Odorous House Ant Pest of the Month -
Odorous House Ant
(Tapinoma Sessile)

Odorous House Ants are notorious for their love of sweets. They will search your kitchen for any sugary snack that they can find, from the sugar bowl, to the cereal, into the fridge for a quick bite of left over cake. Outdoors the Odorous House Ant will eat honeydew – a byproduct of aphids, but they will also eat dead insects and spiders. These ants are brownish black to black and are on the small side. The workers are approximately 1/16 – 1/8 of an inch long. These ants are found all throughout the United States. They typically will nest indoors under sinks near plumbing voids, under doormats, and the insulation around automatic dishwashers, just to name a few. Outdoors you will find them under rock, near garbage cans, potted plants, or shrubbery that can give them easy access to the honeydew produced by the aphids living on the plants. One easy way a technician can identify whether the infestation is an Odorous House Ant or other ant is by crushing a specimen. The Odorous House Ant gives off a distinctive scent as a defense mechanism which smells a little like rotting coconut. These ants do not sting. They lack the stinging appendage to do any damage. The colony can range from a few hundred to about 10,000 and will have multiple queens. The best thing a person can do to help eliminate this ant from invading a home is to make sure that all sugary items are in sealed containers that the counters stay wiped up with no crumbs left over. Water should not be left in sinks and any leaks should be corrected to eliminate an essential element that is needed for their survival. Sometimes exclusion work such as caulking may be necessary if the nest is found on the outside of the structure to help eliminate the highway the ant is using to come indoors. Identifying the correct ant, habitat modifications such as exclusion work and sanitation, and using the proper products will help to reduce and eliminate any ant problem.


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