Ants are a common invader to homes and business and will quickly crash a picnic. As they are notorious around the world, few can say they never crossed paths with an ant. Most will deliver pinches when they feel threatened and some are aggressive picking a fight. When they infest a home or business, they are a nuisance that seem nearly impossible to rectify without a professional. In Pittsburgh, there are a few common species, including the odorous house ant, and we at Stewart Termite and Pest Control would like to share the fundamentals of this species today.
Odorous House Ant Identification Facts
Odorous house ants, sometimes simply referenced as odorous ants, are particularly small, only measuring up to an 1/8 of an inch long. Hidden by their abdomens is one node on their petiole and they are typically dark brown or black in color. When seen from the side, odorous ants also have an unevenly shaped thorax. Their most distinguishable characteristic is the odor of rotten coconuts they emit when they get crushed, hence their name.
What Attracts Odorous Ants & Where Do They Live?
Favoring sweets and meats odorous ants enter homes in search of food by crawling through the cracks in the foundation or big enough openings around doors and windows; frequently nesting in the floor or wall voids once inside. They are commonly found in kitchen pantries and cupboards due to their preference of warmth and moisture as well as wanting to be close to their food source. Other places that odorous ants will nest is in wall crevices, water pipes, near heaters, under carpets, beneath floors or sometimes behind paneling. Nesting both indoors and outdoors, they are opportunists. Outdoors, odorous ants will build shallow nests under the soil beneath mulch, logs, rocks, and other debris.
Odorous House Ant Infestation
Odorous ants tend to contaminate food products when they invade the kitchens. Though they will willingly bite when they feel threatened, their bites are only mildly painful at best. In general, odorous ants are recognized as being one of the most commonly encountered ants in homes. Despite the fact that their rare bites are nothing to fear, their persistence can be more than a nuisance as they forage in large numbers. Typically, the biggest indication of an infestation is witnessing the workers foraging and seeing the winged swarmers active. Foraging food 24/7; their diet typically includes honeydew from aphids and mealybug as favorites in the wild, but they will eat meats, pastries, sugary foods, dairy products, cooked or raw vegetables and fruit juices. Worker odorous ants will move in quick, erratic motions, raising their abdomens into the air when they are alarmed by predators or other potential threats. Sanitation goes a long way when dealing odorous and other types of nuisance ants. Wipe up drink and food spills right away and don’t leave dirty dishes sitting in the sink.
As they are a challenge to remove from inside your home, when you see have you an odorous ant infestation, call the professionals at Stewart Termite and Pest Control. Our proven and effective methods and treatments can destroy a colony and get your home odorous ant free in a timely matter. Our experts have the training and experience to methodically remove these ants and help with defensive measures to avoid future infestations.