I Squished A Bug Inside My Monitor’s Screen And Now I Want To Die

I Squished A Bug Inside My Monitor’s Screen And Now I Want To Die

It all started when I thought I saw a bug crawling across my computer monitor.

Huh, I thought, it’s a bug crawling across my computer monitor. I reached out to flick it off, and found that I could not. I stared at it, unsure of what I was seeing. The bug was there, but I could not touch it. Was I hacked? Was this some sort of malware?

Eventually I concluded that no, it was a real bug, crawling around behind the screen of my monitor. I don’t know how it got there, nor what it hoped to accomplish.

I notified my coworkers, who reacted appropriately.

The bug soon wandered off the screen, and I got back to work.

A few minutes later, it was back. I decided that I needed to document what I was seeing, if only to prove to myself that I wasn’t losing my mind. I took out my phone and recorded the following video:

This is how it went for the next hour or so. The bug would come; the bug would go. I wouldn’t see it for ten minutes at a time, then it’d come crawling back, wandering across my Kotaku Slack window as if to say, remember me? I’m still here. Inside your computer screen.

I will spend the rest of my life struggling to explain what happened next. As the bug was on what had to be its fiftieth trip across my screen, I placed my finger on it and pressed down.

I did not pause to consider the ramifications of this action. I did not google “bug in my monitor screen” first. I didn’t even wait for the bug to reach the edge of the screen. I pressed down while it was squarely in the most usable space. It died, leaving a small black carcass stuck to the underside of the screen.

I immediately realised that I now had a dead insect permanently affixed to the underside of my screen, where it would remain for as long as I owned this monitor. I panicked and attempted to tap the bug loose, thinking maybe it would fall to a lower, less critical part of the screen.

Instead, it exploded.


There is now a one-centimeter smear of bug guts occupying the center-left quadrant of my computer monitor, a part of the screen my eyes visit approximately six hundred times per day. I will never be able to un-see it, ignore it, or pretend it isn’t there. I will never be able to forget that its existence is entirely my fault. It will haunt me forever.

Time and again, I think back to the moment I reached out my finger and pressed down. Why? Why did I do it? What did I think would happen? There was one possible outcome to such an action. One.

I bring you this tragic story in the hopes that, should you ever see a small bug crawling underneath your computer screen, you will leave it alone. Don’t be like me. Remember my folly, and my loss will not have been entirely in vain.


  • center-left quadrant

    Where is centre left quadrant? Quadrant is divided into 4 pieces – upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right. There is no centre.

    • If you went with triangles you could have left/right/up/down quadrants, in which case I guess center-left could just describe the left one.

    • @greenlego : Really? This poor guy has an ex-bug on the inside of his screen and you are nitpicking (umm… unintentional, that …) about the geography of his screen? Be kind.

      Kirk, the reality is that that bug is there for evermore of that monitor’s life. I would suggest a quick separation – unless deeply invested/attached, in which case, an auxiliary monitor is a solution, albeit inconvenient – or a monitor replacement, which is a financial thing (reflecting back on the attachment issue)
      A busy background image is a poor band-aid, ok when you are not working – but open a WP or spreadsheet and there it is… unfortunately …
      Commiserations. At least take heart from the fact that you have what is (to me at least, with 34 PC years under my belt) a strange, unique and one-off problem. That’s a kind of left-handed achievement these days…
      Best of luck

  • I will spend the rest of my life struggling to explain what happened next

    Your life must be infinitely dull, or you forgot to read the memo that hyperbole is largely undesirable. See also this prime example:
    I Squished A Bug Inside My Monitor’s Screen And Now I Want To Die
    You really haven’t ever wished to die. Get a new/different monitor and write better articles (like, actual good ones).

  • Thanks for the laugh! I feel your pain; I could easily have done the same thing and suffered as you are!

  • Dunno what the issue is.
    Just cut out the small square of the monitor where the bug is.

  • I was absolutely certain that this could be fixed with a quick disassembly, but a bit of googling has revealed that yours wouldn’t be the first monitor lost to this problem. Often as not the entire display assembly is sealed (although clearly not sealed enough).

    You might be able to pry off the front plastic off the display assembly and clean it, but it depends on the monitor. Contact the manufacturer or a local repair place that specialises in the brand, and post video to help future victims!

  • If it’s a work screen, that monitor goes on the replace / recycle list.
    If it’s your personal screen, paid for by your hard-earned dollars…
    How big / fancy / expensive / old is it? If you aren’t ready to shell out for a new screen, it’s time to consider maintenance.
    This is where TV repair people etc. make their money. It’s probably going to be labor-intensive, and getting a professional may end up costing more than the monitor is worth. You’re going to have to:
    1 open the monitor,
    2 seperate the glass from the LCD,
    3 clean glass (and LCD too),
    4 reassemble.

    This is not something I’d recommend for “the first time I opened up something electronic”. However, start with a “it was ruined anyway” attitude, go slowly and carefully, and you may get a pleasant surprise.
    For me, the “worth a try” point would come if I found a Service Manual for the monitor. These typically have disassembly instructions & diagrams to make your life easier.

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