Odorous house ants

Odorous house ant

Scientific Name: Tapinoma sessile


The odorous house ant is a small, nuisance pest known for its distinctive odor, which resembles rotten coconut or a burnt smell. Adult ants measure about 1/16 to 1/8 inch (1.5 to 3 mm) in length and are generally dark brown to black. They have a smooth, shiny appearance and a single node between the thorax and abdomen, which distinguishes them from other ant species.

Behaviour and Habits: 

Odorous house ants are exceptionally social insects, thriving in expansive colonies that can number from a few hundred to several thousand individuals. Their nests are constructed in diverse environments, including soil, beneath rocks, within decayed wood, and even inside wall voids or home insulation. These ants are particularly attracted to sweet and greasy foods, making kitchens and pantries prime targets.

Pest Profile Odorous house ant

Reproduction: Colonies of odorous house ants can grow rapidly, with new queens and males emerging during the late spring and summer months. Mating flights, which occur typically during warm weather, enable these ants to spread and establish new colonies. After mating, queens find suitable locations to start new colonies, where they lay eggs that eventually hatch into larvae, pupae, and adult ants.

Signs of Infestation:

  1. Scent: The most notable sign of an infestation is the distinctive odor released when the ants are crushed or disturbed.
  2. Trails: Look for small trails of ants leading to food sources or water.
  3. Nesting Sites: Check for nests in moist, decayed wood, under debris, or within wall voids.
  4. Foraging: Finding ants actively foraging in your home, especially in kitchens or around food storage areas.

Control and Prevention:

  1. Sanitation: Maintain a pristine home by storing food in airtight containers, promptly cleaning up spills, and routinely disposing of garbage.
  2. Seal Entry Points: Seal entry points by closing gaps and crevices around windows, doors, and foundations.
  3. Eliminate Moisture: Fix any leaks or water damage to remove potential nesting sites and reduce moisture.
  4. Professional Treatment: For severe infestations or persistent problems, consider contacting a professional pest control service such as Get ‘Em Out Wildlife Control for targeted treatment and prevention strategies.

By understanding the behaviour and habits of odorous house ants, homeowners can take effective steps to manage and prevent these pests from invading their homes.

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