Computer bugs (the literal kind)

Of late I have noticed a number of small ants (no longer than a couple millimeters) scurrying on and around my lap top. This has me thinking, what if they’re getting inside the machine? I know they easily can get into it, but how likely are ants and other small insects to seek refuge inside a computer? If this is in fact the case, what can be done about them? I’d rather not resort to traps and poisons without at least trying a few alternatives.

Bugs can easily get in there, clog things up, and make the laptop overheat and die. They aren’t too likely to go inside unless there is some food source inside, like if you had food crumbs in your keyboard that fell inside the machine.

If it were my laptop, I’d take it apart and look for any signs of bugs, and if I found any, I’d blast them out of there with compressed air. I’m pretty handy at taking electronic stuff apart, though. If you aren’t so experienced, then this is something for ye ol local computer shop to take care of for you.

If you think bugs are bad, I’ve heard of snakes and rodents getting into desktops.

Not quite the same as a laptop, but I had ants set up a nest inside an answering machine. I’m not sure I entirely agree with the food theory - there was certainly no food anywhere near this answering machine. I think that if they find a nice enough (by ant criteria) “nesting site”, they will make do. When I popped the answering machine open, there were a zillion little egg pods (and a zillion ants scurrying to protect them).

I don’t have a good non-chemical solution for how to get rid of them. I ended up spraying the innards and hoping it wouldn’t mess up the machine (it didn’t, once everything dried out).
The only advice I can give is to try to make the laptop as inhospitable as possible. Obviously the heat from the motherboard isn’t enough to deter them. Maybe put the laptop in a bag, and then put it in the freezer for a couple hours ?

Thrips (aka thunderflies) used to be a bit of a problem for the first generation of LCD flat screen monitors; these tiny insects would crawl into the ventilation holes and up into the slight gap between the LCD panel and the front protective film; then they would die, creating an appearance similar to dead pixels.

Put the laptop in a box you can make airtight, and sufficate them. You can add a candle in the container to eat up the oxygen quickly.