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Odorous House Ants

We've all seen the cartoons where colonies of ants invade a picnic and carry off the prepared feast. While seeing the ants in cartoons can be funny, there is nothing funny about walking into your kitchen and seeing a line of ants walking across the counter where you create your meals.

Ants on a tree branchOdorous house ants have large colonies that can feature more than one queen and upwards of 10,000 workers. Colonies are built outside, typically in shallow nests under rocks, lags and other debris. The colonies tend to grow until natural resources have been depleted and then the ants take advantage of shrubs and trees that touch homes as ways to enter a structure. They will look for cracks within the walls, especially in places like windows and pipes as ways to gain entrance into the home. Once inside, the ants create nests in wall voids, window frames, and attic insulation.

Odorous house ants have a dark brown or black appearance, about an eighth of an inch long with a 12 segmented clubbed antennae and with also one node on its petiole (waist). Why these ants are referred to as "odorous house ants" is from the rotten coconut smell that emits when an ant is crushed. This odor is a pheromone to help warn other house ants that there is danger in the area. Although the ants normally will travel from colony to food source in an orderly line, once that alarm has gone up, the ants will move sporadically to disperse from the area, and even go as far as to form multiple new colonies elsewhere.

Odorous house ants love to feed on sweets, although they will eat more protein as it gets closer to the winter months. When outside, odorous house ants will feed on the honeydew created by other insects on trees and plants (such as scale insects and aphids), and inside they prefer fruits, sweets such as candy, and pastries, and fruit juices.

While odorous house ants might not be as dangerous as fire ants, they can contaminate food and become a large problem in the home. Don’t allow odorous house ants to take over your home - contact us today at (877) 944-4007 or request an estimate online. Our pest specialists have the knowledge to get rid of pesky ants fast and professionally.