Ants are common household pests that form large colonies and work together to detect sources of food. Over 700 species of ants have been identified across the U.S. with some shared commonalities, including a body that is composed of three segments and a pair of antennae on their head. In this region, they are most problematic when there is abundant rainfall in the spring months or milder winters that allow more of these insects to survive.
What Are Odorous House Ants?
Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile) have a brown or black appearance and are roughly 1/10th of an inch long. They are aptly named because when crushed they emit an unpleasant odor that is often described as similar to “rotten coconuts.” Odorous house ants generally create nests within the soil of outdoor environments; however, their small size allows them to move indoors with ease.
According to a recent report from the Department of Entomology at Purdue University in Indiana, odorous house ants that exist in urban areas often form “supercolonies” with millions of members. This is a trend that appears to be unique to this species. In the spring, property owners may notice winged ants gathering together in swarms as part of their mating ritual.
Are They Dangerous?
As with most types, odorous house ants have usually been considered a nuisance. They can contaminate food but are otherwise unlikely to pose any human health risk.
Things That Attract Ants
Ants will invade homes seeking food, water, and shelter. If a source is discovered within your home, they create a pheromone trail that alerts other colony members. Odorous house ants prefer to consume meat, sugary foods, and dairy products.
Common Indoor Locations Where Odorous House Ants Are Found
Homeowners are likely to spot ants foraging in kitchens and food pantry areas. Some of the most common hiding places are underneath larger appliances, within walls, beneath floorboards, and others.
Best Practices For Prevention
Observe the exterior of the home for cracks or other openings, and seal any of these entry points with a weather-resistant material.
Inspect any screens for holes needing repair and cover all vents with a mesh.
Ensure that trash cans and compost containers are secured with lids.
Promptly clean up crumbs or spills and avoid leaving dirty dishes out overnight.
Move fallen trees, leaf piles, and other debris away from the home’s exterior.
Limit moisture by regularly cleaning gutters, repairing leaks, and using a dehumidifier if necessary.
Is It Necessary To Contact A Professional Pest Controller?
Odorous house ants are very fast and elusive meddlers. Some property owners mistakenly take matters into their own hands by purchasing store-bought aerosol sprays, baiting products, or granular insecticides that are purported as being an easy solution for eliminating these infestations. Unfortunately, these options are commonly insufficient; therefore, you are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from a certified professional.
Licensed Provider Of Residential Pest Extermination Services In South Bend
The team of experienced pest control technicians at Termishield Termite & Pest Protection has been providing safe and effective solutions for South Bend property owners. We strive to maintain compliance with the latest EPA guidelines for protecting customers and the local environment. Our Green Choice Pest Control Plan involves using natural products that are botanically-based to minimize risk.
We also have recently developed three comprehensive recurring home protection plans that prevent problems associated with ants, stinging insects, rodents, and many other troublesome intruders. These programs include the Shield Advantage, Shield Premier, and Shield Premier Plus plans that ensure results all year long. We look forward to speaking with you ASAP!