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How Pests Can Damage Your Appliances & How to Prevent it From Happening!

by Ann Ferguson

Oh no, do you have pests like roaches or rodents in your home? Yikes! We know it's an unpleasant topic — just thinking about it gives us the heebie-jeebies! Unfortunately, it happens more often than you think, and even worse, it can cause damage to your appliances!

Appliances, especially in the kitchen, provide warm and dark hiding spots with convenient access to crumbs, which makes them a natural hiding spot for roaches, ants, and rodents! And the longer they lurk in your appliances, the more damage they can do.

But don't stress yourself over an infestation — there are ways to prevent them from making your kitchen appliances their target!


Cockroaches getting crumbs near the fridge

Roaches are always bad news, and they usually enter the home through drainage passages and sewers and bring any bacteria they pick up to come along (ew!). So, anything they touch will have the same bacteria, like uncovered food, appliance surfaces, and other electronic devices.

On top of that, they'll shed their skins, lay eggs, and more inside your appliances while also damaging the internal components. Which is totally unexpected, but somehow it happens — which totally sucks!

Did You Know? Roaches can cause allergic reactions and spread to seven human pathogens, six parasitic worms, and thirty-three different types of bacteria!


You might not think it, but an ant infestation is a definite cause for concern regarding your appliances — they can damage the wires in the back! While ants can't chew through the wires, they can remove the plastic that encases the metal on the wiring and expose them. Once they bite the exposed part, they can trigger a short circuit, which can cause your appliance to shut down or start a small fire.

And once the first few ants get electrocuted, they release alarm pheromones that attract more ants! Like things weren't already bad enough, right?

Did You Know? Other insects like house flies can contaminate food with over 100 different pathogens — yikes!

Rats & Mice

Rats chewing through appliance outlet wires

When it comes to rodents like rats and mice, the damage to your appliances is definitely more pronounced. Rodent teeth never stop growing, so they're constantly chewing on something, and that something is usually the hose connections and electrical wiring that connect to your appliances! They'll also burrow their way into your stove or the space behind your refrigerator and call it home (just no).

Not only will rodents ruin your appliances, but they'll also affect your health by spreading disease and fleas throughout your home — eek!

Pro Tip: If you have a rodent infestation, always seek professionals to help clear them out before seeking appliance service!

How to Prevent Pest Damage

Couple cleaning their appliances

As you can see, any infestation is a danger to your appliances. Luckily, you can do plenty of things to prevent these pests from taking over! For instance, you can regularly wipe all crumbs and spills from the floors, kitchen counters, cabinets, and refrigerator (bye, bye ants!) and use airtight containers to store food. Other methods you can employ rely on keeping your appliances clean!

  • Dishwashers: Add a bowl of vinegar to the top rack of your machine, set the cycle to the hottest setting, and hit start!
  • Microwaves, Ovens, Laundry Machines: Vacuum all the crevices around your appliance and then use a water and vinegar solution to wipe down all the surfaces.
  • Refrigerators: Pull it out from its space, sweep out all the dirt and crumbs underneath it, then use a vinegar and water solution to wipe down the fridge. Don't forget to spray the molding in the inner door and wipe it clean, too — bugs and mold love hiding there!
  • Kitchen Sinks: Keep it clean and extra moisture-free by running the garbage disposal for a few seconds. And avoid leaving dishes piled up in there for long periods!

Pest Peeves

Now that you know more about how pests can damage your appliances, you can do your part in keeping them from your machines! But if your appliances have recently stopped working and you don't have a pest infestation, it's important to let our service team at Culligan of Le Mars take a look at it right away!

And if you have any questions about appliance repair, don't hesitate to give us a call or stop by!