Odorous House Ants: Information, Pictures, and Facts
Odorous house ants are a nuisance in urban and suburban areas as they flock in large numbers. What’s more, they are tough to control due to their size. Read on to learn more about odorous house ant identification, and how to manage them.
Facts, Identification, and Control
Below are some odorous house ants facts.
Odorous house ants measure about 3.3 millimeters in length. You’ll notice black or dark brown bodies with a single node on their petiole. These ants have an unevenly shaped thorax when you view it from the side.
The common distinguishable characteristic is the rotten coconut smell they emit when you crush their bodies.
Facts about Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants form large colonies with thousands of workers and multiple queens. Each colony has an odorous house ant queen that produces thousands of workers and other reproductive.
Odorous ants go through complete metamorphosis, but the development depends on the temperature and food availability.
Where Do They Live?
These ants like to nest indoors and outdoors. You can find the nests beneath floors, near heaters, in wall crevices, and behind paneling. They love getting into buildings when it’s rainy. Odorous ants place the nests below the soil, under rocks, and in the mulch when outdoors.
What Do They Eat?
These ants forage for food day and night. They eat honeydew from mealybugs and aphids. However, during autumn, the supply of honeydew reduces, and these ants move indoors to look for food. They’ll eat pastries, meats, sugary foods, dairy foods, fruit juices, vegetables, and more.
How Did I Get Odorous House Ants?
You can get odorous house ants if you have meats and sugary items lying around. These pests invade cupboards and kitchen pantries. They build their nests near places that are moist and warm. If you have openings around your doors and windows or cracks in the foundation, you may also attract these pests.
How Serious are Odorous House Ants Problems?
Odorous house ants can cause problems like:
Being a Nuisance
These ants form huge colonies, and when they invade your home, they can be a nuisance. Moreover, in case of any disturbance, they scatter and create more nesting sites. They can be challenging to control as they travel in large numbers.
Odorous house ants release a rotten-like smell when crushed. You’ll notice a coconut smell where these pests have been.
Contamination of Food
Odorous ants tend to contaminate food items. Although there’s no evidence of them spreading diseases, they can pass on bacteria through their urine and droppings.
Although odorous house ants bite, they do not cause a lot of pain.
What Can I Do About Odorous House Ants?
Despite these ants being difficult to control, you can take specific measures to prevent an infestation. You can use several baits to trap these ants. Also, get rid of piles of lumber and seal any cracks in your home exterior to prevent access. Contact a pest control company for inspections and treatment of new colonies.
Signs of Odorous House Ants Infestation
The visible sign of odorous ants is the presence of foraging worker ants. You may also spot winged swarmers running around.
Odorous House Ants Prevention and Control Tips
You need to have an annual pest control program to prevent and control odorous house ants. Some of the preventative measures include:
Store Foods and Clean Any Spills
Avoid storing open food on the kitchen counters. Instead, place it in sealed containers or the refrigerator. Clean up the crumbs and spills. Also, wash dishes after every meal to avoid attracting these pests.
Seal Cracks and Crevices
If you notice cracks and crevices on your home’s foundation, you need to fix it immediately. Caulk the gaps around doors and windows.
Get Rid of Potential Nesting Sites
Woodpiles around the exterior wall, garage, or home could act as a nesting site for odorous house ants. Remove them and store them in a shed that is several feet away from your house.
Odorous House Ants Pest Control
Sometimes the DIY methods do not help eliminate an odorous ant problem. You may need the help of a professional pest control company that will identify the source of the infestation, and determine the best method to eliminate an entire colony.
How do ants communicate with each other?
Ants communicate using chemicals called pheromones. This type of communication lets another ant know where their food is located. If you try to observe ants, they usually follow a certain path going to the food’s location and back to their nest. This is because ants leave a pheromone trail behind them to communicate with other ants.
Can ants smell food in my house?
Yes. An ant’s exceptional sense of smell is what they use to search for food. Ants love all types of food, but their favorite is sweets. High-sugar foods are extra appealing to them, which is why if you are trying to prevent ant infestations, you should try to eliminate sugary foods in your house if you’re done eating them.
Do plants attract ants?
It is uncommon for ants to get attracted to plants. However, some ants are attracted to the smells of indoor plants’ and flowers’ sweet nectar. So, if you notice that ants are marching towards your houseplants, you should try to isolate them to prevent more ants from hanging around.
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