7 Reasons Why Ants on My Desk But No Food

Ant activities are sometimes strange as they mess around your desk, but not the usual foods they’re supposed to. 

So, why there’re ants on my desk but no food?

Ants can be attracted to your desk even if there is no food because of getting moisture or water. Ants are highly sensitive to scents and may be drawn to the presence of residues, crumbs, or even sweet-smelling items. Additionally, ants have a strong ability to communicate and leave pheromone trails, which can lead them to explore new areas.

There is a lot to know about this issue. So if you are interested go through the whole article.

Why Are Ants Attracted to My Desk Even If There Is No Food?

Ants Attracted to My Desk

Ants can be attracted to your desk even if there is no food because of different reasons. So, here are several explanations of those factors:

  • Water: Ants require water for their survival, so any available water source in your room can attract them.
  • Overlooked Food: Ants can feed on tiny crumbs that are invisible to the human eye. If you have eaten in your room before, there might be leftover food in concealed areas. Additionally, sugary drink stains on your desk can also serve as a food source for ants.
  • Unclean Desk: Ants may utilize your desk as a shelter for their colony. Neglected, moist, or dark spots on your desk (such as behind your monitor or speakers) can be a breeding ground.
  • Moisture: Ants rely on moisture to survive. If there is no easily accessible water source nearby, they will search for places that offer fresh supplies. If the room where your desk is located has high humidity levels, it could be a contributing factor.
  • Scents: Ants can be attracted to scents they find appealing, such as perfume or pleasant smells in your room.
  • Pheromones: Ants can be drawn to pheromones released by other ants, which can lead them to your room.
  • Neighboring Homes: Ants may originate from your neighbor’s house, particularly if they have recently undergone fumigation or pest control treatment.

So, these are the prominent reasons for seeing ants whether you are using any brand like Uplift or Progressive Desk. But, it is possible to get rid of ants if you become careful enough.

How to Get Rid of Ants on The Desk?

how to get rid of ants on desk

If you’re experiencing ants on your desk, there are various approaches you can take to eliminate them. Below are suggestions that you can follow:

Home Remedies

These home remedies will help you to make ants away from your desk without using toxic substances.

  • Citrus Fruits:Ants dislike the strong scent of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. Collect the peels and scatter them near entry points.
  • Coffee Grounds:Create a barrier with coffee grounds to deter ants. They dislike walking on them, so place the grounds around entry points.
  • Peppermint Oil: Soak a cotton wool pad in peppermint oil and position them around the room. The potent smell repels ants effectively.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Mix tea tree oil with water and spray it in areas where ants enter or gather.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Dust ant mounds with baking soda, then spray them with undiluted white vinegar to eliminate the ant colony.
  • Lemon: Squeeze lemon juice or place lemon peels at entry points. Ants are known to dislike the smell of lemon, so they will stay away.
  • Cinnamon: Ants don’t like cinnamon. Place it around the areas where ants are coming into your home. Aim for doors, windowsills, floors, flower pots, and any tiny gaps.
  • Boiling Water: Pour boiling water over an ant mound to kill the colony

Chemical Solutions

If you want to eliminate the ants chemical solution works the best without any doubt. So you can try the following solution.

  • Ant Traps: Set up ant traps in areas where ants enter your room. They are effective in capturing and eliminating ants. To use ant traps, simply place them near ant trails or areas of high ant activity. The traps contain bait that attracts ants, and once they enter, they are exposed to a slow-acting insecticide.
  • Ant Bait: Use slow-acting ant bait, which ants carry back to their colony, ultimately eradicating the entire population. This involves using a food source that the ants are attracted to and combining it with a slow-acting poison. When the ants consume the bait, they carry the poisoned food back to their nest.
  • Insecticide Spray: Apply insecticide spray directly on ants or in locations where they enter your room to kill them on contact. Direct the spray nozzle towards the ants and infested areas. Apply the insecticide directly on the ants, trails, and nests, focusing on the areas where the ants are most active.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth anywhere you see ants. The powder will stick to the ants and dehydrate them, killing them in the process.

Consulting with Pest Control Experts

If you are dealing with a severe ant infestation, it is advisable to seek professional help from pest control experts. They can provide effective solutions to your situation.

So, this solution will help you to get rid of ants from your desk or important areas. It is important to keep your home clean and dry to prevent ants from coming back.

How Do I Get Rid of Ants from The Desk When Nothing Works?

ants keep coming back no food

Try these additional tips if you’ve tried different methods and had no luck:

  • Borax: Mix Borax with equal parts water and sugar to make a syrup, and leave it in the corners. This method will work to kill the entire colony in roughly 24 to 48 hours. Because the worker ants carry the Borax back to the queen.
  • Maintain Desk Cleanliness: Ensuring that your desk remains clean and dry can deter ants as they are drawn to food and water sources.
  • Use Chalk: Draw a line of chalk along doors, windows, and cracks to disrupt the pheromone trails that ants follow. This hinders their ability to locate entry points into your room.
  • Apply Talcum Powder: Seal any cracks, particularly around window frames and doors, using talcum powder. When ants come into contact with the powder, it adheres to their bodies, dehydrating and ultimately killing them.

Finally, if none of these methods work, it may be time to consult with a pest control expert. They can provide professional solutions to get rid of ants.

Can Ants Depart from Your Desk on Their Own?

It’s not usual for ants to leave a favorable place on their own. Ants are social insects with assigned roles within their colony to ensure their survival. 

If your desk does not provide a food or water source, the ants will likely seek a more favorable location. So, it is rare that ants leave your place on their own.

How to Prevent Ants from Coming Back

Ants can be persistent pests. But there are several steps you can take to prevent them from coming back into your home. Here are some tips to keep ants away:

  • Prevent ants from entering your home by sealing cracks and crevices in windows and doors with caulk or silicone.
  • Eliminate individual ants by squishing them, especially if they are scouting for food sources.
  • Maintain a clean kitchen and wipe counters multiple times daily to minimize potential food sources for ants.
  • Replace window, door screens, and weatherstripping. Also, fix loose mortar around the basement foundation to prevent ants from entering.

It is not effective to eliminate an infestation by killing a few ants at a time. Ants are social insects that work together for the survival of their colony. So you need to be extra cautious so that they can not re-enter your house.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why Are There Ants on My Wooden Table?

The main reason for having ants on the wooden table could be nest building.  Carpenter ants have a tendency to target moist or waterlogged wood since it is easier for them to chew through.

How Long Do Ants Sleep?

Ants generally have 4 hours and 48 minutes of sleep per day. According to a study it was discovered that the worker ant engages in around 250 short naps throughout the day. Each nap lasted slightly over a minute. 

Do Ants Hate Salt?

Ants do not necessarily hate salt. Because using salt as a method to eliminate ants may only provide a temporary solution for certain ant species. But this does not actually kill them. Ants typically live in large colonies composed of thousands of individual ants.


Now it is clear why ants on my desk but no food. Discovering ants on your desk, even in the absence of any visible food, can be a puzzling situation. While ants are commonly associated with searching for food, they can also be attracted to other factors.

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About Mike Irving

Enthusiast Computer Geek, with vast experience in Office Ergonomics. Mike Irving is known as Master of Office and Computer Desk setups including gaming workstations.

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