Have you noticed ants coming off your laptop? Or are you seeing them line up near your computer? We understand your frustration.
Ants are tiny insects that can be challenging to eliminate, especially if you don’t know where they’re coming from. So, what do you do?
In this article, we will answer your question, “why are ants in my laptop,” and provide you with some tips on how to eliminate them and keep them away from your device.
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Why Are Ants Attracted To Laptops?
Ants aren’t naturally attracted to your computer. So, if you usually eat around your laptop, chances are you’re leaving food crumbs and stains all over the place and into your computer.
And if you eat and type without cleaning your hands, the oil of the food can stick to the keys of your keyboard and other parts of your laptop like the screen and trackpad.
If left unclean, the oil will attract ants, and in the worst case, these ants will stay in the device for as long as they can.
At the same time, tiny food crumbs can go in the gaps of your keyboard.
These crumbs are sometimes challenging to see and can be left unnoticed, eventually inviting ants to your device.
Additionally, the heat from your laptop can seem appealing to insects, especially fire ants or tawny crazy ants.
These ants love to nest in things that generate heat, like inside different electronic appliances, electric outlets, and computers or laptops.
In addition, ants choose to nest in dry and warm places. Even after you shut it down, your laptop will have residual heat that can stay for a while.
This heat, plus the food stains and oil combined, are heaven to ants, making your laptop an ideal place to live and build their nests.
Once they’ve built their nest in your device, they will start to lay eggs. Nobody would want that, right?
Furthermore, some ants prefer going to your laptop through your CPU vents.
While this isn’t the best entry, given that the fan will kill them instantly, their pheromones are spread when they die, attracting more ants to your device.
If you have ants inside your computer, they can cause severe damage to it, especially since they have the habit of chewing electrical wires.
So once you see ants around or coming in and out of your laptop, you must act and get rid of them immediately.
How To Get Rid Of Ants Found Inside a Laptop
Seal Your Device In A Plastic Bag
The most common method of removing ants in your computer is sealing your laptop in a plastic bag. The process is simple; all you need is a plastic bag and an electric bag sealer.
You first need to put the laptop inside the bag and use the sealer to remove the air.
The removal of air will deprive the ants of oxygen and may push them to evacuate the device with their eggs and larvae.
However, this can be a tricky solution since there's a high chance that they will just die in the laptop.
While this may seem like a positive result, if eggs are present in the computer, they will still hatch and start another colony inside your computer.
Unfortunately, you can't tell whether they laid eggs or not from the outside of your laptop, so you will need to open your computer and remove the ant eggs from it.
This will ensure the 100% success of this method.
Cleaning Your Laptop
If you don’t have an electric bag sealer, sealing your laptop in a plastic bag is out of the equation.
But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get rid of the ants in your computer. Another method that you can try is simply cleaning your computer.
But we don’t mean just wiping fingerprints off the screen. You need to thoroughly understand both the external and internal parts.
This can be challenging, especially for people who don’t know how to open a computer. If you have no experience, you can check out tutorial videos on YouTube.
You can also use a vacuum to clean your laptop, but you will still need to open it in order to get all of the ants living inside your device.
While it’s possible to just vacuum the vents to clean the inside parts, it won’t guarantee that it will reach all the edges and gaps of your computer.
We still recommend you open the laptop to thoroughly clean it and remove all the ants.
Shake The Laptop
Another method that you can do to get rid of ants in your computer is to shake the device.
Those who have dealt with ants on their food before may have noticed that they scatter away once you shake the food they’re eating.
So, this can work on your laptop, too, by simply shaking it. Just make sure you’re holding the computer firmly in your hands when you shake it so you won’t drop it in the process.
The movement will disrupt the ants and cause them to leave the device. But don’t just shake your laptop anywhere.
Make sure that it is somewhere you can spray some pesticides on so that when they leave your computer, you can kill them and eliminate all the problems.
Lastly, shake it gently to avoid any internal damage to your laptop.
Use An Ant Bait
If everything else fails and you’re still stuck with a colony of ants in your laptop, it’s time for stricter measures.
One of the foolproof ways to get rid of ants in your computer is using ant bait.
There are many commercial ant baits that you can buy in stores, so you don’t have to create your own.
To do this method, you must put the ant baits around your laptop at around three to four inches. You can leave it overnight to allow the ants to move during the night.
To ensure success, kill some ants around the bait to release their pheromones. These pheromones will attract more ants hiding in your laptop to your bait.
You’ll be surprised at how many ants you can see in the trap the next day.
Build A Water Moat
If you want to have some fun with the process, you can create a water moat.
The idea behind this solution is to make the ants feel isolated, so they will be forced to leave the laptop. To create the moat, you first need to fill a washbowl or basin with water.
Then, put up a structure in the middle that could hold your laptop. Lastly, make a bridge for the ants so they can leave the computer.
This can be a tricky solution since you have to rely solely on the ants’ instincts when they’re isolated. This works wonders in some situations, while in others, it doesn’t do anything.
However, if you’re desperate and can’t seem to get them out of your device, this can be an excellent solution to try.
How To Keep Ants Away From Your Laptop? (Prevention Tips)
After you have removed the ants in your laptop, the next and most crucial thing you need to do is to prevent it from happening again.
Fortunately, this is easy and won’t cost you much money.
Basically, you must refrain from eating near or around your laptop, especially food that drops crumbs, such as chips, cookies, bread, and more.
You also must avoid eating greasy food and using your computer without wiping or washing your hands.
If you don’t wash, your hands will leave oil and stains on your keyboard, mouse, or screen, which can attract ants and other bugs.
So, before using your laptop, especially after eating, you should wash your hands and dry them.
You should also consider sealing your ports when not in use and using a keyboard protector to keep ants from getting inside your computer.
This will cover all the gaps between the keys and any entry points they can use. This will also protect your computer from crumbs if you can’t help eating near your laptop.
Lastly, use electronic wipes to wipe down your computer after every use. If you can’t control yourself from eating in front of your laptop, it’s not a big deal.
Just make sure to clean the touchpad after using it.
What Can Ants Can Do To Your Laptop? (Harmful Or Not?)
Ants can be harmful to your laptop, especially if left for long periods. If they are inside your laptop, they can ruin the components and severely damage your computer.
This is because they are known for chewing wires of appliances and electrical outlets.
While they won't chew the processor or any other crucial parts of your computer, they can cause short circuits inside, leading to malfunction or, worse, data loss.
So, the moment you see ants around your laptop, be alarmed.
Do the steps mentioned above to eliminate them, and always take precautionary measures to ensure that they won't infest your computer.
Frequently Asked Ants in Laptop Questions
Can I spray insecticide on my laptop?
No, you can’t. Spraying insecticide on your laptop will damage it and may cause an explosion.
Do ants eat wires?
They don’t eat wires, but they can chew through wirings.
Do cockroaches also damage laptops?
Yes, they can damage your laptop if they get inside and leaves droppings on the motherboard.
Ants are in your laptop for two reasons: food crumbs or stains your laptop and the heat it produces.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop your computer from heating up, but you can avoid eating around your laptop to prevent ants from entering it.
If you end up with an ant infestation on your computer, follow the steps above, and your laptop will be fine in no time.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.