Odorous House Ant

Category:

Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

Characteristics: Small; brown or black. Produces a “rotten coconut” smell when they are crushed; hence the name.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Attracted to moisture. Wall voids near water pipes, heaters, leaking fixtures, and damaged wood are all ideal habitats.

Habits:

  • Will nest inside homes in wall voids near heat sources.
  • They prefer the honeydew produced by aphids, but will eat almost any household food.
  • They invade structures during heavy rains when the honeydew of plants is washed away.

Odorous House Ants in Knoxville TN

Producing a rotten, coconut-like odor when crushed, odorous house ants are a common household ant in the Knoxville area. Named for their offensive odor, these ant pests create large colonies with multiple queens that split to form subcolonies. Additionally, odorous house ants are cooperative toward workers from related subcolonies, which allows them to dominate large areas quickly. Also known as sugar ants, they prefer to eat the honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs. However, they can become a pest issue as they invade homes during heavy rains when the honeydew of plants is washed away. 

Odorous House Ant Habitat

The odorous house ant is extremely resilient and can live in a variety of environments. Outdoors, they are often found under stones, logs, planters, or under stacks of firewood. They forage into structures looking for food and are typically found in kitchens and food prep areas. When looking for a suitable nesting site, odorous house ants prefer areas near moisture—wall voids near water pipes, heaters, leaking fixtures, and damaged wood are all ideal habitats for them. Searching for food night and day, odorous ants invade insulation, window frames, electrical sockets, walls, and plumbing areas in kitchens and bathrooms.

Odorous House Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Although they do not sting or bite, as they forage into kitchens and food prep areas, odorous house ants contaminate food. Utilizing trails that originate outside of the structure, ants access homes through gaps and cracks, spoiling stored foods. When foraging for food, workers and scouts leave behind an invisible scent trail from the food source back to their nest. As ants follow the scent trail and access homes, residents may be appalled by the number of visible ants. If an odorous house ant issue is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.

 

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact Russell’s Pest Control today!