Friday, October 10, 2008

Advice, Please?

If you've read my blog for any length of time then you're aware of my eternal battle with the ants. I won't post all the links here, but there's an "ant" tag on the side if you care to refresh your memory.

[ETA: I lied. The link says animals.]

During my trip to the states last month, the ants quadrupled their population AND moved beyond the kitchen. The most perplexing: my desk. I cannot even tell you how many ants I've had crawling on my arms, my legs, my face... but that's not what I need help with.

My bigger problem is they've started hanging out inside my computer. A couple nights ago I noticed a little brown ant crawling on my monitor. I flicked it as I do all the ants (I also squish them but didn't want to do that on the screen) but it didn't move. I looked closer and realized it was IN the computer. I don't know much about the mechanics of a flat-screen iMac, but it was behind the outermost panel (the clear screen) and running around right behind it. I had my very own live version of that bug video people like to put in their signatures. Very cute.

Shortly after that I discovered ants on my keyboard. I flicked them off but soon noticed something much more disturbing: they were coming from inside the keyboard. Now, I just bought a new keyboard and it's very flat - we're talking 1/4" - so there's not a lot of room to set up shop. Nonetheless, over the past three days I've killed about thirty ants that insist on hanging out in there.

You can imagine the fun. It's not easy to smoosh something on your keyboard without hitting the actual keys, and I've discovered some interesting things online in my attempt to destroy them. I do eat at my desk but I'm very careful not to spill (thanks Jeff), so I don't know why they're there.

Tapping on the keyboard seems to draw them out, and I've sprayed condensed air to scare them away, but they keep coming back. Any suggestions?

23 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

Funny, I almost asked you to post an update about buggies.

Wow, that's strange. But I don't have any sugges-- Wait! Cinnamon is supposed to be a natural deterrent to ants. Try sprinkling some in strategic places and see if that helps. Here's hoping!

Melanie Avila said...

But not in my keyboard! Violent shaking seems to send them running, but they don't stay away.

Terra Chandler said...

Try CONTROL + ANT + DELETE . ;)

Melanie Avila said...

ROFLMAO!!!

Turkey Lurkey said...

Maybe they are drawn towards the electrical current. Wish I knew what to do about it. Good luck!

aaroncrocco said...

I'm gonna repeat my joke from Facebook: Time to debug your computer!

LOL @ Chandler's post

Nadine said...

Wow, that's crazy that they are behind the screen!

Not sure what to say, but the good thing is that I don't think they will do any damage in there.

Maybe they are attracted to the heat? What if you keep your computer off for a few days and see if that helps?

We had a big problem here so we bought those ant sticks and they just walked right over them and kept going.

I've heard they won't cross a line of vinegar (put some on your finger and then draw the line). It erases the scent they follow, or something like that.

Good luck! Keep us updated!

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey and Nadine, I wondered about the heat or electrical current, but there's not much I can do about that. It's off overnight for at least ten hours but I'm not willing to give it up for longer. :)

I tried vinegar and cinnamon in the kitchen and neither worked. They just walked around it.

hana said...

My boyfriend's house has an ongoing ant invasion. Cinnamon didn't work but ants seem to hate 1) cayenne pepper and 2) dryer sheets. Place some dryer sheets like Bounce near the source and that should help.

If that fails, you'll have to pull out the big guns and use those bait systems. good luck!!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Hana, and welcome. We do have cayenne pepper so I can try that, my biggest problem is getting powder to stick. Our place is very breezy.

And I haven't even told you guys about the teeny little spiders. hahahahaha.

Robin said...

What about getting a really skinny anteater? Or importing some sort of ant-eating bug to eat the ants, and then a cat to eat the bugs, and then a dog to chase the cat....

Melanie Avila said...

... and then a friend named Robin to look after the dog. :)

Robin said...

It's a deal! :)

colbymarshall said...

Oh, gawd...I'm the wrong one to be asking...the buggies come at me in droves. We have more antbeds in our yards than well, a place that has a lot of ant beds, lol

spyscribbler said...

Wow, that sucks! I suppose you've already tried Raid and those little ant houses? That sucks something awful!

Melanie Avila said...

I haven't tried any houses, but I do stand in the kitchen and squash them as they run by.

Aimless Writer said...

I hate bugs! They make my skin crawl. ewwwww, even itty bitty ants. ewwww...
Right now since we've had such a wet summer we're being swarmed by crickets! Yuk!
We have luck with those little round ant traps. Where they go in and bring back the poison to their nests. (I think that's how it works.) We set them up all over the place! Under furniture, on the window sills. Every place I can get one that the dogs can't get to. Put a couple near your computer!
I've also heard putting cayane pepper around the doorways can keep them out but I haven't tried that one.
Good luck!
Bugs! Yuk!

Allen said...

http://www.terro.com/

Works great for us. We live near a Ninja Ant Training facility. The ants here have been known to carry off small elephants and use them as door stops. At first, they snorted the terro, used it as steroid training enhancers, and for the great buzz. But like all drugs, it finally killed them.

just a thought...

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Allen, I'll look into that.

Penguin said...

Mel,
Fist off there are a number of problems with ants invading computers. Just Google it to find out. NASA is having problems with them setting up shop in their systems.
As for an ant on the inside of your screen you have problems. From what I have seen you have a G5 iMac. These are not like the aluminum iMacs that have a glass cover over the screen, it is just the screen. So you have ants in your computer, and I mean in deep. Tht little bugger got into a almost sealed area. If he got there , their are many more in your machine.
I noticed you wrote about getting a camera for your machine so that means you do not have the iSight G5. This means it is very easy for you to get into the machine and clean them out.
If you want to find out how to open your machine, email me and I will send you the instructions.
Get them now before they set up colony.

Melanie Avila said...

Great, you've thoroughly scared me. I've opened my computer before to install ram so I should be able to get in there. I haven't seen any more behind my screen since then so hopefully it was just a fluke.

Zoe Winters said...

I think you should flee, and let the ants have the house. :P

Melanie Avila said...

Never! They will not win!!!