Odorous house ants, or Tapinoma sessile, is a native ant and is found in most of the United States. They’ll eat just about anything in your house but prefer foods high in sugar. Outside, they like the honeydew that is produced by aphids and nectar from buds and flowers.
The odorous house ant grows up to 1/8-inch long and ranges in color from brown to black. The antenna has 12 segments and does not have a club. And, it stinks when you squish it! You don’t have to worry about odorous house ants bites as they do not bite.
If you have an ant infestation in house, you’ll want to get them out without crushing them — unless you like the strong smell of rotten coconuts. They’ll move their nests every three months plus or minus when it rains. They like to build their nests near areas with a lot of moisture. You might find them near hot water pipes, near leaky faucets, in heaters and in the wood that has termite damage.
Outside, you might find them under logs, stones, in mulch piles and around debris you might have lying around. If you have an odorous house ant infestation you can help get rid of them by cleaning up the yard and removing any wood or rock borders that are close to the house.
If you see the worker ants or winged swarmers inside on a frequent basis, you probably have an infestation inside. You might be able to find their nest by following their trails. If you see a line of ants moving along the floor or a wall, watch to see where they go. They may lead you right to their nest.
Often, people refer to odorous house ants as sugar ants. However, the true sugar ant has stripes on its body and lives only in Australia. This type of ant isn’t a health risk, though they could contaminate your food. If you find these ants in food, discard the food.
The odorous house ant — sometimes called stink ants — releases a chemical. This chemical is caused by rotting food. A penicillin mold causes the food to rot. Most people smell rotten coconut, but some may smell bleu cheese, rancid butter or even cleaning products. They won’t stink up your house, though. You have to get a squished ant close to your nose to smell it.
To control these stinky pests, try to locate the nest. If the ants are coming in from an exterior nest, sealing cracks in your exterior walls will slow them down. Once the cracks and gaps are sealed contact Clint Miller Exterminating to spray around your home and inside if needed to get rid of the ants. Make sure you located and seal cracks in the basement if you have a basement. If your house has rotting wood on the outside, replace the rotted wood.
If you have an odorous house ant infestation, contact Clint Miller Exterminating to come out and spray for the ants inside and outside. Be sure you pick up anything outside that would attract them, including logs, rotting wood, debris and rocks that are near the house.