1. Why Odorous House Ants Can Be More Than Just a Nuisance

FEBRUARY 16 2022 /

Why Odorous House Ants Can Be More Than Just a Nuisance

Are you dealing with an odorous house ant infestation? If so, you're not likely to forget it. These nasty little ants give off an unpleasant odor when crushed or threatened and can be a real hassle to try to get rid of.

While there are measures you can take to keep ants out in the first place, once they set up shop inside your home, it is often best to call on the assistance of a professional pest control company to completely eradicate them.


What Are Odorous House Ants?

While these ants may be hard to see, they certainly are not hard to smell! They emit an odor that is often described as a rotten coconut-like scent.

Odorous house ants are a mere 1/16 - 1/8 of an inch in length, range in color from dark brown to black, and have a unique beehive-shaped abdomen; they also have one flat, hidden node between their abdomen and thorax.

When living outdoors in their natural habitat, these ants are often found living in areas of exposed soil as well as underneath woodpiles and other organic debris.

If these pests find their way inside, they can usually be found near the warm, moist areas inside the home such as around hot water pipes, heaters, leaky faucets, and inside wood that has been damaged by other pests.

Odorous house ants are often drawn to homes while looking for food sources and particularly enjoy feeding on sweet foods and meats.

Odorous house ants have the ability to develop huge colonies that can contain thousands of workers and numerous queens, making them very difficult to eliminate. In addition, since these ants are not particularly drawn to any baits, they can be very difficult to control using DIY methods.


Why Odorous House Ants Get Into Homes

As we mentioned earlier, if these ants are nesting close to your home, they may find their way inside while foraging for food.

Since odorous house ants are so small, they can enter our homes through the tiniest hole or gap.

They may invade your home through cracks in the foundation, sneak in underneath doors or around screens, or enter through any other opening that is large enough for them to squeeze through.

Once inside, these ants are most commonly found invading kitchen pantries and cupboards. 


The Problems With Odorous House Ants When They Get Into Homes

It stinks when odorous house ants get into our homes, in more ways than one! The following are some of the reasons why it is important to keep these ants out or get them out once they have invaded:

Odorous house ants put off a noxious odor.

As mentioned above, these ants give off a rotten-coconut odor when threatened or crushed. This can be very annoying, to say the least!


Odorous house ants can cause distress in some people.

While just a nuisance for some, for others, coming upon large numbers of these ants, perhaps covering a pet food bowl or an item of food left out on a counter can be a somewhat traumatic experience.


Odorous house ants have the ability to contaminate food sources. If they crawl through areas that contain harmful bacteria and other illness-causing pathogens, they may track that filth back onto your kitchen counters, pantry areas, or food preparation surfaces.

If this contamination happens, your family members may find themselves with flu-like symptoms and no idea how they became sick. Often, the illnesses caused by ants and other insects are mistaken for the common cold or the flu.


Odorous house ants can bite.

While this is not a problem for most people, if an individual has a sensitivity to these bites, they may suffer an allergic reaction.


The Best Way To Take Care Of Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants can develop huge colonies that contain thousands of worker ants if they are allowed to multiply and grow their numbers. Unlike termite colonies, which only have one queen, odorous house ant colonies can contain numerous queens.

In addition, since these ants typically do not feed on baits, they can be very difficult to eliminate.

The key to controlling them lies with the ability to locate every single colony and sub-colony, to treat them correctly with EPA-approved products, and to follow up with ongoing monitoring and regular inspections.

This is best done by an educated and experienced pest management professional! At American Pest, we offer professional services to both eliminate the ants invading your home and keep them out for good!