The Odorous Ant
Odorous ants, a native species in most of the United States, are anything but pleasant. These foul-smelling pests are often confused with pavement ants, but knowing the difference between the two species will help you eradicate an infestation more quickly and effectively.
HOW TO IDENTIFY ODOROUS ANTS
These small ants are less than 3.3 millimeters in length and sport dark brown to black bodies. They have unevenly shaped thoraxes as well. However, you aren’t likely to identify odorous ants just based on these characteristics alone–instead, you will likely suspect an odorous ant infestation if you notice that the ants you crush emit an unpleasant smell–one that many describe as being similar to the smell of rotting coconut.
Appearance, Behavior, and Signs
Odorous ants tend to forage for food during both night and daytime hours. They prefer to eat honeydew from aphids and mealybugs, but often move inside homes during the fall, when that food supply begins to dwindle. Inside your home, they will eat just about anything, preferring meat, sugary foods, dairy, and vegetables.
These ants build their nests beneath soil, logs, debris, and rocks, but will also build nests in doors. They typically come inside during rainy weather, and will set up shop behind water pipes, wall crevices, carpets, or floors.
Like all other ants, these ants live in large colonies, some of which can contain over 100,000 individuals. Queens produce thousands of workers. New colonies are created as a result of swarms, when the colony produces new offspring who move out of the nest, mate, and establish a new colony. This process generally occurs in the summer months. Eggs hatch and develop into adults in about 30 to 90 days.