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How to Remove Insects From Your Computer

I've worked in the IT field for over 35 years having worked with Sprint, IBM, & Boeing.

Removing Insects from Your PC

After hurricanes Ivan and Dennis our shop took in dozens of computers that wouldn't power on. Many were caused by the power surges from generators, from the utility company, or from electrical storms. However, there were many that had picked up a bug, literally.

Between the downed vegetation, the destroyed buildings, and other debris everything was displaced, humans, animals, and insects. These insects moved into new living space not unlike those of us that had to seek alternate homes and rentals. Many of these found refuge in our computers.

Insects seem to especially like to move into the main power box in a computer called the power supply. This box with in a box would seem a safe place to hide, but as they walk around when the computer is on, they can cause a short and electrocute themselves, taking your power supply and possibly your computer with them to their grave.

insect-in-the-machine

Don't use bug spray

Unfortunately many customers chose to use bug spray not only around their computers, but often on and inside. This makes for a multitude of problems including explosion, fire, poisoning, and computer damage. If it's not obvious, never spray bug spray, which is often flammable, near electronics. If they are on or not as most have electricity in them waiting to do work. It's there at the on off switch ready for you to push the button, and can be stored in components called capacitors that can have a charge for hours and days after power is off.

insect-in-the-machine

Aerosols can cause fire or explode

Any discharge of energy can ignite a flammable mist (bug spray) causing fire or an explosion. If the poison isn't ignited, and the computer is on, the fans can increase the circulation or blow back into the room which could overcome you and introduce poison into your system. A fire or explosion can damage the computer, but so can the bug spray which turns sticky like a glue after it dries. Even if the chemicals don't corrode the computer boards (the case often corrodes like a car battery), it can then act as a big fly strip catching bugs and dust to the computer components. This results in higher heat retention, and possible short circuits.

insect-in-the-machine

Insect baits attract insects

Some customers took the advice of some of my competitors and avoided the bug sprays, but went with a roach motel. Again, we have seen them near a computer, on a computer and in a computer. Again a bad idea. Roach motels are designed to attract roaches to them and lure them into the trap. The problem is that you are baiting roaches to come near, on, or into your computer. Some roaches are smart, or maybe just have insect attention deficit disorder, and don't move into the hotel, but just hang out nearby. Luring more insects to your computer is not the goal. If you use traps, do so at a point far away from the computer.

A better way to remove the roaches is to have a vacuum cleaner with a hose, and let the suction remove the insects. This allows you to eject them from the computer and your home without a sticky and risky mess. You can always spray the garbage can outside as you dump the bag, or empty your bagless into it to kill the bugs. Just remember to unplug the computer before trying to open the case, and remember that if you have a name brand with an active warranty, opening the case can and will likely void your warranty. Pleasant computing and may your experience be bug free.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Potterville

Comments

Aryan on April 21, 2020:

It was very informative. Got good advice from the Author.

Thanks, a Lot

Cecil Kenmill from Osaka, Japan on January 01, 2019:

Very good info here. You know your stuff!