For some reason, ants love to invade all kinds of electrical outlets and equipment. If you ever experienced ants coming out of electrical sockets, plugs, and other installations, you already know how frustrating this problem can be.
Presuming that most people don’t know much about electrical installations and that they are extremely dangerous, the best course of action would be to call a professional ant exterminator.
If you are comfortable working around electricity, you can get rid of ants in electrical outlets by using either natural peppermint spray, sprays that are specially made to eradicate ants or ant baits. Be sure not the spray the wires.
This whole scenario with ants coming out of your electric installations is like it is taken out of some horror movie. If not treated correctly and in time, the situation can get out of hand, but if you act fast, this nuisance can go away quickly.
What Damage Can Ants Do To Your Electric System
Ants are really small so they don’t need much space to penetrate the safety of your home. Even a tiny crack in the wall or foundation is enough for ants to move in. Ants are capable of cutting through wires, and that can cause some serious problems. When one ant bites the wire and gets electrocuted, this won’t stop others from continuing to make the damage.
Ants release pheromones, especially when they are in danger, as that is their way to signal the other ants. In most cases, the other ants will come and might repeat what the first one has done. Quickly you get a big pile of dead ants, and that pile can cause a short circuit which leads to a possible fire. If dead ants pile up inside an electric switch or an appliance, that can cause a severe malfunction.
Another possible scenario is for the ants to build a nest inside your wall. During this process, they will bring soil and with it moisture, and that is already a very big problem. You don’t want any moisture around your wiring and electrical installations.
Disclaimer: In cases where you are dealing with ant colonies in your electrical system, it is highly recommended to contact professionals. Power should be turned off when performing these kinds of delicate electric work.
Things You Can Do to Get Rid of Ants in Your Electric System
There are a few DIY options for resolving ant problems in your electric system. If you are keen on natural solutions, the answer can be peppermint and cinnamon because ants hate the smell of those. If these are not your thing, we have provided products that you can use specifically made for ants.
How To Get Rid Of Ants In Electrical Outlet: Instructions
Warning: Please understand that we strongly advise that you contact professional exterminators if ants have infested your electrical outlet and system. Tempering with electrical installations can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided if you don’t know what you are doing. Please turn down power switches before dealing with electrical installations.
If you can locate spots that ants use to gain entry into your home, you can treat those spots with cinnamon. If they dug tunnels and put some cinnamon into them, and for sure, they will never use those tunnels again.
Cinnamon is a good answer if ants use the holes where the electric wires enter your home to gain entry because ants won’t dare to use those spots as long as they can smell the spice. You can use it even in cracks in the walls or foundation to stop them from entering your home.
If you have problems with cracks in your house construction, fixing them is recommended because that will keep ants away for good.
Peppermint is very effective against ants, and it is recommended to use it if you find ants in parts of your electric system, like electrical outlets, boxes, circuit breakers, and such. You use peppermint in the form of a spray, and be sure not to spray the wires. Spray around the parts of the system, but avoid spraying the wiring.
If you can detect the entry holes that ants use as an entrance to your home, using peppermint on those spots can also help. Ants will avoid any tight spaces and smell of peppermint because they are repelled by it.
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Cinnamon and peppermint are two natural ant remedies, but you can always use pesticides if you want to get fast results. If used properly, pesticides grant the best and fastest results in combating these little pests. Be sure to spray the electric outlets and not the wires. In all cases, avoid contact with the wiring parts of the installations.
But if you are not keen on DIY actions against ants or are just not comfortable with them, it is best to call the professionals. Browse ads for ant and insect exterminators, find one with extra experience with ants occupying electrical installations and give them a call. That way, you will not worry about the process itself, and the problem will be in the hands of the professionals.
When it comes to using chemicals, there are always options for all sorts of insecticides that are very effective. If you don’t want to use natural products, mix the industrial-strength insecticide and spray the ants where you find them (or use a premade spray). But like with spraying with peppermint, be sure to avoid spraying the wiring part of the system. That is very important.
Also, check for any ant trails around your home. Preventing ants from entering your home in the first place could be the best way to prevent these kinds of problems. If you find any, use pesticides on the whole trail, which will keep ants away. Occasionally check if ants started using old trails or created new ones. These are some of the products that you can use to get rid of the ants in the electrical outlets:
Home Plus Ant Killer (4-Pack)
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Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
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Ways Of Preventing Ant Invasions Of Electric Equipment And Installations
There is a couple of things you can do from your side to keep these ant infestations at the minimum:
- Keep your home clean. If you don’t have leftover food or groceries in your home, and everything else is neat and clean, that will deter ants from venturing into your home. Click here to find out what ants like to eat.
- Ant-proof electrical outlets. Seal or insulate all sensitive parts of electrical appliances, like open wires, with Teflon, rubber or insulating tape. For this job, it is best to contact a certified electrician, who will know the best ways to protect your electric equipment. If this is done incorrectly, it can negatively impact mistreated appliances’ working quality and life span.
- It would be a good decision to create a barrier around your home’s foundation with pesticide crystals which should be placed in the soil. The soil will absorb the pesticide crystals, another important wall of defense from ants. Not an environmentally friendly solution, but in some cases, ants can be persistent so that might be your last option.
What Type Of Ants Usually Invade Electrical Equipment?
There are a couple of ant subspecies that are prone to invading electrical equipment and installations, like Kamikaze ants, the Asian super ant, and Fire ants which usually inhabit electrical boxes and traffic signal switches.
In America, an ant called Tawny crazy ant is especially attracted to electrical devices and installations. Of course, other ants can invade electrical equipment, but these are the most common.
Related: How Many Types of Ants Are There: Ant Identification Chart
Are Ants Drawn To Some Appliances Or Electric Equipment More Often?
For some reason, circuit breakers are most commonly invaded by ants and it is followed by a switch box and an electric pump. Ants also like to inhabit air conditioner units and electric outlets.
So from this, you now know where to occasionally check to see if you have ants in your home. Early detection can save you time, nerves and money, so keep this in mind.
Ants in the home are a nuisance by themselves, but having them in electrical installations creates another dimension of a problem. Ants can create some severe damage to the wiring, installation, appliances and all kinds of electrical equipment. They can even burn your home, so it is not a joke.
Removing ants quickly is the highest priority; fortunately, we have given you enough ways and weapons to fight them. You can use natural remedies, like cinnamon and peppermint, potent repellants for ants, or you can choose to use proven strong pesticides.
Some of you keen on DIY solutions can try to eradicate the problems yourself, but if unsure, call a professional. If an infestation goes out of hand, it is highly recommended to call the professionals. Alongside pest exterminators, hiring an electrician is a good idea because you can never be too careful with electric equipment.
Related: How to Get Rid of Ants | Safe and Effective Methods
List of Sources
Keck M., Drees B., Managing Red Imported Fire Ants in Electrical Equipment and Utility Housings, Texas Cooperative Extension, College Station, Texas
Layton B., Tawny Crazy Ant Control Recommendations, Mississippi State University
Ants, U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Florida
Managing Household Ant Pests, Texas A&M AgriLife