odorous house ants around a spill

Odorous House Ants

Get Your Free Quote!

Request a free pest control quote from the experienced pest pros at Greenway today! 

What do odorous house ants look like? 

The common species of odorous house ant found throughout the United States is Tapinoma sessile. Workers have distinctive features that are hard to see due to their size. They measure between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch in length and are dark brown to black. If you have good eyes and examine one of these workers up close, you'll see that it has one node between the thorax and abdomen. You may also notice the uneven shape of its thorax as viewed from the side. As with all ants, these ants have six legs, two body parts, and two antennae.

odorous house ant searching for food

Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • Odorous house ants are also known as stink ants or coconut ants, due to the foul smelling odor they emit when threatened.
  • Odorous house often travel along established trails on tree branches, foundations, sidewalks, and baseboards.
  • Odorous house ants tend to move their nests on a regular basis. 

Get Free QuoteCall Today (480) 646-4303

Do odorous house ants smell?

Yes, odorous house ants emit a distinctive and unpleasant odor when crushed. This odor is one of their primary defense mechanisms. The scent is often compared with rotten coconut. But they are not the only ants that have a smell when you crush them, and they're not the only ones that smell like rotten coconut. So you can't trust your nose to identify this particular ant species.

Do odorous house ants bite?

Yes, an odorous house ant can bite. But their bite is so minor it can hardly be considered a bite. Therefore, searching the internet to find out if these ants bite will turn up confusing results. What you should know is that they can try to bite you if they feel threatened, and you may notice it, but they aren't going to wound you and you should experience hardly any discomfort if only a few are excited enough to have a go at you. 

Are odorous house ants harmful?

While odorous house ants don't cause bite wounds, harm comes in other forms. Some ants damage structures. Others spread disease-causing microorganisms. How concerned should you be about odorous house ants? How do they measure up? You'll be happy to know that odorous house ants don't damage wood like carpenter ants. Unfortunately, they can cause stomach illness as they can spread germs from unsanitary places to food and dish storage areas and surfaces. If you're feeling a bit nauseous, these ants might be to blame.

What attracts odorous house ants?

Odorous house ants go where food is found. They'll explore your exterior in search of mostly sweet food sources, such as nectar and honeydew, but they also eat insects as sources of protein. When they get inside, they'll want to find sugar and other debris on shelves, crumbs on the floor, and condiments on dirty dishes. Sanitation can help keep these ants away from your exterior and deter them from entering your home.

These ants are also attracted to moisture. If you have clogged gutters and a damp perimeter, you can have more trouble with these ants. They're also found in humid or damp habitats, such as leaf and branch debris.

Where do odorous house ants nest? 

These ants are incredibly adaptable insects. While they prefer to nest outdoors in the soil and voids provided by rocks and logs, they can build their nests in the voids of buildings. When they enter a structure, they gravitate to humid and dark spaces and use soil, plant matter, and insulation materials to build their nests. These nests are hard to detect as they are constructed in floor, wall, and ceiling voids.

How do you get rid of odorous house ants?

Effective ant control involves the identification and elimination of the nests. This is a tricky task. A licensed professional uses a multi-pronged strategy that includes many products and methods. 

  • We begin with an inspection to track ant activity, entry points, conducive conditions, and other factors.
  • We select control materials and deploy them as required, selecting areas ants are traveling.
  • Some materials are undetectable to the ants, so the ants pass over them and are unaware that they've picked up a control agent. They share the agent with the other ants as they groom each other.
  • Some materials are hidden inside food to bait the insects into taking the food back to their nests. The control agent in the bait is slow-acting so the ants don't get wise to it and start avoiding it, or worse, split their colony and spread in response to the threat.
  • We also address entry points and exterior nests as needed to stop continued infestation.

If you have an odorous house ant infestation, contact your Greenway Pest Solutions team for the best home pest control in the Phoenix metro. We'll help you get complete and long-lasting results. 

What can I do to prevent an odorous house ant infestation?

Preventing odorous house ant infestations involves maintaining a clean environment. Store food in airtight containers, clean up spills promptly, and eliminate standing water. Seal entry points, such as cracks and gaps in walls, to prevent ants from entering your home.

A family on couch with their children.
customers of greenway pest in Albuquerque
Josh was amazing! Helped me figure out a billing issue and resolved it immediately! Offered suggestions that resolved many hiccups in scheduling a service call! Great customer service with a friendly smile to boot!!!
Tanya Q. - Phoenix, AZ
Greenway Pest Solutions received an average of 4.8 of 5 stars from 2419 reviews

Get Started Today!

Request Your Free Quote

or Call (480) 646-4303

Don't wait until it's too late. Call Greenway Today!

Over 7,000 homes & businesses trust Greenway Pest Solutions to keep pests out - you can too. 

Don't wait until it's too late. Call Greenway Today!

arizona pest control professional