Odorous House Ants | The 12 Most Common Questions
Odorous House Ants are quite a common pest when it comes to residential and commercial properties in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Roseville. While they may not be as invasive as the Argentine Ant or cause as much internal property damage as the Carpenter Ant, they do pose their own threats to humans and other life forms. Here are the 12 most common questions we get asked about Odorous House Ants so that you can stay informed about what to look out for from an experienced pest control company.
1. What Are Odorous House Ants?
Odorous house ants are common household pests found in Sacramento. Although their preferred habitat is in warm and dry regions they have been found in almost all climate conditions. They are both a scavenger and predator ant species that seek out water and sweet foods. These tiny ants will usually try and gain entry into your home after recent heavy rainfall, as their nests are usually quite shallow.
2. What Are The Different Names For Odorous House Ants?
The odorous house ant has many names. In Latin, they are called Tapinoma Sessile. They also go by stink ant, sugar ant, and coconut ant. This is due to the strong smell emitted from these ants when they are crushed or threatened. The scent is similar to that of rotten coconut.
3. What Do Odorous House Ants Look Like?
They are tiny ants ranging from 2.4 to 3.3mm in length. They are dark brown to jet black in color and have a smooth hairless body. They have one node, which is usually hidden by their abdomens.
4. Where Do You Find Odorous House Ants?
These tiny ants will nest just about anywhere. Inside your home, you will frequently find them in the walls, insulation, window frames, electrical sockets, and even under your toilet seat. Another favorite spot is in the mulch near common houseplants. They can also be found outside in your yard. Check under stones, logs, cracks in the patio, and even in bird’s nests.
5. What Threats Do Odorous House Ants Pose?
The biggest threat that these tiny ants pose is the contamination of food. What makes your home (and particularly your kitchen) the perfect destination for these stink ants is that it is full of the sweet and sticky food they crave. Odorous house ants carry diseases that are harmful to humans including E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella (which results in bloody diarrhea). At Pegasus Pest, we recommend that you always keep your food locked away in airtight containers. These ants are fast, rushing quickly towards the scent of any sugary foods.
6. Do Odorous House Ants Bite?
Yes, although odorous house ants have the ability to bite and you may notice it, you won’t likely experience much pain because they’re so small. Their bite strength is nothing compared to that of the carpenter ant.
7. How Did I Get Odorous House Ants?
Like most common pests, the odorous house ant is after two things: food and water. Your house is the perfect haven for them to set up shop with an abundance of both within reaching distance. They can make their way into your home through windowsills, cracks in screens, and even under doorways. As they are very small, even the slightest opening can result in an odorous house ant infestation. Stink ants also have the ability to scale trees and if any branches are within touching distance of your home, it could provide an easy access point.
8. What Do Odorous House Ants Eat?
Odorous house ants prefer to eat sugary and sticky foods. Their preferred food source is honeydew, which is supplied by aphids. That is why they protect aphids out in the wildlife. But if there is a shortage outside they will make their way into your home. If there are no sugary foods available they have no qualms about feasting on meat, raw vegetables, and pastries, dairy products, and even other insects. Remember, they are both predator and scavenger so they can become an ominous presence when it comes to other pests.
9. Do Odorous House Ants Swarm?
Yes, there are some odorous house ants that have the ability to fly. These winged ants move their nests quite frequently (sometimes as much as every 3 weeks). Females that have the ability to fly can swarm off and mate, starting new colonies in new areas in and around your home.
10. What Are The Signs Of An Odorous House Ant Infestation?
The obvious sign of an odorous house ant infestation is the smell. Stink ants will emit the scent of rotten coconut when they are crushed or if they sense danger and run erratically to safety. For some, the smell is of sweet old pine but rotten coconut is the most common complaint. Another sign is similar to that of swarming termites. The odorous house ant is one of the few ants with the ability to fly.
11. How Do I Get Rid Of Odorous House Ants?
Getting rid of odorous house ants is a tough process. Their colonies are polydomous, which means that they consist of multiple nests. Add to this that they are also polygynous (their colonies consist of multiple queens) and that makes getting rid of these ants a nightmare for an amateur ant exterminator. We have also mentioned that they move nests quite frequently, some as much as once every 3 weeks. Locating and exterminating these ants is a difficult process, which is why you should look to hire a professional ant extermination company. It is best to try and prevent these infestations from happening in the first place.
12. How To Prevent Odorous House Ant Infestations
- Keep foliage, trees, and branches trimmed back from your home so there is no contact. Stink ants have the ability to scale them and could gain access to your home from there.
- Keep food stored away safely in airtight containers. This will cut off the food supply that they crave and will give them less reason to hang around in your home
Odorous House Ants Extermination Process
Locating the nest is the key to eliminating Odorous House Ants. We look for plants that have Aphids, a preferred food source. Check the exterior hardscapes, sidewalks, foundation, mow strips, etc. Look for trailing ants along the edges. If found we follow them back to the nest. This will often involve digging through ground cover and under shrubbery. Once the nest is located it can be treated and eliminated. Remember there may be multiple colonies and they must all be located. Odorous House Ants are less active during the heat of the day so look in the morning or evening for best results. If you are not able to find an exterior nest it is possible Stink Ants are nesting in the walls. In this case, baiting is the best option.
How To Get Rid Of Odorous House Ants
If you have noticed any of the signs of an ant infestation in your property we recommend giving an experienced pest control company a call. We at Pegasus Pest have the tools and knowledge to tackles this pest problem, leaving you with peace of mind. We are the best pest control company in Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Roseville. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today on (888) 885-5017. You can also book an appointment by submitting an online contact form.