Physical Characteristics

Odorous house ants are 1/16 to 1/8 inches long and black in color. These ants are  known for their pungent smell when crushed, which has been described as similar to rotting coconuts.

Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant


Odorous house ants feed primarily on insects (dead or alive), honeydew, plant secretions, and seeds. An odorous house ant colony may consist of several colonies with 100 to 10,000 ants and many queens. Outdoors, odorous house ants will build nests in exposed soil and under such objects as lumber and bricks, even in honeybee hives. Indoors, nests are usually found near sources of moisture in wall voids, near water heaters, plumbing, and even under toilets. Odorous house ants love the sweet, carbohydrate-rich honeydew produced by aphids and scale insects, and during wet weather or autumnal leaves falling, when they don’t have access to honeydew, they will enter buildings looking for food.


The first order of business with odorous house ants is to seek out their nests. Dusts and baits can be effective, but for a comprehensive treatment that will locate and contain all the hidden places this ant can nest, call Clark Pest Control.

Latin name: Tapinoma sessile