ODOROUS ANTS


bugs
Odorous House Ants are commonly found trailing through kitchens of homes. Because it makes only shallow nests, this ant is most likely to move in after heavy rains. This ant is little, but fast. They usually travel in lines, but if they are disturbed or alarmed they will quickly break ranks and run around erratically and release the odor as they run. But their odor is not the only unique thing about these tiny ants. They move their homes so often that if they were winged, they could have their own frequent flier program. During the summer, these ants will move their nests as often as every three weeks, and that’s not easy to do when you have thousands of ants and multiple colonies in each nest. They can nest anywhere like under stones, logs, mulch, debris and in the nests of birds or mammals.

Characteristics

• Workers are all the same size, small, 1/8-inch long
• Dark brown to shiny black
• Thorax uneven in shape when viewed from side
• Very strong odor when crushed or when run to escape
• Feed on both dead and living insects, favoring aphid and scale honeydew
• Travel in both wandering patterns and set trails
• Trails common along branches of trees, foundations, sidewalks, baseboards, and edges of carpets.
• When disturbed, become erratic with their abdomens raised in the air
• Live in shallow nests in soil under stones, wood, or debris, wooded areas, beaches, wall voids, and around water pipes and heaters
• Large colonies, with up to 10,000 workers and many queens

Prevention

• Follow good sanitation practices and focus efforts on excluding ants from buildings.
• Caulk cracks and crevices around foundations that provide entry from outside.
• Eliminate food sources inside the building or prevent access to suitable food by keeping it in ant-proof containers and clean up sugary spills.
• Provide a dry, vegetation-free border, such as gravel or stones, around the perimeter of house foundations to discourage nest building; wood chip mulches and landscape plants provide a good nesting environment.
• Remove trees that consistently host ants and are adjacent to houses.

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