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How to Bug Proof Electrical Outlets (Block & Thwart Pests)

Electrical outlets are common places for bugs to hide and stay warm. Because of that, improperly sealed electrical outlets are highly vulnerable to bugs.

These bugs will start with one outlet; before you know it, they will spread to all the outlets in your home.

This article will focus on how to bug-proof electrical outlets.

Generally, there are a few different methods to bug-proof an electrical outlet.

  • Use boric acid dust.
  • Seal off all the entry points.
  • Contact a pest control professional.

I’ll go into more detail below.

3 Easy Methods to Bug-Proof Electrical Outlets

Most common bugs that get into outlets:

  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Bed bugs
  • Wasps
  • Termites

Method 1 – Use Boric Acid Dust

hands holding a boric acid dust powder spray bottle
Video | Harris

Using boric acid dust is the best solution for dealing with a cockroach problem inside your outlets. Boric acid dust is capable of killing cockroaches. Hence, you can apply the boric acid dust to every corner and hole in your outlets.

However, applying boric acid duct should be done with caution, and here are the things you need for that.

Things You’ll Need

  • Safety gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face mask
  • Squeeze bulb applicator

Note: The squeeze bulb applicator is a device that can help you apply boric acid dust uniformly throughout the outlets.

After gathering the above items, follow these steps.

Step 1 – Safety First

orange eye safety glasses

You should always wear a face mask, safety gloves, and glasses when using boric acid dust. Boric acid dust can be toxic to your eyes and skin. Never skip this 1st step under any circumstances.

Step 2 -Turn off the Main Circuit Breaker

Never apply boric acid dust to an active electrical outlet. It can be dangerous. Turn off the main circuit breaker before starting step 3.

Step 3 – Apply the Boric Acid Dust

applying boric acid near the outlet
Video | Harris

Take the squeeze bulb applicator and apply boric acid dust. Make sure to apply the dust to every corner and outlet hole.

Boric acid dust will kill cockroaches within 72 hours. Wait and remove the cockroach carcasses from your outlets.

Method 2 – Seal off the Entry Points

Most often, you can find lots of gaps in your electrical outlets. Cockroaches and ants use these gaps as entry points to enter the outlets. If you can seal off entry points, you can prevent the pest problem before it begins. This is a permanent solution that can solve bug problems forever.

How to Seal Off Entry Points in Your Electrical Outlet?

Sealing off electrical outlet gabs is easy using suitable materials and tools. Bugs like ants can easily go through small holes in the outlet wall.

Things You’ll Need

  • Minimal expanding foam
  • Acrylic latex caulk
  • Utility knife
  • Noncontact voltage tester
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

Fill the Gaps

After getting the above items, you can start the gap-filling process.

First and foremost, turn off the main circuit breaker to cut off the power to the outlets. Then, take the screwdriver and remove the cover plate of the outlet. Next, examine the outlet’s inside properly.

Use acrylic acid caulk for all the holes less than 0.25 inches. Use minimal expanding foam for all the other holes. Remember to apply the sealant to the corner of the outlet box. After sealing, the wall and outlet shouldn’t have any gaps.

Then, let the foam dry for a few hours. The necessary instructions should be in the foam container. Finally, replace the outlet cover.

Follow the same process for all the other electrical outlets at your home.

Method 3 – Contact a Pest Control Professional

If you aren’t ready to try the above methods, there is always a 3rd option. As an alternative, you can contact a pest control professional. But hiring a pest control professional will be expensive.

If the bug problem is severe, you won’t have any other option. Whether you like it or not, you must hire a pest control professional.

Why Do Roaches and Ants Settle Inside Electrical Outlets?

ants and insects on outlet
Video | Live Free

Most often, cockroaches and ants built their homes inside electrical outlets. But have you ever thought about why they do this?

Well, these bugs are naturally attracted to dark places. And the inside of the outlet is warmer than most parts of your home. Because of these reasons, lots of bugs build their nest inside your electrical outlets.


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About Alex Robertson

AvatarCertifications: B.M.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Mechanical Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Hi, I’m Alex! I’m a co-founder, content strategist, and writer and a close friend of our co-owner, Sam Orlovsky. I received my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.) degree from Denver, where we studied together. My passion for technical and creative writing has led me to help Sam with this project.

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