The Unexpected Spot Ants Are Hiding In Your Home

Ants might seem relatively harmless at first glance, but they can become a tricky pest to eradicate if you let them set up shop in your home. That's because where there is one, there is a whole colony nearby, and you will soon be chasing down these insects all over your house. You will likely find them in the usual trouble spots, like ants in your kitchen or your pet's food bowl. But if you keep seeing these pests walking around your house and you can't figure out where they're coming from, check your electric outlets. It might seem strange, but they are known to post up in those crevices. 

While it might seem unsanitary or annoying to have ants marching across your countertop, ants hiding inside your outlets is a whole other issue. That's because they could potentially chew through the wiring and create a fire hazard. They can also move away from the outlets and go behind your walls, creating damage if they build nests. In order to avoid that, you need to remove them ASAP. Here is why ants are inside your outlets and what to do about it.

Why ants are in your outlets

We typically find ants where there's food, so why would they be spilling out of our outlets? While scientists don't know for sure, they theorize it has something to do with being attracted to the magnetic fields emitted by the electric wiring and the warmth that it provides. It might seem like a safe and warm environment to set up their colony, and so they bunker down behind the outlet. Some ants are more likely to do this than others. For example, this is a real problem with red fire ants and carpenter ants, especially, which will also invade transformer boxes, circuit breakers, and air conditioners.

Having ants in your outlets can be more than a mere nuisance — it can also be hazardous. If they decide to chew through the wires, the damage can create a short circuit, which could lead to a fire hazard. They can also move away from the outlet and go deeper into the wall. If they set up their colony there, they will bring dirt inside the wall to build their home, creating moisture. This will lead to eventual wood rot and water damage behind your walls. To avoid that, you need to remove the ants from your outlets as soon as you spot them.

How to remove ants from outlets

While everyone likes a money-saving DIY, this problem is best left to the professionals. Since they have infested an area covered in wiring, you want to avoid setting off any bug bombs or misting bug sprays since that could lead to potential electrocution. If you're going to jump into action while waiting for an exterminator to arrive, the best thing you can do is shut off the power to the outlets. This will ensure that none of the appliances that rely on that power source will short-circuit if the ants chew through the wiring. 

Additionally, ensure you have no crumbs or messes around your house. Ants go where it is hospitable and where they can easily find food to feed the colony. If your home is prone to messy countertops, spilled pet food, or crumbs on the floor, then you will have a harder time eradicating your ant problem. You can also take strides to make it harder for them to enter your house by sealing any cracks. Look for openings along window and door frames, weather stripping, and floorboards. Seal these holes, and you will see fewer ants marching across your home.