Have your electrical outlets suddenly stopped working? While there could be any number of reasons for the malfunction, one possible culprit is a bug infestation. Roaches, termites, wasps, and fire ants love to hide and nest in dark, out-of-sight places and your electrical outlets are ideal. Besides leaving you with dead outlets, these critters secrete corrosive substances and eat through wiring, potentially causing significant damage that will require an electrician to remedy. 

3-Step Guide for Getting Pests Out of Your Outlets

1. Make Sure It’s Really a Bug Problem

Look around the outlet perimeter or just below it for clues. Roaches might leave fecal droppings that look like tiny black dots, termites shed their wings, and certain types of wasps make nests that look like clumps of mud. Fire ants are easy to spot as they often form trails that lead to and from the outlet. If you notice any of these signs, open the fuse box and turn off the main circuit breaker. The breaker is usually a double-width switch located at the top of the fuse panel. Doing this will shut down the power so you won’t get electricuted while removing the outlet cover.  

2. Decide on a Removal Method

If there is, indeed, an infestation, don’t go poking around or spraying pesticides directly into the outlet, as this could cause further damage to the electrical system. Try to assess the extent of the infestation and decide on a method for getting rid of the bugs. To remedy a minor infestation, spray store-bought pesticides or dust boric acid on the outlet cover. A severe infestation, however, will require professional pest control to get rid of the bugs and stop them from coming back.

3. Don’t Forget to Call an Electrician

The outlets may still not work afterelectrician the bugs have been removed. But even if you are able to run your appliances from the outlet again, call a licensed electrician for a thorough inspection. This is absolutely necessary as the electrical wiring may have sustained damage that could result in short-circuiting or spark a fire later on. The electrician will check and replace wires that were damaged to restore the functionality of your outlets.


Whether you have an outlet problem caused by bugs or not, Heise Electric in Spokane, WA, can help. Their team of experts provide many home or commercial electrical services to keep you safe. Contact them today at (509) 209-5988 to schedule electrician services or visit their website to learn more about the company.