Ants in your home?
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During the late spring and throughout the summer, there are small black and brownish ants you may find all over your home and property. There are a lot of species of ants out there, but one of the most common across North America is the Odorous House Ant, which is also sometimes called a sugar ant, stink ant or coconut ant. They are a social species with some unique characteristics, including the fact they release a distinct odor when crushed.
These ants will get into food and create a trail across your kitchen, which can be unsightly and disturbing. If you find you have an odorous house ant invasion going on around your property, contact an Ehrlich Pest Control specialist today.
The odorous house ant is part of the Tapinoma sessile species of ant. They are a social ant species, meaning they live in large colonies with one or even two queens and multiple nests located in close proximity to each other. They forage for food, like most other social ant species, and are capable of adapting to a number of environments, including indoors in residences or businesses.
Odorous house ants will forage for food, leaving a trail to where the food has been found, and returning to the nests. Other worker ants then follow this chemical trail to the food and this can lead to a line of ants across a kitchen floor and kitchen counters and other areas.
Odorous house ants will eat a diverse number of foods. Just about any food left open to the air the ants can find, they will start to pick apart and take back to their nest. However, their alternate name, sugar ants, probably gives the best indication of the type of food they prefer.
If it’s sweet, these ants will go for it. In the wild, they eagerly eat honeydew, which is a sweet substance produced by aphids. They also eat floral nectars, but inside, they will eat candy, sugar, fruits and other foods high in sucrose.
The nest for odorous house ants can be found in a number of places. Outdoors, they can be found among rocks, but will also build mounds in exposed soil.
Indoors, the ants will prefer to find areas where they have easy access to heat registers to keep themselves warm during cooler months. Nests have been found in attics among insulation, but also inside house plants and even under toilet seats.
In general, odorous house ants do not bite people. They are very small, and not looking to bite people. They are looking for sugary foods to bring back to their nests and are not known to defend against predators or threats the way fire ants have been known to. It is not impossible that an ant, if handled, might bite, but it would be very rare and likely pose no danger to the person bitten.
The best way to get rid of odorous house ants is to prevent them from entering at all. Since they are very small, making sure doors and door sweeps close tightly and do not leave gaps to the outdoors is key. Make sure there are no hole so cracks in walls, screens or the roof where ants might be able to get inside.
If there is an infestation of odorous house ants, you have to be careful about getting rid of them. Crushing them will allow them to emit the harsh odor that gives them their name. Since their invasion forces can be quite large, trying to crush all of them can lead to an intense smell that is very unpleasant.
Removing their food source is important. Seal up foods and remove any open containers and lock up sugary foods. Cleaning the floors to wipe out the chemical trails is important and will remove any sugary debris left behind on floors or counters.
The best way to get rid of odorous house ants, any other ants, or other pest infestations, is to consult with an Ehrlich Pest Control specialist. Our specialists can identify the species of ant more effectively, figure out how they are getting in, what they are attracted to, and how to most effectively get rid of them and prevent a return.
Don’t just live with odorous house ants in the house. Get rid of ants by contacting Ehrlich today!