Odorous Ants: Identification, Habitat, Behavior, and Control

Odorous house ants, scientifically known as Tapinoma sessile, are pervasive pests across many regions globally. Recognized for the peculiar rotten coconut-like smell they emit when crushed, these ants have unique characteristics and behaviors that set them apart from other species. This page offers an all-inclusive guide to identifying, understanding, and controlling these unwanted guests.

Odorous Ants

How to Identify Odorous Ants

Odorous house ants are small, typically measuring between 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch in length. They exhibit a dark brown or black color and have a somewhat unevenly shaped profile, appearing segmented with a hidden or absent stinger.

One of the most distinctive identifiers of these ants is the smell they emit when crushed. As their name suggests, odorous ants release a foul odor reminiscent of rotten coconuts, which is a defense mechanism against predators.

Behavior and Habits

Odorous ants are highly social insects living in extensive colonies, including numerous queens and thousands of workers. They’re known for their nomadic tendencies, often relocating their colonies if disturbed or the environment changes.

These ants are omnivorous, feeding on diverse foods, including sweets, meats, dairy products, and insects. They often trail along sidewalks, walls, or baseboards to find food sources, which can lead them into our homes.

Extermination Techniques

Exterminating odorous ants requires a combination of methods due to their large colony sizes and multiple queen characteristics. Here are common extermination techniques:

  1. Baiting: Using poison bait stations that worker ants carry back to the colony, killing the queens and other ants. It’s crucial to use a variety of baits, as odorous ants’ preferences can change.
  2. Insecticide sprays: Apply insecticides directly onto the ants’ trails or entry points. However, this method only eliminates ants you can see and might not reach the entire colony.
  3. Professional Pest Control: For serious infestations, consider hiring professional ant extermination services that use advanced techniques to eliminate the entire colony.
Odorous Ants Control


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