Odorous House Ants

What do odorous house ants look like?

  • They are 1/16 to 1/8” in length.
  • Produce a distinctive sweet, acrid smell when crushed.
  • Color: brown to black.
  • Thorax without spiny projections.
  • One node between the thorax and abdomen and hidden by the rest of the abdomen.

What are the habits of odorous house ants?

  • Typically, they form colonies by swarming (May – mid-July) and budding.
  • Single or multiple-queen colonies; 10,000+ workers.
  • Life span of workers and queens can reach several years.
  • Prefer sweets.
  • Enter homes or structures after rain washes off plant honeydew.

What kind of damage is caused from odorous house ants?

  • Possible contamination of food and food preparation surfaces.
  • They are typically a nuisance.

What should I look for?

  • Nests outdoors under paver stones, wood piles and in the nests of larger ants.
  • Nests indoors within wall voids or floor voids, around heat sources, (e.g., hot water pipes and heaters, crevices around sinks and cabinets, etc).

How do I control or kill odorous house ants?   

  • Look for cracks and gaps in exterior walls which provide access to interior voids and these cracks should be sealed.
  • Look for tamped down organic matter such as dropped leaves, old mulch and debris around the exterior of the structure—this debris should be removed.   
  • Baits such as Advion Ant Gel should be placed where ant trails have been established and in locations where the ants have been sighted.
  • Unless using containerized baits indoors, baits should always be placed where they are inaccessible to children and pets.
  • Sweet baits are the most effective, but if acceptance by ants is low, use of a protein bait should be considered.
  • Exterior nests should be treated directly with a liquid formulation such as Termidor or Phantom non-repellent insecticides.
  • Nests within wall voids are more easily treated by aerosol injection or application of a dust formulation.
  • When the nests cannot be located, a non-repellent barrier spray should be applied to foundations and the soil immediately adjacent to the building.
  • Controlling aphids on ornamental plants and trees around structures is also a great way to remove one of the odorous house ant’s primary food sources.

Innotech Pest Management serves the greater Palm Coast, St. Augustine and Jacksonville Florida regions. Click to schedule an appointment if you need assistance with eliminating Odorous House Ants.