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This guy's PC's got 'more bugs than Cyberpunk 2077'

Ants all over
(Image credit: Pixabay - Hans)
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Having been away for a month, this Reddit user (opens in new tab) waddled home in the hopes of getting some PC gaming in only to discover his CPU and GPU had been overrun with what commenters have identified as 'crazy ants.'

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After a drawn-out session of pulling apart his rig in a panic, blasting them maniacally with compressed air, and putting it all back together again the ants appear to have regained their new territory. He's now taken to oiling parts of it up to prevent them from crawling up.

It's a strange day when you have to lube up your PC just to get some gaming done, but it's likely going to take more than that to deter these creepy crawlies.

Apparently these kinds of ants are notorious for getting into electronic devices. All across the net are strewn stories of their marching not two-by-two, but in apocalyptic numbers, towards tech. They nestle themselves deep within the circuitry of TV's, vacuum cleaners, and monitors (opens in new tab) alike, and thrum along with the electricity like they're feeding off it (they aren't, for the record).

A Texas entomologist told the New York Times (opens in new tab) "You figure these stories are laced with hyperbole, but when you get in there, it’s unreal." 

Piles of dead ants will accumulate around infestation sites "like coffee grounds"—sometimes the size of molehills. These are called 'middens', and are actually intentionally designed gravesites for their fallen kin.

If you know anything about ants, you'll know that killing an ant doesn't deter further infestation. It's not like hanging pirates along the shoreline to ward off potential raids. No, the pheromone released upon an ant's expiration (oleic acid) just serves to attract more of the buggers (opens in new tab). One little splatted creature will often result in a swarm of vengeful brethren, running to their fallen comrades' aid. 

Ok, so it's less to avenge their fallen kin, and more as a defence mechanism to protect the rest of the colony by disposing of the corpse. Either way, should this happen to you: don't try squashing them, it will just perpetuate the cycle.

The most logical advice being doled out in the comments section is to bag the PC up for a number of weeks until the blighters suffocate. Not only does this prevent the pheromones from escaping as they drop off, it also gives you time to get the rest of the house fumigated by professionals. 

With this species in particular, it looks like there's no real way to deal with an infestation yourself without making the whole ordeal ten times worse. 

Still, we can only laugh when things like this happen, lest we cry. One commenter gave a fitting nod to the number of bugs encountered in Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) when it first came out, and we can appreciate that. Props to JR3D-NOT.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.