They get their name from the fact that they produce a bad odor when they get upset or attacked. Experts say it smells like rotten coconuts ( I have never smelled a rotten coconut but I can tell you that they definitely have a bad smell)
Odorous ants have a sweet tooth. They like sweets and are especially fond of honey dew but the will eat meats and dead insects.
They are known to move their nests every 3 weeks or so in the summer.
Their nests are very shallow so in heavy rains they need to move frequently to prevent drowning.
These ants do not pose a health risk but they can contaminate food. Throwing out contaminated food is recommended to prevent food poisoning.
Odorous ants do not bite or sting.
This ant measures 2.4 mm-3.3 mm and is lighter brown or black. Their thorax is unevenly shaped and they have one node on the petiole which is usually hidden by their abdomen.
They travel in lines because they leave a chemical scent behind which enables others to follow. If disturbed the ants will break ranks and will be seen moving fast in all different directions.
Odorous ants go through a complete metamorphosis which can take around 34-83 days depending on conditions.
They tend to make nests near moisture sources inside the home. They can be found in wall voids, in heaters, beneath leaky fixtures and around food sources in the home. Outside they are found in exposed soil, firewood, under rocks, trees, or leaf litter. (We find them a lot in piles of pine needles)
People make the mistake of spraying residual sprays around the home which stress the colony and causes them to split forming sub colonies as they scatter.
These pesky ants are very common in our area and quite honestly are a pain in the rear. Stay tuned for the next segment of odorous house ants…How to prevent Odorous House Ants from taking up residence in your home.