Ants rely on their strong senses to explore the surroundings and find a potential source of food that can meet their nutritional requirements. Moreover, they are attracted to dirty electronic devices like printers.
Why Are Ants Attracted To Printers? Ants are attracted to printers due to internal warmth, electromagnetic attraction, source of food, scented papers, dirt, broken cable seals, hidden space, and moisture. You can shake, clean, or relocate printers to remove them and use natural deterrents or baits to get rid of ants.
Ants can damage printers that are not airtight and sealed properly because their smaller bodies need a space or gap to enter.
They can enter the hollow space and chew internal wires or rubber insulations, leading to short circuits and costly repairs.
Why do ants get attracted to printers?
It can be astonishing for some people to see ants crawling out of the printers and getting close to them because it is not considered a food source.
However, you have to deal with these ants if there is dirt, debris, food, and moisture around these devices that can attract insects.
A printer is an electrical device that works on electricity and gets hot over time. They can attain almost 45 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but some can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ants need warmth to survive and quickly reach places, providing suitable warmer environments. They need around 74 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and get attracted to these hot devices.
Moreover, it can help maintain an active colony as foragers can perform efficiently at a desirable temperature. Their productivity reaches its peak in warm conditions and slows down in winter.
Some ants reach electrical devices due to electromagnetic attraction, as electricity attracts insects. They decide the direction of movement by Earth’s electromagnetic field during foraging.
It receives a severe shock after entering the electric field and sometimes dies. The dead ant releases shock hormones or signals to fellows, resulting in an aggregation of many ants.
This way, you can see a large number of these crawling insects close to a printer if any of their fellows die close to it or feel threatened.
Source of food
Ants usually reach places where they detect an odor of food particles, so they can be attracted to printers if they find crumbs of bread or other pieces of food.
The food particles can accidentally fall onto the device when you do not bother eating while doing work. These particles can reach inside the printing device from smaller holes and gaps.
I dropped a burger unintentionally on my desk near the printer while having lunch and taking out prints at the same time. It resulted in an attack of ants the next day, looking for crumbs that had fallen into it.
Some people use scented papers for printing because they stimulate the sense of smell and engage the client when he holds the paper.
They are coated with microscopic capsules made of plastic and filled with perfume. These capsules break during rubbing and scratching and release a beautiful scent.
However, these scented papers are equally attractive for insects with sensitive receptors and draw them to your device. They can detect pleasant odor when you keep a bundle of papers inside it.
Presence of dirt
Dirt accumulation on the printers can make them attractive to ants because these insects like to reach dirty places that mimic their natural habitats.
Accordingly, irregular cleaning and poor maintenance can make your device prone to attacks by insects that can even lead to short circuits sometimes.
Keep the surface clean and wipe out the holes with a clean cloth if you want to reduce the risk of attack, as these chewing pests can chew internal wires.
Broken cable seals
Commonly, printers are sealed properly to avoid the entry of foreign particles, but broken seals of cables can provide an entry route to crawling insects.
They can easily get inside the device and build their colony without any problem. The workers keep moving in and out of the devices to collect food and return it to the colony.
So, it is better to look for the openings and entry points and seal the broken cables to restrict their undesired entries. It can help avoid the cost of repair after a short circuit.
Printers can provide a suitable shelter to tiny insects looking for a space to hide from the preying eyes of predators. It is considered a safe spot to hide and live in warmth.
The outer casing can act as a barrier for other bigger insects and protect these tiny creatures. Whole colonies, including queens, can swarm inside these devices.
They begin to reproduce in the dry environment and lay eggs without coming to your notice. You can only know about the presence of these ants when you dismantle the device for cleaning.
It probably sounds odd that ants find moisture in printers, but it is true these devices can get moist when the paper is heated quickly. It results in moist air rising from heated papers.
They also contain inks that can provide nutrition and moisture because they are liquid and sweet. High humidity in the air can also lead to moisture inside these devices.
How do you get rid of ants in printers?
You can get rid of ants in printers by dismantling the infested device and leaving it open for a few minutes. Clean each component properly by wiping it with a clean cloth.
After that, shake it slightly if the device’s size is small, as it can help remove remaining insects if a few of them are still hidden in the device. Remove all connections before shaking them.
Relocate the printer after rearranging the components back into their location until the surface is ants-free. Avoid using scented papers to avoid insects, as they like pleasant odors.
Clean the printer frequently to avoid the accumulation of dirt, and use a vacuum cleaner to remove the infestation with pressurized air.
In addition, you can put some natural deterrents close to the device if there are only a few insects, as garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, and even fresh bay leaves can repel them.
Homemade ant baits can also kill them efficiently, which can be easily prepared by mixing powdered sugar with boric acid as an attractant.
These sweet baits can potentially allure nearby insects and kill whole colonies because it takes time to react until the food passes down to the colony.
What type of ants get attracted to printers?
Different reasons account for the attraction of ants towards printers, which means it can draw a variety of insects as some reach there for food, while others for warmth.
Commonly, tawny or raspberry crazy ants get attracted to electrical devices due to the electromagnetic field around them. They stop moving after getting caught in an electric current field.
In addition, black and pharaoh ants also reach inside printers to get warmth and live in a safe place. Fire ants can also reach there while navigating for food and dark spots to live and reproduce.
The acrobat ants crawl within holes of the printer and reach the smaller containers having sweet ink or toner material to feed on them and get nutrition.
Some other ants, like carpenters, pavement, and argentine ants can get closer to it while moving randomly if their nests are present in close proximity.