Why Do Ants Keep Going in My Keyboard? [A Gamer’s Worse Nightmare]

While ants are fascinating creatures that can seemingly be everywhere, they are pests to many people. 

One of the most uncommon places ants can be found is in computer keyboards. This may seem strange, but it is not uncommon for ants to be attracted to keyboards.

The reason ants get inside your keyboard is for food and shelter. Keyboards can provide both of these things for ants. When people eat at their computer desks, crumbs and other food particles can fall into the keyboard, creating a food source for ants. Additionally, keyboards can provide a warm and protected environment for ants to build their nests.

If you have ever found ants in your keyboard (or have nightmares thinking about it), you may be wondering how to get rid of ants that may happen to sneak into your keyboard. 

Or maybe you’ve gotten unlucky and seen ants around your computer desk.

In this article, we will answer these simple questions, provide tips on cleaning out the ants in your keyboard, go over a few common species of ants known to infest the inside of keyboards, and give you a few ways to stop ants from ever getting near the inside of your laptop.


Why Ants Are Attracted to Laptop Keyboards

Ants are attracted to keyboards for various reasons, but the most common one is food.

Crumbs and food particles trapped between the keys can be a magnet for ants. They are always on the lookout for sources of food, and if they find it on your keyboard, they will keep coming back for more.

Another reason why ants may be attracted to your keyboard is because of sugary or alcoholic drinks that have been spilled on or near it.

Ants can not resist sweet substances; if they detect the scent of sugar or alcohol, they swarm around it.

It is also highly possible that ants like the plastic material of the keyboard itself. Some types of plastic can emit a chemical attractive to ants, and they may mistake it for food or pheromones.

If you specifically have a laptop keyboard, ants may be attracted to it because of the warmth that it generates. Laptops can get quite hot, and this can be a draw for ants looking for a cozy place to nest.

To prevent ants from being attracted to your keyboard, keeping it clean and free of food particles is crucial.

Regularly wiping down the keys with a damp cloth can help remove any crumbs or debris that may be present. 

It is also a good idea to avoid eating near your computer and keep sugary drinks away.

sweet drink

Types of Ants Commonly Found in Keyboards

Many species of ants can be found in keyboards, but the most common are pharaoh ants. These ants are small and light brown, making them difficult to spot.

They are attracted to warmth and moisture and often find their way into keyboards.

Pharaoh ants are known for their ability to form large colonies, which can contain thousands of ants. They are also known for adapting to changing environments to survive in various settings (as you guessed it), including keyboards.

It is important to note that not all species of ants are attracted to keyboards.

Some species, such as fire ants, are not attracted to warmth and moisture and are unlikely to be found in keyboards.

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Potential Damage Caused by Ants

Ants can cause significant damage to electronic devices such as keyboards, laptops, and other sensitive circuitry. When ants enter a keyboard, they can create a nest, which will become their home. 

The ants can cause damage to the keyboard by chewing on the keys and wires, which can cause the keyboard to malfunction or stop working altogether.

using keyboard

If ants get inside a laptop, they can cause even more damage. Ants can crawl into the battery compartment and cause the battery to short-circuit, which can cause the whole laptop to stop working. 

When ants get inside electronic devices, they can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. They can cause short circuits, which can damage the device’s circuitry and cause it to stop working. 

In addition to causing damage to electronic devices, ants can also cause problems for humans. Ants can bite, and some people are allergic to ant bites.

If ants are already in a keyboard or laptop, they could also crawl onto the user’s hands and arms while using the device.

A Few Ways To Get Rid Of Ants Out in Your Keyboard

If you have ants in your keyboard, cleaning them out as soon as possible is vital to prevent damage to your device (and potentially you). 

Here are some methods to clean ants out of your keyboard:


One of the easiest ways to remove ants from your keyboard is to use a vacuum cleaner.

Simply turn off your computer and unplug the keyboard. Then, use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to gently suck the ants out of the keyboard.

Be sure to use a low suction setting to avoid damaging the keyboard.

Compressed Air

Another way to remove ants from your keyboard is to use compressed air. You can purchase a can of compressed air from a computer or office supply store.

Simply turn off your computer and unplug the keyboard.

Then, use the compressed air to blow the ants out of the keyboard. Be sure to hold the can upright and use short bursts of air to avoid damaging the wiring within the keyboard.

Aero Duster

An aero duster is a specialized tool designed to remove dust and debris from electronic devices.

It can also be used to remove ants from your keyboard. Simply turn off your computer and unplug the keyboard.

Then, use the aero duster to blow the ants out of the keyboard. Be sure to use short bursts of air to avoid damaging the keyboard.

Disassembling the Keyboard

If the ants are deeply embedded in your keyboard, you may need to disassemble your keyboard to remove them.

This method is more complex and should only be attempted by someone with experience in computer repair.

You will need to carefully remove the keys and clean the inside of the keyboard with a soft brush and potentially a cleaning solution.

Freezing Method

Another method to remove ants from your keyboard is to place it in a plastic bag and freeze it for several hours.

This will cause the ants to die and fall off the keyboard. However, this method may not be adequate for large infestations and should be used cautiously.

Only use this method in extreme cases.

Using a Plastic Bag

You can also use a plastic bag to remove ants from your keyboard.

Simply turn off your computer and unplug the keyboard.

Then, place the keyboard in a plastic bag and seal it tightly. Leave the keyboard in the bag for several hours (probably days) to allow the ants to suffocate. 

Afterward, remove the keyboard from the bag and clean it with a soft brush and a cleaning solution.

Things you should not do:

scrubbing a keyboard is bad

Preventing Future Infestations

To prevent future ant infestations in your keyboard, there are several steps you can take.

Here are some tips:

Regular Cleaning

One of the most effective ways to prevent ants from entering your keyboard is to keep it clean.

Regularly clean your keyboard with a soft, dry cloth or a can of compressed air.

Make sure to remove any crumbs or debris that could attract ants. If you spill food or drink on your keyboard, clean it up immediately.

Food and Drink Management

Ants are attracted to all types of food and drinks, so managing these items properly is essential to prevent infestations. 

Avoid eating or drinking near your computer, and keep all food and drink containers tightly sealed.

If you must eat near your computer, use a plate or napkin to catch any crumbs.

Using Natural Repellents

Several natural repellents can help prevent ant infestations.

Cinnamon is a natural ant repellent that can be sprinkled around your keyboard and workspace.

Borax is another natural repellent that can be mixed with sugar to create bait that ants will take back to their colony.

natural cleaning products

Professional Extermination

If you have a severe ant infestation, it may be necessary to seek professional extermination services.

An exterminator can identify the source of the infestation and use appropriate methods to eliminate the ants. 

Outside Prevention

Preventing ants from getting inside the keyboard in the first place is a great way to avoid an infestation.

This is done by keeping ants away from your laptop.

Ants can find their way inside your home through small cracks or gaps, so it’s vital to seal any openings around your home.

Keeping your home clean and food debris-free can also help prevent ants from even wanting to enter in the first place.

Cockroach Prevention

Ants and cockroaches share similar living conditions and are often found together.

If you have a cockroach infestation, it’s essential to address it promptly to prevent an ant infestation from occurring.

Keep your home clean and free of food debris, and seal any openings around your home to prevent cockroaches from entering.


Ants are attracted to warm, dark spaces, so keeping your keyboard in a well-lit area can help prevent infestations.

Place your keyboard in a spot with plenty of natural light, and consider using a desk lamp to provide additional light if necessary.

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Final Thoughts

It is not uncommon for ants to crawl into computer keyboards.

They are usually attracted to food crumbs or other debris that may be present on the keyboard.

While they do not directly threaten the keyboard’s functionality, they can be a nuisance and may cause discomfort to the user.

Keeping the area clean and free of food debris is a good idea to prevent ants from ever thinking about entering the keyboard.

Regularly cleaning the keyboard with a soft brush or compressed air can also help to remove any crumbs or other debris that may be present.

A rubber keyboard cover can also help prevent ants from entering the keyboard.

The cover is a barrier preventing ants from crawling into the keyboard.

Note that electrocuting ants in the keyboard is not recommended.