One of the most common house ants are the odorous house ants or OHAs. Their scientific name is Formicidae, Tapinoma sessile, which comes from the smell of rotten coconut remaining when crushed. These ants are located all over the United States, are extremely small, and brownish-black in color. The OHA will infest both the interior and outside of a building, and their biology makes it hard to manage them. There are several queen OHAs in one colony, often splitting up to become several sub colonies (also known as budding). There is no hostility between sub colony worker ants which makes it easy for them to overcome large spaces.


The Biology of an Odorous House Ant

Another term for the odorous house ant is “tramp ants”. These are ants with some biological attributes making it hard to manage them.  There are several species of tramp ants and their behavior is what makes it hard to maintain an infestation, such as:

  • Several queens within a colony producing new eggs. 
  • The worker ants are identical sizes. 
  • There may be many sub colonies. 
  • Related colonies or sub colonies show no hostility to other worker ants. 
  • Reproduction is done by budding. 
  • They have a diet that is varied and a broad range of habitats for nesting. 
  • Human activities normally are what disperses these ants because they live near humans.
An odorous house ant

How Long do Odorous House Ants Live?

Now that you have discovered an odorous house ant infestation, you likely want to know how long they live and why ants carry dead ants.  These ants have a longevity of around two to three years. Odorous ants have a long lifespan in comparison to the fire ant workers, which is a mere five weeks.

Do Odorous Ants Bite Humans?

Odorous house ants don’t bite or sting humans, however, they travel in great numbers, making them incredible pests. If you think you have an infestation of odorous ants, there are a couple signs. The most obvious hint you have an infestation is seeing the tiny pests foraging about. Another sign is recognizing the winged swarmers as they buzz around looking for food.

What does an Odorous Ants Diet Consist of?

Odorous house ants, which are frequently referred to as little black ants in the house,  will eat almost anything they find inside your house; however, foods high in sugar are their preference. When they are outdoors, they will feed on the nectar found in plant buds and flowers. In addition, they also enjoy eating the honeydew created by aphids.

What is Attractive to Odorous House Ants?

Moisture is the biggest attractant to pests like odorous ants. Therefore, if you want to keep them away, then get rid of any standing water.  In addition, ensure tree branches and plants are kept pruned back away from the windows of your home. These tiny pests like using the branches of trees and plants as a way inside a structure.


A moisture that attracts odorous house ants

When are Odorous Ants Most Active?

During the wet, most typically the rainy season when odorous ants invade a house. They are in search of their favorite supply of natural food, aphid honeydew. Because the rain washes away all the outside vegetation, they naturally come indoors seeking food sources. All year long, ants are active inside homes.  But how do ants survive in winter? Ants overwinter outdoors as larvae or workers, waiting for the warmer temperatures in March and April to emerge and forage.

Are odorous ants nocturnal?

Typically ants do their primary foraging during daylight hours. Yet, with odorous house ants, they forage whether it’s light out or dark. Therefore, if you recognize ants in your room or home at night, you likely have odorous house ants.

What do Odorous Ants Smell Like?

If you crush an odorous house ant you might recognize the scent of blue cheese or rotten coconut. Typically, the biology of odorous house ants are following trails that are well-established as they forage all hours of the day. They like nesting in and around structures, and follow door frames, deck boards, and siding edges.


So How Do You Control Odorous House Ants?

The first step to the control or or management of odorous house ants is inspecting the structure or property. You must locate where the tiny house ants have been nesting and find their foraging trails. Once the pest inspector locates these two important areas, they know where to target traps and apply pesticides. Odorous house ants like nesting near the foundation of a building, underneath trees, and in landscaping areas. The pest control expert is careful not to disturb an OHA nest, due to the fact they relocate rapidly. In order to target nests for applying pesticides, the exterminator will mark nesting areas with something that makes them visible. 

Controlling odorous house ants

The best way to remove odorous house ants is by calling the pest professionals at A.N.T. Pest Control. We know how to kill ants in yard effectively. We prefer to use ant baits, because ants like baits that are made from protein and sugar. In addition, you won’t be able to always count on an insecticide spray for getting rid of odorous house ants. For the primary reason they divide their colonies up into sub colonies, and relocate elsewhere.

Identification of the Species of Ant

After we have located the nests, the next step is identifying what type of ant species we are dealing with. It is imperative for us to know what species of ant is causing the infestation so we understand how best to handle it. Once the species has been identified, we can start a treatment plan according to the pests behavior and biology.



At A.N.T. Pest Control we like to advise all our customers that one treatment may not do the trick. Mother Nature can be a tenacious lady and doesn’t always allow it! Therefore, what do ant exterminators do is set up an ant control treatment to get rid of your odorous ant problem; follow-up is imperative. Additionally, on using the best ant killer outdoor, A.N.T. Pest Control does not want to endanger your children or fur kids with the type of treatment we use. Therefore, if you have small children or pets, please let the technician know ahead of time so we can plan accordingly. 

Contact A.N.T. Pest Control the Odorous Ant Experts

If you think you have an odorous house ant infestation, call the experts on ant control. We have the word ant in our name–A.N.T. Pest Control. We offer our customers a guarantee they will be pleased with our service. However, we cannot promise the issue will be resolved after only one treatment. Sometimes, Mother Nature simply does not allow that to happen!  

When you need help eradicating an odorous ant infestation, call A.N.T. Pest Control.  Call us at (815) 215-7211 and find out how we can make your ant problem disappear!


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