible. Once clean, pour boiling water down the drain. This method removes the food sources and kills the larvae and eggs of drain flies.
The second method involves pouring a mixture of vinegar, baking powder, and salt down the drain. Leave the mixture in the drain overnight. Later, pour boiling water down the drain.
Another way to clean the drains is to pour an enzyme cleaner which breaks down any organic residue in the drain pipes. This method works best after manual cleaning. You can also use a drain cleaner for the same.
Once clean, check the drains regularly to remove any build-up and prevent bugs from returning.
Use Bug Traps
Bug traps are effective when dealing with tiny bugs in bathrooms, especially when placed in bug hotspots. You can purchase ready-to-use bug traps or try DIY solutions. Some of the effective DIY solutions for bathrooms are:
- Duct tape
- Sugar, water, vinegar, and dish soap mixture
In the latter option, the sugar water solution attracts the bugs to the dish you’ve placed it in, and the dish soap causes them to not be able to escape, while the vinegar puts an end to them.
Seal All Entry Points & Replace Worn Out Furniture
Use caulk or grout sealer to seal any gaps or crevices. You can caulk over existing caulk with no problem. Mend or replace other damaged furniture in the bathroom.
Check the furniture for any water or pest damage signs and replace them. You should also mend broken floor tiles or issues in flooring that could trap extra moisture and grime for pests.
Keep Your Bathroom Dry
Bathrooms are prone to moisture, humidity, and mold. These conditions provide ideal environments for bugs to thrive.
Keeping the bathroom dry minimizes the issue of tiny bugs in your bathroom. Here’s how you can keep the bathroom dry:
- Use an exhaust fan to vent humidity outside your home, especially if you take hot showers regularly
- Use a bathroom dehumidifier to remove moisture
- Increase the heat
- Wipe moisture away from your bathroom surfaces, floors, shower, tub, shower doors, and walls
- Ventilate your bathroom sufficiently
- Use high-quality cleaning products, including spin mops
- Install a shower enclosure to prevent water from splashing onto other bathroom surfaces
- Open the bathroom door after a shower to reduce the humidity
- Install water-resistant bathroom
- Use a bath mat to trap water when leaving the shower
Remember, the main goal here is to keep the lingering moisture at a minimum and to clean up liquid before walking away.
Poor ventilation combined with humidity provides the perfect environment for mold growth. Molds provide the ideal feeding and breeding grounds for tiny bugs in bathrooms.
Some ideas to improve ventilation include:
- Create a space of ½ to ¾ of an inch between the bathroom door and the floor
- Use a fan to aerate the bathroom
- Install a passive vent to increase circulation into the bathroom
- Use a fan or air conditioning
Ventilation reduces the moisture content in the air, which eventually settles on surfaces. Lower humidity means less pooling liquids later. And that means less little black bugs in your bathroom drinking up all of your water.
Fix Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues contribute significantly to small bugs in your bathroom. Issues such as water leaks introduce moisture which attracts pests. Moisture also allows for mold formation, providing additional feeding grounds for bugs.
Clogged drains create an ideal environment for pests to feed, live, and reproduce. While a toilet can eventually unclog itself, you need to take care of it sooner than later. You’ll need to track down the plumbing issue before fixing it to prevent bugs from infesting your bathroom.
Contact Pest Control
When all the above options fail, or bugs keep returning, it’s time to call a professional pest control company. Also, call professionals when dealing with bathroom bugs, such as carpenter ants and roaches, which are the most difficult to eliminate.
A pest control company will start by inspecting your bathroom and home to determine the origin and extent of the infestation. They will then apply effective methods to eliminate bugs from your bathroom area. Reliable pest control services offer follow-up services to ensure the pest extermination process works.
Those Tiny Bugs in Your Bathroom Can Be Taken Care Of
Dealing with tiny bugs in bathrooms is a nightmare for most homeowners. While most of these bugs do not cause disease or hurt humans, they still present a nuisance to see them on your walls, crawling across the floor, or swarming around the bathroom light.
Fortunately, you can get rid of bathroom bugs by eliminating their entry points, food sources, and hiding areas. And, if it becomes overwhelming to eradicate them, you can hire the help of a professional pest control company. Say goodbye to the tiny bugs in your bathroom sooner than later.