How To Rid Your Home Of Odorous House Ants

We are dead in the middle of summer. Maryland has been incredibly hot and humid. 

When it’s this hot and humid, you can count on the ants to ratchet up the infestation of your home. You may have seen a few in your home already. It’s frustrating that they get in, even if you are good about keeping your doors and windows closed. 

We have a few ways you can combat one particular ant, the Odorous House Ant. They are also known as “coconut ants” or “stink ants”. These tiny bugs are only 2.0-3.2mm long. They are dark brown or black with a node hidden by their abdomen. ***

Their thorax is an irregular, uneven shape. If they are scared or crushed, they let loose a bad odor that smells like rotten coconuts. This is completely different from other ants.  Carpenter and citronella ants can also emit foul odors. Citronella ants’ odor smells like citric acid. Carpenter ants’ odors smell like vinegar. 

Some important facts about odorous house ants: 

  1. It has four stages: egg, Larva, pupa, and adult.
  2. It takes them 34 to 83 days to develop all of the four stages.
  3. When crushed, they smell like rotten coconuts.
  4. Their bad smell acts as a defense mechanism and warns other ants against danger.
  5. They can contaminate food.
  6. They do not bite or sting.
  7. Some sprays cause them to split and form sub-colonies as they scatter.

So, if you have encountered these smelly pests, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Mix 120ml of white vinegar and 60ml of water, Spray the ants directly so they will die.
  2. Put cotton balls into holes where they have been entering the home. 
  3. Use this solution to wipe their tracks so that they won’t follow each other into the house. Vinegar destroys the pheromones that they use to invite other worker ants into the house. 
  4. Use the same 120/60ml ratio to make a solution of cinnamon or lemon to repel odorous ants.

The most effective way to control odorous house ants is to locate their nests. If you find their trails it’s much easier to get rid of the ants. This will definitely keep them out of the home. 

Other steps you can take are to remove your pets’ feeding bowls after they have finished eating, Empty dog or cat food dishes attract odorous ants. Also, thoroughly clean up food that is spilled on the floor as worker ants are constantly searching for food. A clean kitchen and dining area will keep them from being attracted to your home. 

If you are having difficulty removing odorous house ants or other pests from your home, have Pest Shield, Inc. inspect your home and do bed bug removal. We provide solutions with the client and the environment in mind, which can kill all stages of odorous house ants. Call us at (301) 829-0060 for a free inspection.

We serve residential and commercial properties in Mt. Airy, MD, Frederick County, Montgomery County, Howard County, and Carroll County, Maryland.  

*** For more information, visit the Maryland Biodiversity Project website.  

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Posted in ants and termites