Computer mites are something that not many people think about until it affects them. And then it becomes a major pain!
This guide will help you understand what computer mites are, and what you should do to get rid of them.
Table of Contents
What Are Computer Mites?
Computers are an indispensable part of modern life. Most of us can’t live without them, using these machines for everything from work and play.
Unfortunately, being so ingrained into the fabric of modern living can expose your computer to some pretty nasty things. One of the most concerning is computer mites!
Computer mites are tiny insects that reside in and around your device. They’re usually difficult to see without a magnifying glass or extreme focus. Instead, they appear like nothing more than a speck of dust or sand.
But upon closer inspection, you might see those tiny dots moving! It’s a gross realization enough to send anyone towards the hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
These bugs often enter desktop and laptop machines through the many small openings throughout. Despite how it looks, your computer is not a sealed-off device. There are several ports, speaker grilles, and ventilation holes. Plus, sizable gaps between your keyboard keys provide easy access to the internals.
Once inside, computer mites can live in your machine longer than you’d like. It’s a safe place that’s often surprisingly abundant when it comes to food. Pair that with good survival conditions, and mites are keen on sticking around rather than moving on.
But why do computer mites enter your devices at all? Simply put, they’re searching for the two things they need to survive: Heat and food.
All computers produce a small amount of residual heat. You might not feel it while using your machine, but the inside can get relatively hot. Of course, even tiny computer mites have their limits. That’s why you can often see them stepping out of the computer whenever things heat up too much.
However, many will return when your computer cools down. Why? In most cases, it’s because of the presence of food.
Let’s face it: We’re all guilty of snacking while using the computer. Even if you do your best to keep sticky fingers off the keys, crumbs and other tiny morsels can slip through.
Because computer mites are so small, they don’t need much to stay alive. If that food is available, they will stick around as long as possible.
Different Kinds Of Computer Mites
The term “computer mite” doesn’t refer to a specific species. Any tiny insect that lives in and on your computer qualifies as a computer mite!
There can be several different pests on your most-used device. Some of the less common include:
- Bed bugs
- Spider mites
- Baby cockroaches
Those are all common pests you encounter within your home. Any of them can gravitate towards your computer and set up shop.
But in most cases, the computer mites you’re looking at are one of two varieties: Dust mites and mold mites.
Dust mites are typical in homes. While they could be on your computer, they’re likely all over your house!
These tiny mites thrive in warm and humid settings. They typically feed on dead human skin cells. You can stop your skin from shedding, but you can do your part to prevent it from accumulating.
The tiny insects are more prevalent in dusty homes. They can cause breathing problems and allergic reactions, so removing them is crucial.
Mold mites are also problematic. They can cause breathing and respiratory issues if their population gets out of hand.
In small numbers, these computer mites are relatively harmless. Seeing them with the naked eye is tough, but putting them under a microscope reveals a tick-like appearance.
As the name would imply, these pests feed on mold, fungus, and bacteria. Unfortunately, your computer keys are covered in bacteria, and many devices can begin to accumulate mold inside when kept in humid environments. As a result, mold mites can become a problem quicker than most realize.
How To Get Rid Of Mites In Your Computer
So you’ve discovered computer mites living on your machine? Before you start freaking out, getting rid of these pests isn’t as difficult as it seems.
Try the following tips, and you should have no problem getting a mite-free device.
1. Device Fumigation
This tip is one of the most straightforward. But before you proceed, you must consider the risks.
Fumigation involves using a commercial bug bomb to disperse pesticides and kill the mites. You can get bug bombs at most grocery stores, and they work surprisingly well on various pests.
This technique can provide excellent results, but there is a risk of computer damage.
When you use a fumigation bomb to get rid of computer mites, you’re releasing chemical particles into the air. Once airborne, the chemicals can flow into your computer to kill the mites. But, they may cause corrosive damage to some of the internal components.
That could cause serious performance issues. In the worst-case scenario, it might render your machine useless!
Weigh your options before using this method.
It may be worth looking into more specialized fumigation products. For example, slow-release vapor products usually don’t cause corrosion issues. Instead of the drama of a bug bomb, they work slowly over time to kill pests without the risks.
Either way, using this method is easy. Take a large cardboard box and cut a few ventilation holes into it. Then, activate the bomb, place it inside the box with your computer, and set the entire thing away from your house.
After a few hours, your computer mite problem should be solved.
2. Dry Ice
Instead of using fumigated chemicals to get rid of computer mites, you can try using dry ice.
This technique involves placing a block of dry ice in a sealed container with your computer. The concept here is simple: Dry ice slowly releases CO2 over time, replacing the oxygen in the container.
Eventually, the lack of oxygen will suffocate the mites and kill them in one fatal sweep!
If you try this technique, there are a few things to know. The first is that you need to use a fully sealed container. Even small openings will allow oxygen to enter, making your efforts fail.
Another important consideration is the size of the container. Bigger is better because you want to keep the dry ice as far away from the computer as possible. Keeping it too close may cause the plastic or screen to crack.
Two of the most common computer mites are dust mites and mold mites. Both have a natural attraction to humid environments. If you live in an area with high humidity, there’s a good chance that your machine will become home to these pests.
One way to kill them off is to utilize a dehumidifier. These gadgets pull moisture from the area, eliminating a valuable resource for survival. Place the dehumidifier next to your computer, and the mites will likely leave on their own.
The process of using mothballs is similar to using a bug bomb. Mothballs are a type of pesticide. While the balls are solid, they give off a chemical vapor that kills many bugs.
The chemicals in mothballs are toxic to humans, so be careful with this technique.
Like before, grab a cardboard box or container. It doesn’t have to be airtight, but you want the mothballs to work their magic in an enclosed space for the best results.
Fill a sock or small satchel with mothballs, place them in the box with your computer, and wait. Let the computer sit outdoors for at least two weeks in a covered space. Mothballs work slowly!
After those two weeks, the mothballs should be much smaller, and the computer mites should be dead.
5. Device Deep Clean
You don’t have to resort to complicated tricks to get rid of computer mites. Sometimes a deep clean is all you need.
Take some time to clean out your computer thoroughly. We’re not talking about a simple wipe-down or a blast with compressed air. Those are useful, but you need to get even deeper.
For the best results, you must dissemble your computer entirely. Get access to the internals and use a vacuum to dispose of mites, trash, food, and any other gunk you might encounter.
There’s a good chance that you’ll see a lot of filth. Take your time and use cleaners approved for electronics. Once you clean the machine out, your computer mite problem will be a thing of the past.
If you’re uncomfortable taking your computer apart, take it to a professional! Many repair shops offer deep clean services.
6. Generate Heat
Earlier, we mentioned that computer mites love the heat but have limits. This is a fact you can use to your advantage.
Many computer mites will exit your computer when doing resource-heavy tasks that create more residual heat than usual. You can replicate that experience with the software. Specialty programs will run your computer to raise its temperature, driving the mites out.
Use a vacuum cleaner and sanitizer spray to eradicate them, and you’re good to go!
Some people use blow dryers and other heat-producing devices to achieve similar results. Whatever you do, be careful. Excess heat could harm your computer, ruin its battery, and cause all kinds of trouble you don’t want to deal with!
Our final tip is a simple one.
After cleaning out your computer, let it sit for several weeks untouched in a relatively clean and sterile environment. Refrain from using it and keep all food and water far away.
The goal here is to starve the computer mites out. Without heat or food, the mites have no choice but to vacate or starve to death.
The Best Way To Keep Mites Out Of Your Computer
It’s never fun to deal with computer mites. But after you tackle your existing infestation, you can take steps to avoid additional problems in the future.
You don’t have to go to extremes. A few simple habit changes can do the trick.
Make cleaning your computer a routine thing. There’s no need to perform a deep clean, but you can wipe things down and use compressed air to blast out any gunk in the visible openings.
Inspect all ports and vents to look for possible signs of computer mites.
We recommend cleaning your computer at least once a week to keep it in good shape.
Be Mindful Of Where You Put Your Computer
Always be careful about where you put your computer. Avoid placing it close to sources of humidity and moisture. It should also be elevated and off the carpet.
Some computer mites can migrate from another area. Keep the desk around your computer clean and moisture-free.
Keep The Snacking To A Minimum
Finally, try your best not to snack while on your computer!
It’s an obvious tip, but you should never forget it. Food crumbs are one of the biggest reasons why mites appear.
Keep your device clean, and they shouldn’t be a problem again.
Is This Different For Laptops?
Computer mites can affect both laptops and desktops. Fortunately, you can use all the tips and tricks above for laptops. They work just as well on thin portable devices as clunky desktops.
That said, it’s important to remember that laptops may have a higher risk of mite exposure. You likely use your laptop in multiple environments. As a result, you have less control over what is around you.
The best thing you can do is be mindful of how you use your device, where you place it, and what types of environments might put you at risk for computer mites. Being extra vigilant with cleaning is crucial, too.
Getting rid of computer mites isn’t terribly difficult. All it takes is some straightforward treatment and some preventative measures to take care of these little critters.
Let us know if you’re having a persistent computer mite problem that you need help with. We’ll gladly give you some advice!