Do you have an ant problem but aren’t sure which kind or how to get rid of them? It’s likely the ant is the Odorous House Ant.
Odorous house ants (also known as tapinoma sessile or the sugar, stink or coconut ant) are a common household pest that can quickly become a nuisance if you don’t take care of them quickly.
These ants are small, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length, and are typically dark brown to black in color. They can be found in homes across the United States, and are known for the not-so-pleasant odor they emit when they are stepped on or crushed.
As we mentioned, these ants can create major issues if they aren’t taken care of quickly, so it’s important you know how to spot and remove them from your home.
In this article, we will discuss how you can identify odorous house ants, their behavior and habits, signs you have an infestation, and some of our best tips for getting rid of them.
Identifying Odorous House Ants
For the most part, identifying odorous house ants is easy because they have a distinctive physical appearance.
As we explained earlier, they are small and range from 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length. They are typically dark brown to black in color and have a single node on their petiole, which is the waistline between their thorax and abdomen.
However, the easiest way to identify an odorous house ant is through its distinctive smell. When they are crushed or stepped on, they release a smell similar to rotten coconut or blue cheese. Weird right?
In homes, odorous house ants can be found in a variety of locations. They typically prefer warm, humid environments and like to hide out in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture is usually present.
These ants are attracted to sugary or greasy foods and are often found:
- In pantries
- On counters
- In cabinets
Common Behavior and Habits of Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are social insects and live in colonies. Their colonies range in size from a few hundred ants to several thousand ants and are typically located in hidden areas such as:
- Behind walls
- Under floors
- In crawl spaces
The ants within a colony are divided into different castes, with the queen being the largest and holding the responsibility for egg-laying.
Odorous house ants are known for their omnivorous diet, meaning they consume both plant and animal matter. They are often attracted to sugary or greasy foods and will consume anything from fruit to spilled soda. They are like an insect garbage can.
Not only will they eat all of your junk, but they will eat other insects, including dead ants, which can make them a valuable predator in outdoor environments.
Odorous house ants use the process known as budding to build their colonies. This is when a queen and a small group of workers leave their current colony to start a new one. As the colony grows, the queen will continue to lay eggs, and the colony will expand to accommodate the growing population.
Signs of an Infestation
The most obvious sign of an odorous house ant infestation is seeing ants throughout your house. They are often found in large groups and move in a line from their nest to a food source. These ants can also be found in or around open food containers or spilled food. They are sneaky and can appear in your home rather quickly.
For example, if you leave a tasty dessert out on your kitchen counter overnight, by the next morning you may wake up to a trail of ants feasting on your cake.
Another sign of an odorous house ant infestation is a nesting site. These ants typically nest in hidden areas, such as behind walls or under floors. They can also be found in crawl spaces, attics, and basements. This can make it tricky to find a nesting site, however, if a colony is large enough, you may be able to smell its odor.
Finally, a large enough infestation of odorous house ants can lead to a variety of health risks. These ants are known to carry bacteria on their bodies, which can contaminate food and the surfaces in your home.
If you notice an odorous house ant infestation, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent any potential health risks and the invitation for more insects to enter your home.
How to Get Rid of Odorous House Ants
Getting rid of odorous house ants can be a challenging task. These insects are abundant which causes removal to be overwhelming at times.
However, there are several methods that can be used to effectively remove them from your home.
The first step in removing odorous house ants is to practice good sanitation in your home. This means storing food in airtight containers, wiping down surfaces regularly, and taking out the trash frequently. Try not to leave crumbs or sweets sitting on your countertops unless they are sealed properly.
By removing their potential food sources, you can help to discourage ants from entering your home in the first place.
There are several DIY methods that can be used to remove odorous house ants from your home.
One method is to use a bait station. These stations are filled with a sweet or greasy substance that attracts the ants. Once they eat the bait, they bring it back to the colony, where it will eventually kill off the entire colony.
Another DIY method is to use a spray made from a mixture of vinegar and water. Simply spray the mixture onto any visible ants, and wipe down any surfaces they have been on. This will help to eliminate any pheromone trails they have left behind, making it more difficult for other ants to find their way into your home.
A combination of these methods may be the most effective way to get rid of them.
Outdoor Prevention Techniques
Ants naturally live outdoors. The goal is to keep them away from your home and from creating massive mounds.
Here is what we, at James River Pest Solutions, suggest to accomplish just that:
- Ensure all gutters are free of build-up and debris and point away from the home’s foundation. Moisture is one of the biggest attractors.
- Likewise, fix leaky spigots and fixtures.
- Clear rubble, debris, and overgrowth from the lawn. And if there are fallen trees or rotting leaves, be sure to rake them up to keep the ants from having a feast.
- Cut bushes and trees away from home, so they do not touch the walls.
- Don’t bring potted plants in for the colder months unless you have inspected the soil for ant activity.
- Ensure your trash cans have lids that seal, especially if they are kept outside.
- Seal up the home’s cracks in case they would try to enter.
Professional Pest Removal Services
If the infestation is particularly severe, it may be necessary to call in professional pest removal services. These services will use a variety of methods to remove the ants, including:
- Bait stations
- Other more elaborate treatments
Additionally, they will be able to identify any potential entry points and seal them off to prevent future infestations. This is a huge benefit to calling in a professional pest removal service over trying to handle it on your own.
Regardless of the method used to remove odorous house ants, it’s essential to practice ongoing prevention measures to keep them from returning. Do your best to seal off any potential entry points, such as cracks in walls or gaps around windows and doors.
Additionally, it’s essential to maintain good sanitation practices in your home to keep ants from being attracted to your living space. Wipe your countertops off regularly and vacuum away crumbs when you can.
James River Pest Solutions
If you are dealing with an odorous house ant infestation in your home, don’t hesitate to call James River Pest Solutions for assistance.
We can assist with insect exclusion and elimination. Then, if they happen to invade the house, our team should be called out right away. Baits and poisons can be toxic and often just temporary solutions, causing the ants to divert their path.
James River Pest Solutions has the answer for pest control in your home. Ants are eradicated with our years of experience and quality products. Thus, you can trust your home with our pest control solutions.
Contact James River Pest Solutions for all your ant and pest control needs in Virginia.
Odorous house ants can quickly become a nuisance in your home, but with the right identification and removal methods, you can effectively get rid of them.
By pinpointing the signs of an infestation and taking action quickly, you can prevent these pests from causing any potential health risks in your home.
Whether you choose to use DIY methods or call in the professionals at James River Pest Solutions, it’s important to practice ongoing prevention measures to keep odorous house ants from returning.
By following these tips, you can enjoy a pest-free home and peace of mind!