Ants in Printer/Scanner: How to Get Rid of Them?

Sometimes when you least expect it, ants find their way into your printer. They are the worst and can cause so much damage to a printer. Here’s how to get rid of them:

If you think you have an ant problem with your printer or scanner, the best thing to do is unplug it and take it outside. Use a can of compressed air to blow out any ants that are inside the printer. Then, clean the printer with a damp cloth and put it back together. Make sure to check for any ants that might have made their way into the ink cartridges as well.

Printers are designed to be airtight, but this isn’t always the case. If your printer doesn’t have a seal, ants can easily crawl inside and start to build their nest.

Once they’re inside, they will start to eat away at the wiring and other components. This can cause your printer to stop working or even catch fire.

In this article, I’ll explain why ants get attracted to printers, ways to get rid of them, and how to keep ants out of the printer.

Keep reading!

How to Know If There Are Ants in Your Printer?

If you think there may be ants in your printer, there are a few things you can do to check. First, take a look inside the printer itself to see if you can spot any ants. Another way to check is to put some sugar or honey on a piece of paper and place it near the printer. If ants come to the sugar, then they’re probably in the printer.

Here are some other signs of any infestation in your printers:

  1. Malfunctioning of the printer or sudden power outages due to hardware.
  2. Burning smell due to short circuit

How to Keep Ants Out of Your Printer?

As a substitute for pesticides, you could always use vacuum cleaners, homemade ant bait, and many other eco-friendly options to keep ants out of your printer. In the end, using ant repellant will only help for so long. Some ants might not even fully come in contact with the fumes. 

I know your first instinct would be to submerge the printer or scanner in bug spray; it does sound the most logical, too.  But, there are plenty of other options as well.

For a more healthy and environment-friendly method, you could skip the pesticide as it causes more damage than good. 

Therefore, here are a few alternatives to using bug spray. 

#1 Use a Vacuum Cleaner 

First off, the vacuum cleaner is your friend. And when it comes to blowing ants out of your printer; it’s just the tool you need. To get all the ants out,  open the lid of your scanner or printer and blow them with a vacuum cleaner.

Under the lid, you’ll probably see a scurry of tiny black beings going everywhere. There may even be some eggs here and there, and your printer may officially be a nesting place for the ants. 

Aside from this, you can find the same scenario in the USB port and even the ink cartridge channels. So basically, the ants will have spread out all over your printer. 

Once you know these key places, all you have to do is use your house vacuum cleaner and blow into these tiny spaces where the ants have made their colonies. The idea is to vacuum all the ports where you see ants coming out. 

Note: Make sure you keep your vacuum on low power. Do not — at any cost — put it on the highest power mode. 

If you blast the vacuum at the highest speed, you’ll damage the wires and fragile structure inside the printer. In the end, this method does not guarantee the complete annihilation of ants, so, if there are some left behind, you can always use other methods. 

#2 Shake Your Printer

Next up, if you don’t own a vacuum and still want to get rid of those pesky ants then try shaking the printer.  Before doing so, make sure you remove all your connections. It is known and proved to be an effective method for getting rid of ants. 

However, this method is best for small printers since they’re easy to lift. One of the major reasons why shaking a printer helps is that it’s straightforward. If you shake with enough force, it’ll ensure that all ants stuck in the crevices fall out of the printer.

Pro tip: Go to an open space to perform the procedure. This way you won’t infiltrate your home with ants. Avoid shaking it near your ink station because that will only create a mess. 

#3 Use Ant Bait 

Ant bait is also a very good and effective way to get rid of ants. The main motive is to keep your bait such that the ants can easily sense it once they come in contact with it. The moment this happens, you can easily pick the bait and throw the ants out of the printer and your house.

This ant bait can be anything ranging from sugary things to flurry products. These sugary or flurry items can be peanut butter or even Nutella. 

Ants have a knack for making lines so at any cost you can ensure that all ants will come to the bait once they discover it. 

You should ideally keep the bait in a place where it is accessible and easy to consume. If you keep it out of reach then there won’t be any ants in your bait. 

A bowl is the most efficient space or place where you can keep your bait. It is accessible and prevents a mess too. This is because this bowl can contain all the ants, then all you have to do is quickly dispose of them or submerge the bowl in water to instantly kill the ants. 

#4 First Dismantle and Then Clean It 

Finally, the last option you have left is to deconstruct the printer/scanner and clean it thoroughly. Therefore, the best way to do this is to take it to a professional. Preferably the place where you purchased it from or an experienced tech. 

Doing so is important because dismantling your printer, especially if you’ve no idea what to do, can do more damage than good.

Since this is a highly technical process, one wrong move can entirely ruin your printer.

You’ll see how they use a damp cloth to meticulously clean the printer and then give you a printer that will look as new as it can be. 


I’m sure there’s still a lot to ask about how ants get in, their purpose, and much more. Ants are pretty unpredictable, and you can’t be sure when they’ll infest your house, closets, or in this case printers. 

So, here are a few answered queries on ants in printers and scanners. 

Why Do Ants Get In Printers? 

Ants mostly get in printers because they find the place safe enough to make colonies. They look for safety and a good dry place to lay their eggs. This is where your printer comes in; they provide ants with warmth. 

Most ants do not have large colonies. So, this way they can make colonies in electrical devices like laptops, keyboards, scanners, and the infamous printers. These devices give the ants everything they need from shelter to warm places. 

Plus, ants love the warmth and electromagnetic fields that are generated by printers. This is the focal point that attracts them to these devices. 

How Do I Protect My Printer from Ants? 

The most common method is to use an insect repellent to get rid of all the ants but, they do prove to be harmful, so instead, you can try other options like the ones I have mentioned above.

These can include moving your printer to another place for a few days. If the ants haven’t gotten too concentrated then you can shake them out of your printer and relocate their place. 

Chances are the ants will find somewhere else to make their colonies and leave your printer alone in one piece. 

Can Ants Damage Printer? 

Well, yes. These ants all gather up in one place and swarm your printer. One ant alone does not cause much damage, but it’s when they’re in a colony that’s when chaos begins. 

Together, they have the power to create connections between electrical contacts which results in short circuits, which also electrocutes the ants. 

This, in turn, sets off an alarm pheromone in them, indicating danger and causing them to attack the cable wires. The cycle continues, and hence your printer gets damaged. 

Also Read: Does Windes Kill Ants?

Wrap Up

Getting ants in your printer is quite a predicament. Though it may seem impossible to have ants in your printer, it happens to the best of us. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong; the ants are bound to find someplace to nest.

It just so happens that printers have the perfect colonizing conditions ants could ask for. Now that you know how to get rid of the destructive ants, you can diligently follow these steps to make sure no such mishap ever takes place again.  

In the end, I would say that ants in the most uncommon places have become a norm and don’t necessarily correlate to a lack of hygiene. You just have to make sure no ants are laying their eggs in your printer, and you’re good to go! 

Faizan Khan

Hey! This is Faizan. I love to explore different ways to control pests. PestCircle is where I share my knowledge by writing articles on different pest control techniques. I always enjoy giving out my knowledge and experience with people to help people deal with pests effectively.

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