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Odorous House Ants

Odorous House Ants

Quick Reference Facts

Common Name: Odorous House Ants
Common Traits: Color: Brown to black, Shape: Segmented; Oval, Size: 1/16 - 1/8", Region: Found throughout the U.S.
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Prevention Methods

  • Clean up spills and crumbs on counter tops
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Seal cracks and small openings around bottom of home


This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These ants are one of the most common pests in the United States!


Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially honeydew. Indoors, they are likely to nest near moisture sources, such as in wall voids near hot water pipes, in heaters, beneath leaky fixtures in bathrooms, under kitchen or bathroom sinks and also in wood damaged by termites. Outside, they are often found in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood, lumber or bricks.


These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.

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Information provided by the National Pest Management Association