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Pest Highlight: Odorous House Ants

02/20/2019

Here at Magic Pest Management ants are the most common insects our homeowners request pest control services for. The three most common ant pest in New York City, and Nassau County are; carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants. However, the list is much longer for ants that plague homeowners and businesses around the country. Ants are social creatures that when present occur in large numbers. Social insects have a division of labor; kings for mating and queens that lay eggs, workers that gather food and take care of the young, and soldiers that protect the colony. There is an overlap of generations, and ants care for brood. Management can be complicated because elimination of the queen is important to eliminate the infestation. There may be one or more queens in a colony. Foragers represent only a small fraction of the entire colony and often this is the only group of ants that homeowners observe.

Their overwhelming numbers may drive homeowners crazy because they prefer to inhabit living areas with moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens. Ants are often attracted to food items and become unwelcome guests in homes. The first step is proper identification of the ant species and then creating a plan of action to eliminate them from the home.

Habits

Odorous house ants like to eat sweets and are especially fond of honeydew. They are known to move their nests in response to rain or disturbance.

Habitat

Indoors, odorous house ants nest near moisture sources, such as in wall voids near hot water pipers, in heaters, beneath leaky fixtures and inside wood damaged by termites. Outside, odorous ants are often found in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood.

Threats

Odorous house ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided. If you notice odorous ants in your property, contact an ant pest control specialist.

If you notice signs of odorous house ants, contact Magic Pest Management immediately to discuss a proper course of odorous ant removal.

Prevention

Pests such as odorous ants are attracted to moisture. To prevent odorous house ants, eliminate standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes odorous ants use these branches to get into the home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of the foundation. Ensure firewood and building materials are up off the ground and away from the home because odorous house ants like to build nests in stacks of wood. Magic Pest Management Technicians are trained to help locate these problems and point them out to you.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous House Ants are an important nuisance ant, they have colonies with multiple queens and many nesting sites. The nest are often temporary and will be found under pieces of wood or debris in the yard. They like to feed on sweets such as honeydew from aphids. If tree and shrubs are touching the house, these ants will used them to enter the home. Since these ant may have multiple queens and sites, there are difficult to control. The workers are all of one size and smell like rotten coconuts when crushed. They do not cause structural damage but since they may be found in large numbers, they often become obnoxious to homeowners. They do not bite or sting.