Ants are the 3rd pest problem in the country. Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home.

Odorous House Ant: Facts, Identification & Control

Argentine Ant


Odorous House Ant

Tapinoma sessile


• Odorous house ants give off an unpleasant smell when crushed; some people compare it to rotten coconuts.
Odorous house ants are brown to dark brown;
workers are about 1/10 inch long.
Odorous house ants have the following characteristics:
1) petiole with one node; node is hidden by abdomen, and
2) thorax is uneven in profile (workers only).


Sweets, especially honeydew, and insects. When honeydew is in short supply, odorous house ants can forage indoors for sweets and other foods, including meats.

Nesting Sites:

Nesting Sites: In soil under stones, boards, patio blocks, mulching plastic, and nearly any other object laying on the ground. They can nest in homes in walls voids and under floors. Odorous house ants do not cause structural damage to buildings.

Mating Swarms:

June through July.


Check for outdoor nests, especially under stones, firewood, bricks, and other objects; treat any that are found. If nests are not located, treat the building perimeter with a residual spray. Use commercially available baits effective against sweet-feeding ants.

Pest control:

Control involves application of insecticides in various forms including dusts and liquids. The dusts are injected directly into galleries and voids where the ants are living.
The liquids are applied in areas where foraging ants are likely to pick the material up and spread the poison to the colony upon returning.

These ants are not hard to control, and most ant killers will solve problems, especially if controlled as soon as the problem is noticed.
At this point, they could be put under control in just a few days.
However, the longer someone waits, the larger the population is and the longer it will take to control the situation, possibly a few weeks.
Standing water should be eliminated, as odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. Plants should be trimmed back so they cannot be used to get inside. Cracks, holes and joints should be sealed with polyurethane foam or caulk, especially those that are near the ground.
Firewood, rocks and other materials should not be stored next to a home because it encourages nest building. People should be on the lookout for these ants in late winter and early spring (particularly after rain), as this is when they most commonly appear.

Argentine ants