If you eat while using your laptop, food particles may fall into the laptop through the keyboard, attracting ants. Ants can also enter your laptop while looking for warmth when it’s cold outside.
To remove ants from your laptop, spray rubbing alcohol on a brush with soft bristles and use it to scrape them off. Use a Q-tip and a blower to reach for ants hiding in dark corners. Rubbing alcohol will kill the ants on contact, while the brush will sweep them away.
Alternatively, open the laptop then, spray some Isopropyl alcohol on a soft hand towel and use it to wipe the keyboard to get rid of ants in it. Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) is the best liquid to use for cleaning an infested laptop because it terminates the ants by drying them out.
Signs: How to know if ants are in your laptop
When a laptop gets hot after long hours of usage, you will see ants coming out through any opening. This is a major sign that they are nesting in there. Ants hate excessive heat, and they will scatter when it gets too hot in there.
1. Keyboard failure
When you have a heavy infestation, ants block the laptop’s keyboard buttons from reaching the lower side to send commands as you type. This means that when you press a letter or a function on the keyboard, it may fail if there are several ants under it.
You will notice that you will have to press the keyboards harder because you will have to crash them as you type. In some cases, The keyboard may fail to function completely.
2. Bad odor from the laptop
If there are lots of ants in your laptop and it starts to heat, you will get a sudden odor from the laptop. The heat may affect the dead ants you have crushed on the keyboard. In most cases, the smell is normally picked when the laptop overheats due to heavy usage.
The heat may also kill some ants trapped deep within the laptop, producing a weird smell when heated.
Even if the laptop is not overheating, some ants produce a bad smell when killed. If they have infested your laptop, you can get the smell while using it.
3. Ants crawling on laptop screen keyboard
A sudden appearance of ants on your laptop, especially if the table is clean and you never noticed them crawl on it. Little ants may come from the laptop through the keyboard or the breathing spaces on the sides and crawl on the keyboard or the laptop screen.
They will also pop out of nowhere and crawl onto your laptop screen. Ants will also hide on your laptop joints and right at the base.
They keep appearing even if you crush them as you work on them. If more than 2 ants appear at an interval of every 5 minutes, then that is a clear sign of an ant infestation in your laptop.
Damage: Can ants harm your laptop?
Ants can harm your laptop, but only if the infestation is high. Ants don’t feed on plastic insulation or any hardware in your laptop, but this doesn’t mean they cannot damage it. Sometimes, they are just trying to nest in there. Ants can damage a laptop by accidentally blocking important wiring and relay paths.
Ants can cause fan failure in laptops if they settle on the mortar and bearings that spin the fan. However, the chances of this happening are not high because they have to be in very high numbers.
Negative factors like heat will control their infestation in laptops because when the fan fails, the laptop will overheat. If that happens, the environment there will become too hot for them to settle, and they will leave.
They can also interrupt the power supply in a laptop top b damaging or blocking the point at which the laptop is plugged into power. This is because, in most cases, that area is always warm since it is the main power inlet. They will concentrate in that area and damage it in the long run
How to get rid of ants in laptops
Stop eating while working and dropping food particles on your laptop as you work on it if you want to get rid of ants in your laptop. Ants are attracted to food more than anything; if you keep food away, they will leave to find a better habitat.
1. Keep the table clean
If you always leave your laptop on a specific desk without moving it, ants on the desk may crawl into the laptop because it is warm. Ensure your working desk is clean and free from any sugary stuff that may attract them.
If you always keep sweets and sweet snacks in the work desk drawers, stop doing that and remove them. Wipe the table clean because ants will live in your laptop while eating the food from your dirty desk.
If you have a laptop that doesn’t overheat and there is a constant food supply on your desk, ants will live in your laptop while they get food from the desk.
2. White vinegar
White vinegar burns and kills ants. It will also repel them from your laptop. To keep ants away from your laptop, open it and use pure white vinegar on a piece of soft cloth to wipe them off. Use the same to clean the desk after removing all the food from it.
3. Let it heat
In most cases, ants cannot stay in hot temperatures and one of the best tricks to remove them from a laptop is to let it heat for some time. Overusing a laptop while it is plugged in most cases causes a laptop to heat very fast.
If you have seen the signs of an infestation, block the airflow in your laptop so that it heats for about 20 minutes. This will drive all the ants out of it.
However, do not let the laptop heat for a long time. Too much heat may damage it, and you must keep that in mind as you drive the ants out. Once they are out, you can wipe them off the table using rubbing alcohol on a piece of cloth to remove them completely.
4. Bait for ants on laptop
After work, you can use ant baits around the laptop to attract and trap them. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of sugar with the same amount of borax and place it near the laptop. Let the ants come out to feed on it and take some back to their colony. They will die after eating the mixture. Ensure you open the laptop and get rid of them after some time.
To trick ants out of your laptop, spread some honey on a piece of paper and place it near the laptop. Ants will come out and swarm it in large numbers. It will be good to take them out to ensure they do not go back into the laptop.
5. Lysol wipes
After opening the laptop, you can use Lysol to get rid of ants in it. Simply push the ants off with the wipe towels and let the surface dry off. Alternatively, you can spray a soft brush with Lysol disinfectant and use it to scrap off the ants.
The wipes can also be used to wipe the desk to deter and keep ants from coming back. However, you must do that once daily until the area is free from ants. Lysol has a strong lemon scent that will deter ants from your laptop.
How to prevent ants from entering a laptop
To prevent ants from entering your laptop, keep it clean and free from any food. Always blow the keyboards clean and use rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to clean them at least two times a week.
If you use the laptop daily, clean it as often as possible to keep it free from ants, dust, and other pests. Do not bring food to your workstation until the ants are completely gone. If ants infest the desk, take it outside and clean it.
Remove the drawers and ensure every inch of them is inspected for ants. This will help keep ants away because there will be no food if they come out of the laptop to search.
Advice: Tricks to avoid ants in laptops
Ants in laptops vary from little black ants to pharaoh ants, and they are always attracted by food and shelter. Try and eliminate those two conditions, and you will never see them near your laptop again.
With time, they will relocate and look for places with more food. In other words, you can starve ants out of your laptop because they always need food, which is why they stay near humans. When there is no food, ants will always leave if they find a better option.
Keep the desk clean and tidy, and always wipe it with soap and water to remove any stains or particles that attract ants. You can also learn how to open any laptop to clean and remove ants in there.