Odorous House Ant

Odorous House ant

Odorous House ant


Identification

The odorous house ant is a small ant about 2 mm to 4 mm long, and is brown to black in colour. When crushed, the ant will give off a “rancid butter” smell which is an identifying characteristic. The worker ant will raise its abdomen in the air when alarmed.

Odorous House ant

Odorous House Ant


Behaviour

The odorous house ant lives in colonies outside under stones, logs or debris. It can also nest indoors in wall or floor voids near heat sources such as hot water pipes and heaters. Colonies have approximately 10,000 ants and many queens, each laying one egg per day. Each egg develops into an adult in approximately 1 to 3 months, and the adult ant can live for several years. The odorous house ant forages for food indoors during early spring, and it is attracted to sweet foods such as sugars, jams and spilled juice.

Prevention

Since the ant is seeking food when foraging indoors, it is important to keep sweet foods in tightly sealed containers. Clean food spills immediately and thoroughly. Remove kitchen garbage often and otherwise keep food preparation areas clean. The ant can enter the home from exterior cracks and gaps, such as cracks in the foundation or around plumbing. Seal these cracks and gaps thoroughly.

Control

Consult a pest professional to advise you on treatment options.