House antOdorous House Ant

Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Scientific Name: Tapinoma sessile (Say)
Color: Brown or black
Legs: Six
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16-1/8
Antennae: Yes
Flight: No

This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long. Odorous House ants can be found throughout the United States. Typical colony size is from several hundred to 100,000 workers and many queens.

Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially melon, but will also feed on meats and cheese. These ants typically build nests in wall cavities, preferring to be close to hot water pipes and in crevices near sinks and kitchen cabinets.

Typically living for several years, these ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks.

These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.

Eliminate standing water. Pests such as odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

Locating the nest(s) is critical to control. Following ants back to their nests can be helpful. Use dust formulations in wall voids along with an exterior perimeter treatment along walls using a residual liquid insecticide. Baits can be used.