Before we explore how to get rid of odorous house ants we need to know what they are.  How do you know if those brown or black pests in your home (or garden) are this ant species?  Odorous house ants are also called coconut or stink ants.  The odorous house ant scientific name is tapinoma sessile.

Odorous ants are brown, black,  or dark brown. The odorous house ant is small--around 1.5 -3 mm long making this one tiny pest.

What attracts odorous ants?

Similar to other ants, odorous house ants like moisture or water.  Odorous ants will attempt to get at that moisture by any means. They may even use tree branches beside a house to get inside.  Ensure the foundation of your house has no tiny openings or cracks to squeeze through. Also, make sure there is no standing water in areas near the foundation of your home.

How does the odorous house ant get that name?

Odorous house ants emit a heavy scent of rotten coconut when they are crushed.  This is where they get their name.  This pest measures in at a tiny one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch in length, these ants are very small.


Are house ants polymorphic?

Odorous house ants are brown or black in color and very tiny--approximately 3 mm or ⅛ inch long.  Workers are this size as well. Within a (polymorphic) colony of several thousand (100,000 workers), there may be multiple queens.  The odorous house ant is related closely to the ghost ant; however, but their coloring and size characterize them apart.

What is that scent when you kill an ant?

When an odorous house ant is crushed it releases a putrid odor similar to rotten coconut.  The odor is where they get their nickname-- “coconut ants”.  Odorous house ants emit an odor when they are killed. This acts as a warning to another odorous house sessile in the colony something bad has happened.

Are odorous house ants dangerous?

These tiny ants are not so dangerous as they are a pest and nuisance.  Odorous house ants contaminate the foods as they forage around. They look through your house for food sources to take to the nest.

How do odorous ants threaten a home?

Odorous sessile pose the biggest threat to the foods we store in our kitchen. This is the most susceptible room where ants like to start an ant infestation. This room is where all the good food is- sugary foods, dairy products, fruit juices, and even raw vegetables.

Odorous house ants do pose health issues as they are known to transmit to humans harmful diseases like Salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella (this condition often results in bloody diarrhea).  It is recommended that your food is stored in airtight containers. Odorous ants will quickly rush toward sugary foods when they smell them.

Why do dead ants smell like they do?

Odorous house ants are also called “the sweet ants”. This nickname is because when they are crushed they emit a smell much like rotten coconut.  Ants use this smell as a mechanism for defense. It sends other ants in the colony a warning that there is something wrong and danger is present. It also might have ants bury their dead.

What are Argentine Ants?

There is another invasive pest called Argentine ants. They are attracted to waste and decay, it is common for these tiny animals to take shelter in wall voids or near water pipes around a house.

Do these house ants bite?

The odorous house ant is more of a perpetual pest who likes to get inside the common areas to find food.  These pests don’t bite or sting, they do contaminate the food they find when this ant species gets in your home.

Where do these pests live?

The ant species known as odorous house ants may live outside as well as inside a home.  These ants like to build nests or colonies in exposed soil they find under boards, logs, stones, debris, or mulch. Sometimes they make their way into a building. One may find odorous ants prefer an infestation indoors in the fall when the weather is rainy.

What do these ants eat?

The favorite treat for an odorous ant is the sweet juices created by mealybugs and aphids.  Odorous ants collect the sweet stuff these insects release as they are eating plants.  The odorous house ants then bring this sweet snack back to the nest to share with the rest of the odorous ant colony.

How can I remove them overnight?

To be rid of this pest overnight you will first have to gather a few items:

  • A cup of hot water
  • One-half cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Borax
  • A few cotton balls

Mix the first three items in the above list into a liquid concoction. Now soak the cotton balls in this solution.  Place one soaked cotton ball at the entrance to or wherever you have seen a trail of these pests.

What’s a fast way to rid them outside?

When you have an ant infestation outdoors, we have a quick way to control them. Here is a do-it-yourself pest control technique. Make a mixture of half-cup vinegar and a cup of water. Locate a spray bottle from a discount or hardware store and pour this liquid into it.  Now spritz the vinegar and water mixture generously on each nest found.  Another home method of control is a soapy concoction of hot water and dish detergent.

How long does it take to be rid of them?

This is dependent on the size of the ant colony or nests you are removing. Are there multiple colonies within the ant infestation? Typically, it will take 7 - 10 days for you to see a reduction in sessile ant colonies.

What regions are the most popular for them?

This tiny ant known as the odorous house ant is found in southern Canada, Mexico, and the United States.  Odorous house ants are common and found throughout every state within the continental United States. Living in various environments, they have been found throughout a variety of regions from sea level and above.

How can I be rid of stink ants?

One can get rid of odorous ants by using gel bait.  These baits are typically the best way to repel and rid complete nests or colonies.

Call a professional

When home and store remedies of ant control are not successful it is time to call someone who knows odorous house ants.  Call the team with ant in the name. An all rights reserved company known as A.N.T. Pest Control. This pest control company knows the best treatment methods to get rid of the tapinoma sessile.  When other methods of pest control against odorous house ants are not working, call the best in pest control services.


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