Odorous House ants are commonly found throughout kitchens and homes all over the United States. Most often after heavy rains, these ants are known to enter homes as they try to escape being flooded out of their shallow nests. Odorous house ants are very tiny, but also very quick, and they frequently travel in lines, unless they are disturbed. When their straight lines are disturbed or startled, they will take off running around randomly, releasing an odor that will remind you of rotten coconuts, or even a rotten pine scent. They also emit this unpleasant odor when squished, hence getting them their common name.
Generally speaking, ants are among the most hearty, resilient, and adaptable insects around, and most species can be difficult to get rid of once they're indoors. It's a good idea to know what type of ants you're dealing with to help you in managing them.
Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile)
Odorous House ants can nest just about anywhere, including underneath stones, yard debris, mulch, and logs, as well as in the abandoned nests of birds or mamals. In your home, they will likely take up residence in wall voids, window frames, and even in insulation. Unlike other ants, these ants are very mobile, relocating their nests every three to four weeks. Considering a nest can have multiple colonies housing several thousand ants at a given time, this is a big deal.
Odorous House ants are only about 1/8" of an inch in length, and dark brown to black in color. These ants particularly love sweets, including pastries and fruit juices of all sorts, but they can also consume a wide range of foods including greasy foods and meats.
How Do You Get Rid of Odorous House Ants?
As with trying to prevent other ant and insect invader pest species, keeping your lawn well mowed and the interior of your home wiped down and clean is a major key to keeping Ghost ants out. No matter how clean your home is, keep in mind that ants can show up in even the cleanest of homes. Try the following tips to help you get rid of Odorous House ants in your home.
- Promptly wipe up food and beverage spills, keep your sink free of empty dishes, and sweep and mop regularly in your kitchen. Make sure all leaks indoors and outdoors are repaired.
- Seal up cracks and crevices in the baseboards, doors, and windows. Screen off pipe and utility entry points.
- Keep firewood and mulch at least 20 feet away from your home, and clear your yard of debris.
- Trim your shrubs and trees at least an inch or two away from the side of your home.
- Mow your lawn regularly and keep it clear of lawn clutter (logs, branches, stumps, leaf piles, etc.).
As with other ant species, baiting is the most consistently reliable and long-term way to eliminate entire colonies instead of spraying with a conventional repellent residual spray. But you can spot treat for ants with a good spray, just don't spray where you've put down bait, or the ants won't come anywhere near the bait like you want them to. You can also spray your yard with a good yard bug spray. Be patient! Depending on the colony size, it could take from a few days to a few weeks to eliminate it entirely.
Odorous House ants are part of living in Texas, and even with all the best preventive measures, you may still find yourself dealing with an infestation from time to time. Is that how you want to spend all your summer and fall months? Call our Conroe, TX pest control experts today at 832-898-0190 and we can help you save all sorts of money, stress, and time. Keep your weekends free for time grilling with family and friends in your backyard!