Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants and larvae

Odorous house ants and larvae – Also called “stink ants” because they smell when squished. These ants like sweets – and pet food!

Preventing Odorous House Ant Invasion

To prevent an odorous house ant home invasion it is important to keep a tidy home and to clean up after all food spills. By eliminating food and entry sources a homeowner can help to reduce an odorous house ant infestation.  When these methods are not enough, it may be best to call a professional pest control company.

Damage done by Odorous House Ants

The odorous house ant usually arrives in the home directly from your home garden. Damage occurs as the odorous house ant transports and protects aphids on garden plants.  These aphids not only feed directly on the infected plant, additionally they increase the rate of disease, and can infect a variety of species.

Controlling Odorous House Ants with professional products and technique

Odorous House ants feeding on honeydew from aphids.

Odorous house ants usually are eliminated easily with professional pest control products. Find the nests and treat them with pesticides. (Modern pesticides with “sensitive” labels can give a customer peace of mind). These nests may continue below the ground, so it is important to make sure to treat the nest thoroughly. If the nest location cannot been identified it may be beneficial to use baits to lure the odorous house ants out of their nest to indirectly get at the nesting source. In addition to baiting it can be beneficial to spray a perimeter treatment along the foundation of a home to help eliminate these pesky pests from entering the home before the homeowner is tempted to break out their own DIY pesticides.

Biology of the Odorous House Ant

Odorous house ants are roughly one eight of an inch in length. This species of ant will often nest inside of houses, usually in the wall voids and can occur in other enclosed areas as well. They are dark brown to black in color and are known for making long trails in the direction of a food source.
Odorous House ants transporting their larvae.

Odorous House ants transporting their larvae.

Homeowner’s may often be alerted of their presence by trails, or smells emanating from their nests. Odorous house ant colonies usually range in population from between 100 and 10,000 members, with several queens living in the same nest. When the Odorous house ant mashed the ant emits a rancid coconut smell. Even the smell of a single crushed ant can elicit a panic response by the colony.

The Odorous House Ant, Disease and Infection

By tracking dirt and soot on their bodies, the Odorous House Ants can facilitate the spread allergies and disease.

Odorous House Ant Food Sources

The odorous house ant’s diet comes from an assortment of sources, which can be found in the interior and exterior of a home. These ants are attracted to many household food items, such as sweets, soda, water and a variety of food crumbs. A favorite food source of this species is Aphid Honeydew. These ants have been known to protect and even transport aphids from plant to plant. Click here to see Odorous House Ants in a hickory nut

Habitat and Range of Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants have been found to be indigenous to North America. These ants have been found to live in regions up to 10,500 ft above sea level. Exteriorly of a home, these ants will build nests in loose soil and sometimes tree bark. Interiorly, these ants like to nest in moist areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens near water faucets.

Customer assistance in Odorous House Ant Control

Odorous house ants often make noticeable trails which can lead a pest control technician to their nest location. By locating the source of these ants, it can significantly increase the speed and likelihood of elimination of them. Hearts Pest Management has a wide variety of integrated pest control solutions to help solve odorous house ant infestations. Click here to see odorous house ants in action in a home. For more information on ants and ant species, visit our page on Ant Control Call today to schedule service or for more information at 800-986-1006
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Odorous House Ant References

Iowa State University – Odorous House Ants University of California, Davis – Odorous House Ants Wikipedia Info on Odorous House Ants Washington University Info on Odorous House Ants Bug Guide Section on Odorous House Ants
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