Odorous House Ants
Color: brown or black
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 2.4 to 3.3 mm
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Odorous house or sometimes referred to as “sugar ants” are small, measuring 2.4 to 3.3 mm in length. They have dark brown or black bodies with one node on their petiole, which is hidden by their abdomens. The thoraxes of odorous house ants are unevenly shaped when viewed from the side. The most noticeable characteristic of these tiny ants is the strong, rotten coconut-like smell they give off when crushed.
Odorous house ant’s nests can be found in a variety of places. Inside buildings they are often found nesting near a source of moisture, beneath the floor or in the walls, beneath leaky fixtures, and inside wood that has been damaged by termites. Rainy weather is a great reason for them to invade buildings. While indoors they love to eat sweets but have been known to feed on meats, grease, sugary foods, dairy products, pastries, cooked or raw vegetables and fruit juices. Outside they are often found in exposed soil and often found under stacks of fire wood. They often feed on honeydew (a sugary waste produced from sap from feeding insects like aphids). These tiny ants are always on the move foraging and hunting for food night and day.
As all other ants, odorous house ants live in colonies. Each colony may contain two or more queens and over 100,000 workers. The odorous ant queens can produce hundreds of reproducers and thousands of workers. They also have been known to move their nests every three months or so.
Since odorous house ants are always on the move exploring and hunting for a new source of food, they can easily contaminate human food supplies. Odorous house ants do not sting or bite, but they can quickly become quite the persistent pest as they travel in large numbers.
If you think you may have odorous house ants in your home, contact a professional pest control company to discuss a proper course of action for odorous ant removal.
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