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Odorous House Ants:
Elimination, Biology, Description

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Biology and identification of odorous house ants
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When crushed, the workers of this species give off an odor which resembles that of rotten coconut, giving them their odd name.  There is only one size worker in their colonies; they are usually about 1/8 inch in length.  The odorous house ant is dark brown to black in color, has 12 segments in its antennae, no circle of hairs on tip of abdomen, no club on the antennae, one node, and has an uneven thorax when viewed from the side.  Do not confuse this ant with the Ghost Ant, which is smaller and is not as dark in color.
This ant infests structures in certain areas of the country, especially in the mid South regions, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.  In areas where the Argentine ant is a major pest, you will be less likely to see the odorous house ant.

This ant is very opportunistic, living a variety nesting sites, moving constantly to avoid the perils of inclimate weather conditions.  Not only will you find huge super colonies, but many satellite colonies located close to the main colony.   These different colonies do not fight for food, but rather like to exchange food, workers and larvae between the different colony units.  Odorous House Ants feed on living and dead insects but are particular fond of the sweet honey dew produced by aphids, scales and mealybugs.  If found inside structures, these ants will eat many available foods but again prefer to feed on sweets.  These ants will forage during the day and the night.
The size of colonies, number of workers, wide variety of food sources and multiple queens per colony make this a formidable foe to eradicate.

Inspecting and location
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Indoor Inspection

When inspecting for odorous house ants indoors, pay close attention to baseboards, edges of carpets, window sills and other such areas.  These pests are active foragers, so they should not be hard to locate.  Once ant trails have been found, follow the trails back to their nest or outdoor wall where they might have entered the structure.

Outdoor Inspection

Foraging trails and colonies are often found outside along foundations, beneath and behind vegetation, ground cover, decorative timbers or stones and mulch.   Gently rake back any such material to help locate outdoor nests.  Look beneath all objects touching the soil.
Odorous house ants will make shallow colonies in the soil, nest under construction materials and other such areas mentioned above.  These ants can survive in a variety of habitats, but if excessive moisture is found, it will help to implement measures to reduce the moist conditions: redirect sprinkler heads, repair leaky faucets, etc.

Odorous house ant elimination
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Without proper inspection, locating all possible nests and nesting sites, you will not be able to establish good control over these pests!

Indoor pesticide applications:
f ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS have invaded your home, spray Cypermethrin along baseboards, window sills, around plumbing or where ants are most often seen.  If none have been found indoors, skip down to Outdoor Pesticide Application.
Look for and spray any possible entry point or hiding place.  Our Chapin sprayer has an adjustable tip for spraying entry points and baseboards or for slowly drenching ant mounds.  If you have determined that the ants have established colonies in your walls, it may be necessary to apply an insecticide dust (Delta Dust is the best) to any void where you suspect ant or other insect activity.   Use a Crusader Duster for applying Delta Dust to wall voids, cracks and crevices.  For smaller infestations, insecticide dust might not be needed.
If you know there are a great deal of these ants in your walls (or other inaccessible areas) but cannot locate them for dust application, bait indoors with Maxforce Complete Insect BaitOnly use baits as a last resort, when dealing with the Odorous House Ant.  This ant species does not respond well to baits.
When using baits, do not use insecticide sprays or dusts in the same area.  Insecticides will contaminate your bait.

Outdoor pesticide applications:
Once all ant colonies have been located, treating the nests is quite simple.  All visible mounds must be drenched (or soaked) with high volume of Cypermethrin under low pressure.  Simply "fan-spraying" the surface of individual mounds does not work.  Each nest needs to be thoroughly drenched.
All mulch needs to be sprayed.  These pests will often thrive in the damp organic materials we use around our homes and in landscaping.  Also spray a barrier around your home; an area 4 to 6 feet wide around the structure should suffice.
Fan spray all tree trunks and soil adjacent to the trunk.  Also, fan spray all landscape timbers, decorative stones and rocks, or any other object which might look inviting to odorous house ants and other insect pests.

Order Products for Ant Elimination

Summary of Odorous House Ant Elimination

Use Cypermethrin (Demon EC, Cynoff EC, Cypermethrin EC) for spraying inside and out, and for drenching existing mounds and colonies.
Treat (spray) beneath any object which might harbor ants.
Fan-spray tree trunks, mulch and a good ground perimeter around your home.
Treat any crack or crevice that might serve as a hiding place or entry point, both inside your home and on the outside surface with Demon or Cynoff.
Use Delta Dust in cracks, crevices, hiding places and along plumbing lines when exterminating indoor ant populations.

Order Ant Elimination Products

Click on any individual product or Ant Exterminator Kit for information on how to order on-line.  If you prefer, call our toll-free number to place your order.  Call 1-800-434-4555 during week-day business hours.

Professional Pest Control Products
6920 Pine Forest Road
Pensacola, Florida   32526



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