Odorous House Ants

Quick Facts

Risk Factors

  • Family
  • Home
  • Pet


  • season Spring



0.125 inch

Inch Long



What do Odorous House Ants look like?

Adult odorous house ants grow to be about 1/8th of an inch in length. They are generally brown to black in color and have one segmented waist, along with an unevenly rounded profile. The most distinguishing characteristic of the odorous house ant is their smell. These ants will give off a very potent rotten coconut-like smell when stepped on or crushed.

What are the signs of Odorous House Ants?

Odorous house ants live in moderate-sized colonies with several hundred to 10,000 members and many queens. Outside odorous house ants tend to nest underneath exposed soil, under woodpiles, and under rotten logs. They tend to move inside while searching for food, during periods of heavy rain, and in the fall once the leaves have fallen. Inside, their nests can be found behind siding and brick walls and in wall voids and crawl spaces, especially if they are located close to hot water pipes and heaters.

When living outside, they really like feeding on the honeydew that is excreted from insects like aphids and mealybugs; they will also feed on seeds and other insects. Inside homes, they will eat sweets and foods that are high in proteins like meat and cheese.

What Damage do Odorous House Ants cause?

Odorous house ants will enter homes in fairly large numbers, contaminate food, are difficult to get rid of, and may stink up your home.

How do you prevent Odorous House Ants?

Preventing a problem with odorous house ants can be difficult, but there are a few steps that you can take to try and help prevent an infestation:

Keep woodpiles and compost piles away from the home.
Make sure gutters are not clogged but rather working properly directing water away from the foundation.
Repair or replace any leaky outdoor fixtures, indoor fixtures, pipes or faucets.
Caulk gaps found around exterior windows and doors and replace any torn screens.
Seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation.
Store food in the refrigerator or in sealed containers.
Sweep up crumbs and wipe up spills quickly.

How do I get rid of Odorous House Ants?

You can try to vacuum up odorous house ants, but you may not successfully vacuum them all up. You will also have to find the source of why these ants are invading your home. Professional exterminators can help you find the source and remove all the ants for you.

Can Odorous House Ants hurt me?

Odorous house ants are not known to pose any health risks to people and do not sting or bite.

Our total protection plans cover
Odorous House Ants!

What to Expect when Suburban Exterminating Arrives

Suburban Exterminating can help get rid of odorous house ants from your home with our residential home pest control services. Our more traditional plan, the Seasonal Pest Protection Plan, provides you with many benefits including customized service appointments, unlimited service calls, regularly scheduled preventative services, and inspections completed by our professionally trained and licensed technicians.