For most people out there, ants are really not a threat to their laptop’s lives. But for some, they can really pose a real danger to the life span of our laptop. Today, we’re talking about protecting your laptop from ants.
It actually happened to me recently – last week, I found that my laptop was like a night club for ants. It wasn’t a pleasant view for sure – and totally unexpected – but I did what I had to do to get rid of them.
And I am here to share with you the steps you need to take in order to get rid of ants from your laptop. I’ll also tell you how to prevent your laptop to become a magnet for ants in the future.
Why do ants invade our laptop?
There are various reasons why ants might invade a laptop.
Most likely, they won’t decide to come and try to set up their colony inside your device – but that’s a possibility as well. The cramped spaces inside a laptop are a good fit for a colony of ants.
But most likely, ants will get into your laptop searching for food. Actually, not just searching for it – but finding it too!
While a lone ant might end up visiting your laptop through one of the ports or openings that laptops have, others will not join. But if it finds a food source there, more ants will come and it can get pretty scary.
So make sure that you don’t eat around your laptop and if you happen to spill something on it – no matter if it is food or a beverage – make sure to clean it ASAP.
Learn here how to clean your laptop’s keyboard – the most likely place for food particles to get in.
How to protect laptop from Ants?
Protecting your laptop from insects is extremely important, as they can cause harm to your laptop, including a short circuit if they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So this is the first thing you should always consider: preventing ants from getting into your laptop.
In order to do this, make sure that you offer nothing attractive to your ants: crumbles of food or spilled liquid (especially with sugar) will act like a magnet for insects. Plus, they will force you to replace your laptop more often.
If you spill something on your laptop, make sure to thoroughly clean it!
Also go for some basic protection – buy a laptop sleeve (like our recommended one here – affiliate link) and keep your laptop in it. This won’t only protect it from ants, but also dust and a myriad of other potential problems.
Finally, try not to use your laptop in areas where the risks of having ants invade it are higher.
For example, don’t place your laptop directly on the ground, especially if you’re out in the nature – in a park or a forest or anywhere with grass.
Also, if you are in a place where you know ants like to hang out, keep your laptop away. Ants will eventually make their way in, as unlikely as that might sound!
Use naphthalene balls
Another method of protecting your laptop from ants – which is a bit more extreme – is getting some naphthalene balls and placing them near your laptop.
Get a packet like this one (affiliate link) and keep it close to the laptop. The smell of naphthalene will keep ants away.
The problem with this method is the smell – naphthalene has a particular smell that many people don’t like. I personally love it and have no problem with it – but have in mind that there is a particular smell coming with it.
If you use your laptop inside, the entire room will smell like naphthalene. So if you don’t like that, make sure to find one with a scent you approve, keep the windows open or use the laptop outside.
How to get rid of ants in your laptop
If ants manage to get inside your laptop, you have make sure you take them out ASAP.
Nobody really wants to kill ants and you don’t have to in most occasions: you can make your uncommon inhabitants leave your device alone using any of the methods recommended below.
Cleaning your laptop of ants
If ants are not inside your laptop, you can easily remove them with some proper cleaning. If they get on your keyboard or invade your screen, all you need is a microfiber cloth.
Use it as it is or dampen it a little bit and, with your laptop turned off, wipe the ants away. Don’t press too hard when doing this and you won’t cause any harm to the small insects!
This method will also help clean your laptop and remove whatever is on it that attracts ants. If it’s liquid or something sugary, make sure to use a damp microfiber cloth!
IMPORTANT: Before turning your laptop back on, make sure that it has dried out completely!
Using the fork method
You’ll have to do some balancing, but this method will definitely be fun to watch and will result in some truly Instagramable pictures.
What you need to do is place your laptop on a support that takes it off the ground and gives the ants to way to get off the laptop itself. Use, for example, two empty water glasses to properly balance your device – or anything that works.
Now that your laptop is up in the air, place a fork in such a way that one end is sitting on your laptop and another on the ground / floor.
This will prompt the ants to find the “escape route” and they will start retreating, climbing down the fork.
In order to make things even more attractive to them and have the ants leave faster, you can dip the fork in sugary water (the end that is on the ground).
Leave it be for a few hours and you’ll get rid of ants on and in your laptop (sometimes even sooner!)
If you don’t want to wait that long and you don’t really care much about the well being of the ants, use a vacuum! (*ants might still survive)
We recommend using a portable vacuum or one that doesn’t have a huge vacuuming power in order to keep your laptop safe.
Simply vacuum the entire surface of your laptop, without pushing too hard (you don’t want to break anything) and the ants will be gone. Focus on the keyboard area as that is where they will generally hide.
Use compressed air
If vacuuming is not an option, you can use a can of compressed air to get rid of the ants by blowing them away. You can even use a hair drier for this method to work!
Simply use the item of choice (compressed air or hair drier) to blow the ants away from your laptop.
Make sure that you actually keep the temperature low on your drier and also that you don’t blow the ants on your face or body. Some of these little fellows have really nasty bites!
Can ants damage your laptop?
Normally, a few ants here and there – especially if they don’t make it inside your laptop – don’t pose a real threat.
But ants can definitely cause serious damage to your device. From getting stuck behind your laptop’s keys (making it unusable and requiring an external keyboard) to getting inside your laptop and risk causing a short circuit, there are all sorts of problems they can cause.
If the ants manage to get inside your laptop, they are a bit more difficult to get rid of and will usually require opening the device up. Take it to a service if you are not comfortable with this (or experienced enough to do it yourself).
Extra precautions for preventing future invasions from ants on your laptop
We have already talked about preventing ants from your laptop, but I think we can really wrap this up with a few bullet-style pointers to keep in mind.
Remember – as in most cases, preventing ants from invading your laptop is easier and a better choice than trying to get rid of them. Here’s what to do:
- Don’t eat near your laptop and don’t place your device on a table/desk where you ate
- Do not use your laptop if your hands are dirty, especially after eating food.
- Don’t use your laptops in areas where you know there are lots of ants
- Use naphthalene balls near your laptop to prevent ants and other bugs from getting close.
- Place your laptop inside a laptop sleeve when you’re not using it.
While having ants inside your laptop – or invading your laptop – is not very common, it’s a situation that has to be dealt with as soon as possible in order to prevent the little insects from causing permanent damage to your device.
Also, depending on the type of ants that are present, they could even bite you or attack you and some species of ants have really painful bites!
But now you know how to deal with this situation, should it ever arise: both in terms of protecting your laptop from ants, but also getting rid of ants if they invade your laptop.
Next, you might want to invest in a solid laptop backpack that protects you from back pain, but also ants. Better be safe than sorry!