whatever’s bugging you.
Finding an infestation of odorous house ants just stinks.
The odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile) is native to our area and can be found throughout the United States. It gets its common name because when squished, the odorous house ant releases a scent that is similar to blue cheese.
Odorous house ants are sometimes referred to as “stink ants” or “coconut ants” because of their odor; or “sugar ants” because of their fondness for sugary foods.
Odorous house ants are extremely adaptable and will nest in a wide variety of environments, from sandy beaches to open fields, woodlands, bogs, and urban areas.
Do not attempt to exterminate odorous house ants with aerosol insecticide products, as doing so can cause the colony to split and relocate elsewhere in your home.
Adam’s Gets Rid of Odorous House Ants Fast!
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Odorous House Ant Treatment Options
One-time Ant Treatment
Adam’s licensed pest management professional will apply a non-repellent material to the foundation, doors, windows, eaves, and overhangs to create a residual barrier around the exterior perimeter of your home; and will spot treat interior areas, as needed. Adam’s one-time ant treatment comes with a 3-month warranty.
Premier Ant Prevention
Never have ants again. Not only will Adam’s take care of your immediate ant problem, but we will proactively prevent ants from ever becoming a problem again. Most of our ant control customers prefer our 2x Premier Ant Prevention Service.
Need to prevent more pests than just ants? Adam’s Premier Perimeter Program includes a minimum of 3 preventive barrier treatments around the exterior perimeter of your home for year-round prevention of common household bugs, including insects, spiders, and ants. Your Pest Management Professional inspects for pests, and then applies a season-specific, non-repellent, residual material to control common household pests before they can get inside. Comes with a 12-month guarantee.
Premier Home Pest Prevention
Adam’s best value for prevention and control of common household pests, including ants! Adam’s Premier Home Pest Prevention service provides year-round pest prevention with a minimum of four visits throughout the year. Service visits focus on the exterior of your home, where most pest problems originate. And should a pest problem ever occur between scheduled visits, the plan includes additional treatments at no additional charge. This program includes common household pests like spiders, centipedes, sow bugs, and roaches and seasonal pests like wasps, multicolored Asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs, and mice, as well as ants.
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More About Odorous House Ants
HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS?
- The most likely sign of an odorous house ant infestation is seeing worker ants foraging for food.
- Workers are very active and move rapidly in single files.
- Look for odorous house ants outdoors under stones, patio blocks, mulching plastic, firewood, bricks, and nearly any other object laying on the ground.
- Odorous house ants are most likely to invade buildings during rainy weather or in the fall.
- Inside, they will nest in wall voids, around hot water pipes and heaters, behind cabinets, and under floors, especially near sources of moisture.
- Odorous house ants will establish trails along kitchen counters, cabinets, sinks and baseboards.
WHAT DO ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS LOOK LIKE?
- Workers are about 1/10” in length
- Odorous house ants are brown to dark brown or black
- Petiole has one node, but it may be difficult to see
- The thorax is uneven in profile (workers only)
- One of the easiest identifiers is the unpleasant odor when crushed; some people compare it to rotten coconuts or blue cheese.
ARE ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS DANGEROUS?
- Odorous house ants do not sting or bite.
- Odorous house ants do not pose a public health risk, but while foraging, odorous house ants can easily contaminate food.
WHY DO ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS HAVE A PUNGENT ODOR WHEN CRUSHED?
- The smelly chemical is a defense mechanism. The blue cheese smell is to make odorous house ants distasteful to predators.
- The odor may also function as an alarm pheromone to let other odorous house ants know there is danger nearby.
- The chemical that makes the odor is one of a group of chemical compounds called methyl ketones. It’s also produced by the Penicillium mold that gives blue cheese its distinctive odor.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS?
- Eliminate moisture and water by repairing any leaks and ventilate humid areas.
- Trim tree branches and other plants back away from any structures.
- Seal all cracks and openings in the foundation and around utility lines that come into the structure.
- Store firewood and building materials away from structures.
WHAT DO ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS EAT?
- Outside, they feed on insects and seeds but prefer sweets, especially honeydew, a sugary waste produced by aphids, and juices of decaying fruits and vegetables.
- Inside, odorous house ants will feed on sweets, grease, meats, dairy products, pastries, vegetables, and fruit juices.
WHAT IS THE ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS’ LIFECYCLE?
- Odorous house ants can live in extremely large colonies but typically maintain colonies of a few thousand workers with several dozen queens.
- Each colony has multiple queens. Each odorous house ant queen is capable of producing thousands of workers and hundreds of reproductive ants.
- Odorous house ants go through a complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
- Winged reproductives appear in June through July.
- The developmental time can vary depending on the season.
- Egg incubation takes 11-26 days
- Larval stages last 13-29 days
- Pupal stages last 10-24 days
- Colonies multiply by budding or fission when one or more queens, together with workers, leave the parent colony to start a new colony.
- Colony reproduction also occurs through mating flights, especially early to mid summer when winged males (drone) and females (fertile females) fly and mate. Inseminated queens from nuptial flights establish new colonies.