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Odorous House Ants

oderous-house-antOdorous House Ants get their name from the strong odor they give off when crushed. This native species is found throughout the United States, including South Carolina. It is brown to black in color and the workers emit a pungent, coconut-like smell.

Odorous house ant colonies can be composed of several hundred to 100,000 ants, but usually number around 2,000 to 10,000 ants. Typically, there are many queens in a colony. The first swarmers begin appearing in May to mid-July. When found indoors these ants usually construct their nests near a moisture source such as wall voids especially around hot water pipes and heaters, in bathtubs, beneath commodes with leaking seals, in crevices around sinks, cupboards, etc., but also in wood damaged by termites. These ants prefer sweets but also eat foods with high protein content and grease such as meats and cheese. When found outdoors they are often found in the nest of larger ants, in exposed soil, but mostly under objects including stacks of lumber, firewood, bricks, etc.

Odorous House Ant Eating Habits

They feed on live and dead insects, seek honeydew and plant secretions, and even feed on seeds. They are extremely fond of honeydew and are most likely to enter buildings when their supply is reduced, especially during rainy weather or with leaf fall in the autumn.

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Odorous House Ants

oderous house ant

What do odorous house ants look like?

Odorous house ants range in color from brown to almost black. Odorous house ants can be from 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length. The antenna of the odorous house ant is bent and has 12 segments. Most notably the odorous house ant gives off a strong smell of rotten coconut when they are crushed. 

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Are odorous house ants dangerous?

Other than contaminating food (mainly sweets and melons) odorous house ants are not considered dangerous. They do not sting, bite, or carry any disease or pathogens. 

Odorous house ant habitat.

While odorous house ants sometimes nest indoors they generally prefer nests outside under rocks, flower pots, mulch, and around trash cans. They can frequently be found in homes foraging for sugary foods or water. Odorous house ants herd aphids which produce honeydew that these ants love to eat. 

How do I get rid of odorous house ants?

The most effective way to get rid of odorous house ants is by tracking foraging ants back to their nesting area. This can take time and and can prove to be quite difficult. Walker Pest Management’s professional pest control technicians have been trained to find and eliminate all odorous house ants as well as other common household pests through our year-round Preferred Care Pest Control program. 

How can I prevent odorous house ant problems at my home or business?

Start off with a routine maintenance pest program from a pest control expert like those at Walker Pest Management then follow these tips should help prevent any pharaoh ant problems in your home. 

  • Trim trees and bushes away from your home to prevent ants from using them as a bridge to enter your home.
  • Keep fruits and other sweets in the refrigerator. 
  • Eliminate any standing water around the perimeter of the house. Example overwatering plants or faulty gutters. 
  • Seal up cracks in the foundation or basement.
  • Use caulking to seal up around windows and doors. Make sure screens are not torn.  
  • Remove trash from your home regularly and place it in an outdoor trash can with a tight lid. 
  • Keep trash containers, firewood, and compost piles at least 20 feet from the exterior of your home.

If you suspect a pharaoh ant problem contact Walker Pest Management for a free quote.

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