Anyway, I tracked their entry point into the Kitchen as around the water inlet pipe into the property behind the washer so in order to solve the problem I needed to disconnect the washing machine, this meant disconnecting the water pipes to it. I've only ever had to unplumb these pipes once before.
See my photographs below for help, as you can see its a fairly basic stop tap and you assume that you need to turn that handle clockwise to turn the water off. That's where this tap does not make sense as you do in fact have to turn it anti-clockwise to turn the water off, Seriously back to front !
Who on Earth designed it needs a good kicking :)
So if YOU ever have to turn off your water supply to your washing machine or dishwasher then don't assume its like a normal tap as you will damage the tap. If you have not moved the tap in many years then I recommend spraying a bit of WD40 behind the handle and leaving it for 20 minutes to work in before you try and turn the tap handle just in case its ceased up and breaks off.
Washing Machine Valve stop taps :
Here is a photograph of my stop tap showing the supply to the washer ON.
|A washing Machine stop tap when ON|
Here is a photograph of my stop tap showing the supply to the washer turned OFF.
Notice how the handle is now rotated 90 degrees to the left.
|A washing Machine stop tap when OFF|
Once I had turned the hot and cold stop taps off I unscrewed the two pipes and drained the water out of the flexible pipes into a bowl before feeding the pips through the side panels of the kitchen sink unit.
I was then able to sort out the Ant problem for which I used a vacuum cleaner to remove all the sand and Ants from around the main water inlet pipe. I then used lots of Silicone Sealant to fill in the cracks in the concrete floor where they were getting in.
Once that was all done I plumbed the washer back in place, I did not bother turning on the Hot water stop tap as I can honestly say I have never had cause to use the hot wash cycle.
Hope my photographs helped someone out there trying to do DIY. If it did please comment on pass it onto anyone interested via Facebook, Twitter, email etc