Evenly distributed across the United States and Canada the odorous house ant can be quite an annoying house guest. Commonly known as sugar ants, stink ants, or coconut ants, odorous house ants get their name from the strong, coconut-like smell they release when disturbed or crushed. While many can, not everyone is able to smell the odorous house ant.

Odorous house ant

Odorous house ants are an opportunistic species making nests both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, their nests are typically shallow and found underneath a board or stone. Indoors, they frequently nest inside walls and underneath floors. Colonies of the odorous house ant are typically quite large and contain many active queens.

Tiny but fast, these ants characteristically travel in lines, but when disturbed, they will run around erratically, releasing their odor. Traveling in regular trails, these ants move inside to forage for food following periods of excessive rainfall, which makes their preferred food source, honeydew, less plentiful. If you have encountered odorous house ants inside your home, it was likely immediately following extensive and heavy rains, which we have had a lot of recently in Georgia.

There are a few things you can do to get the ants inside your home under control. The first step is to get the ants out of your home in the first place. Typically the best option to eliminate an indoor ant population is bait. Worker ants feed on the bait when outside the nest, then carry the bait back to the colony. Through the feeding, the bait is transferred to the rest of the any population, killing the queen and other colony members.

Once you have the ant population under control, make sure to do the following to keep the ants out of your home.

  • Trim back all landscaping from the house to remove this as an access point. Ants can climb plants and find cracks and crevices through which they can enter your home.
  • Keep all foods tightly covered and stored. Wipe counters and surfaces clean, as ants can easily feast on tiny crumbs and grease.
  • Do not leave pet food bowls out when pets are not eating. Pet food is an easily accessed attractant for all ants and other pests, including mice, cockroaches, and flies.

If you think you have a problem with odorous house ants . . .  or any pest. . . or simply have a question. . . call Faith Pest Control at 770-823-9202. We’ll be happy to speak with you any time.

Here’s to helping YOU live PEST FREE,


P.S. And be sure to ask about our FREE 58 Point Pest Analysis of your home or office!

Odorous House Ants
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