Man finds his PC infested with bugs of the six-legged kind

midian182

Posts: 6,802   +61
Staff member
WTF?! PCs and bugs. They’re two words we never like seeing together, especially when the latter refers to the insect variety. One Reddit user discovered this when he returned home to find his CPU and GPU infested with “crazy ants.”

Lazylollipop posted a video of the crazy ants, which get their name from their frantic and erratic movement, having a party inside his rig, scurrying around his NZXT cooler and Sapphire Nitro+ graphics card.

My CPU/GPU got infested by ants when I was gone for a month. I played games and ran benchmarks so they would come out cos of heat. Also left my pc running overnight but they still inside. Help from r/pcmasterrace

Like other ants, these crazy insects are attracted to electronic devices such as car stereos, circuit boxes, and, it seems, our expensive PCs.

For the non-squeamish who take a live-and-let-live attitude toward a colony of six-legged creatures inhabiting their cases, remember that they do cause problems beyond biting. The ants often stream inside a device so that they form a single, squirming mass that completes a circuit and shorts it, writes The New York Times. They also eat away at wires and cables while searching for food.

Lazylollipop has tried dissembling his PC and blasting the ants with compressed air to clear them out. He also oiled parts to try and stop them from crawling back, and ran some benchmarks, hoping that the heat would drive them away. Sadly, it seems none of it was enough to stop the crazy buggers.

One user writes that these are Tawny Crazy Ants, which are attracted to electronics, have no central hive, and multiple queens. They’re also very hard to kill. Adjace-esque recommends taking the PC apart and placing the parts in airtight bags to kill the ants, though a professional exterminator will be required as they do come back.

Image credit: Hurst Photo

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Lionvibez

Posts: 2,304   +1,815
Wow I've never see a computer infested with ants. Whats going on in the room this guy has his pc that he got an ant infestation...
 

SirDigby

Posts: 797   +594
Could he put the parts in a dishwasher?
I've heard people do this to clean the dust off, and as long as they dry properly and no chemicals are used this is actually fine, but never been brave enough to test it myself. Also, no dishwasher ;)
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,943   +4,205
The guy leaving his PC on, in an effort to get the ants to leave, would probably only entice the ants to stay as the ants probably prefer the warmth.
Vacuum and/or XPower powered air duster.
Done.
That would certainly be one way of doing it, though personally, I would stay away from the air blasts since you have little control of where the ants would land. Just suck them up in the vacuum and be done with it.

Perhaps another means would be to freeze them with "Freeze Spray". https://www.newark.com/mg-chemicals/403a-285g/freeze-spray-aerosol-285g/dp/84AC8047?mckv=sdrkWn4Nh_dc|pcrid||plid||kword||match|e|slid||product|84AC8047|pgrid|1240249326189326|ptaid|pla-4581115206863668|&msclkid=10896848ac83109a8834083cc960c9f6&CMP=KNC-BUSA-GEN-Shopping-NewStructure-Chemicals-Adhesives# ;)
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,599   +2,215
I used to be really into ants when I was kid. I never heard of ants being attracted to electronics, but I could see them making a nest in a computer case. Heck they probably enjoyed the heat. Makes a great spot for the nursery.

Ants do hate lemons, but that only helps as a deterrent. As wiyosaya, If you want a diy way of eliminating them, put your PC in a freezer (assuming it fits).
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,748   +1,547
Prolonged exposure to diatomaceous earth (stick to food grade, do not breath) should do the trick. Keep cleaning out the bodies and eventually the 'scent' trigger which causes them to swarm in your box will go away.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,943   +4,205
I used to be really into ants when I was kid. I never heard of ants being attracted to electronics, but I could see them making a nest in a computer case. Heck they probably enjoyed the heat. Makes a great spot for the nursery.

Ants do hate lemons, but that only helps as a deterrent. As wiyosaya, If you want a diy way of eliminating them, put your PC in a freezer (assuming it fits).
Just make sure you let the PC dry out first after you defrost it if you put it in the freezer. Freeze spray gets around the problem, but, of course, requires you to spend some money on the spray itself.
 

Aranarth

Posts: 96   +84
Fireants also LOVE electronics.

Worst thing I've seen though is not ants but roaches. We put the laptop in a heavy duty trash bag, got all the air out we could and then threw in a bug bomb and let it sit for a month.

This should also work for ants.

Machine was disassembled, put through a dish washer, then reassembled. worked fine to get the data off the HDD then we tossed it. $3K laptop down the drain.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 354   +369
I've seen plenty of gross things in computers back when I was working for best buy. Roaches were nasty but the worst was a 10 year old computer that was caked in tar from cigarette smoke.
 
Just buy some Terro and place it about the base of the PC. The Terro will attract the ants and it will kill off the nest. I had this same problem after the ants streaming in from a nearby window. How do people not know about Terro!