How to Get Rid Of Odorous House Ants

Odorous or stinky ants are one of the most common ants that are likely to invade your home. These ants will squeeze in cracks, crevices or anywhere they find safe in pursuit of food and shelter. Harsh or unfavorable conditions are some of the reasons odorous ants will invade your home. How do you get rid of odorous house ants? Do they bite? Are they dangerous?

How to Get Rid of Odorous Ants

A small infestation of odorous house is likely not to cause any problem. But if they have established colonies in and around your house, they can be a problem. In fact if not controlled, they can bring in some diseases. You should therefore strive to get rid of an infestation of odorous house ants.

This post has outlined in details information and fact about odorous house ants and instructions on how to get rid of them including natural remedies to deal with this problem.

Odorous House Ants Infestation

Generally, ants will invade your home for one basic reason food and probably shelter. Although these tiny ants don’t look like much of a bother, but their infestation can quickly grow out of control. In terms of size, they are not big but they tend to build quite large colonies. This should be a cause of concern. They move in search of food in most cases leftovers on your kitchen counters.

How to Tell If You Have an Odorous House Infestation

Just a couple of ants crawling across the floor might not necessarily point to an odorous house ant infestation. A few ants can wander into you home searching for food. However, signs of infestation of odorous house ants include:

Nest – these stinky house ants tend to build their nest near a reliable food supply, often moving to crating new colonies indoors.

Trails – as soon as they find a meal, they leave pheromone trails behind signaling other ants to follow. In the end, you will see long lines of ants moving in speed to and from the kitchen counters, cabinets or cupboards.

Odor – when you crush the ants, odorous house ants they release a stinky smell; one that can be compared to overripe banana or rotten coconut.

If you notice any of the three signs in your home, then possibly you have an infestation of odorous house ants.

Diet – they tend to feed on anything such as insects, honeydew, seeds and plant secretions. Like most of the ants, they prefer sweet things. They are fond of honeydew.

What Do Odorous House Ants Look Like?

Odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, are very tiny ant species. Also known as stink or coconut ants, they are between 2.4 mm to 3.3mm in length. These small ant species are dark brown to black in color. Their antennae of stink ants are 12 in segments and their thorax appears asymmetrical if you view them from vise.

Are Odorous House Ants Dangerous?

Odorous house ants are not known to be dangerous. But if their infestation is larger, they can cause havoc. These very small ant species, can at times carry harmful microorganism into you house from outdoor waste bins. If you don’t store your food properly, they can cause contamination that can cause health risks.

These types of ants’ species are known to be tolerant and the queen can survive highly tolerant cold or hot conditions. This can make it quite difficult to eliminate them. The more reason not to ignore the odorous house ants’ infestation at very early stages.

Do Odorous House Ants Bite?

Naturally, odorous house ants are not known to be aggressive in nature. They don’t bite or cause any form of pain to human and pets. They don’t have stingers. But their large number can be irritating and in most cases, just like any other ant species, they will try defend their colony from invaders and they can try to bite just to protect themselves. Their bite is however don’t cause much pain.

Where do odorous house ants live?

Naturally, odorous house ants are native to the United States, North America. You are likely to find them in Canada, Mexico, West Coat, and the Atlantic Coast. They can also be found in different areas of New England.

The stink ants tend to live both in outdoor and indoor settings where they build their habitats in hollow trees, under stones, moist soil, and moist logs, under bricks or pavements. Indoor settings, they are likely to be found in crack, crevice and any other openings like behind cabinets, beneath kitchen sinks and any other moist places in your house.

Do odorous ants smell like chemicals when you kill or crush them

Most people instinctively whenever they spot an ant in their house would kill them by stepping or crushing them. Do odorous ants smell like chemicals when you kill or crush them? These type of ants will produce a foul smell like rotten coconut when you squash them thus the name odorous ants or stinky ants.

How to Get Rid of Stinky Ants

The smell can be compare to some rotten food due to similarities with penicillium mold smell. The smell is more or less like chemicals compounds produces when food is rotting. Some people refer to the smell as that of cleaning products, bleu cheese or rancid butter.

Odorous House Ants Vs Argentine Ants: Differences

At times, some people find it hard to differentiate between odorous and argentine ants. To them, they find the two to bear striking resemblance. Both are small with a similar coloration. However, these two types of ants have distinctive differences.

It is easy to separate the two precisely from their smell when they are crushed. While argentine ants have a subtle musty smell, the odorous house ants are known to be produce a coconut –like rotting smell.

Argentine ants are aggressive in nature if you compare the two. Argentine ants are likely to kill or displace other ants when they move into a new area. Both can be difficult to control if they are left untreated. Keep on reading to learn how to get rid of odorous house ants.

Odorous House Ants vs Carpenter Ants – Differences

These two type of ant species can be differentiated from their appearance and size. Odorous house ants are slightly smaller compared to carpenter ants. While odorous house ants are about 3 mm long, the carpenter ants are 12 mm long.

Odorous house ants are dark brown to black in color while the carpenter ants are reddish to blackish. Carpenter ants usually produces formic acid when crushed which is close to vinegar while odorous house ants tend to produce coconut like rotting smell when squashed. Carpenter ants tend to cause structural damage especially on wooden structures while on the other hand odorous ants do not cause any damage on structures.

How to Get Rid of Odorous House Ants

 Follow this instructions to get rid of odorous house ants.

1. Inspect the infested area

First and simple step when dealing with odorous house ants is to investigate or inspect the ants’ nesting site, mounds and all access points of the ants. Look for entry points where the ants will come into your house. Areas such as walls, voids, cracks and narrow openings are the prime points of ants. You are likely to find odorous ants living in these areas.

2. Applying insecticides & Ant Killers

Once you are done inspecting, the next and important point is to apply insecticides or ant killers. At this stage, you have option to choose one or a multiple treatment to eliminate the odorous ants.

Below we have provided a number of treatment options to get rid of odorous house ants.

Ant Baits or Ant Traps for Odorous House Ants

Ant baits or traps is one of the most effective method for getting rid of house ants. Place as many baits as possible especially near their nest and on the ant trails. Ants after consuming the bait, they will take some of it to the colony. The poison will kill the whole colony including the queens.

The process of baiting is quite slow but effective. There are a quite a number of baits such as sugar –based and greasy or protein based.

Terro 1806 Outdoor Liquid Bait

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This liquid outdoor bait contain borax which act as an active ingredient that kills odorous house ants. It has sugar to bait the ants to kill the ants both indoor and outdoor treatment.

TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Bait

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This is one of the best ant killer product online. It is simple to use, just put pre-filled baits stations near the infested area to effectively get rid of the ants.

Rescue Ant Bait

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This ant bait is also a good ant killer for indoor infestation. It is a fast acting dual formula get bait. Again borax is the active ingredient used to kill ants effectively.

Bayer 10069 Maxforce Fc Killer Gel

This bait is effective to get rid of odorous house ants. You can apply directly near cracks, crevices and in other infested areas. The active ingredient in this product is Fipronil, it is effective against odorous house ants.  

Dust Treatment for Odorous House Ants

You can also use insecticide dust to effectively get rid of odorous house ants. The dust powder kills the ants directly when it comes in contact with them. The best way to do it is to apply inside the cracks and walls.

Bayer Delta Dust Insecticide

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This dust insecticide is the recommended for outdoor and indoor use. The dust directly kills the ants and many other pests. It remains effective for up to 8 months after application.

TERRO T600 Ant Dust

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This dust ant killer can kill most ant species including odorous house ants. It is ready to use ideal for cracks or crevices can be used to treat both indoor and outdoor infested areas.

3. Prevent Re-Infestation of Odorous House Ants

How best to deal with an infestation of odorous house ants is to prevent their invasion. You have to maintain cleanliness and to remove all the factors that can attract them to your house. You have to start to remove all the moist wood logs, wood shaving, bricks piles and debris.

In your house, you can start by sealing all the holes, cracks or narrow spaces that can shield the odorous ants from invading your house. Always try to keep your kitchen and bathroom dry. Fix all the leaky pipelines.

How to Get Rid of Odorous House Ants Naturally

Odorous house ants are easy to deal with. There are several ways to get rid of odorous house naturally. Here are some of the ways to deal with the stinky ants naturally at home.

Vinegar spray

To prepare vinegar spray, mist equal parts of water and vinegar. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and apply it directly on the ants and their trails. Spray some of the mixture in the wall cracks, crevices and other places you suspect the ants live.

Dish Soap and Water Spray

This mixture of water and dish soap is just as effective as any other natural home remedy. Prepare the solution by mixing equal parts of liquid soap and water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle. Apply the spray on the ants including their trails and in places such as wall cracks, crevices and all other ants’ access points.

Ground Coffee

Like any other homemade natural repellent, ground coffee is effective in getting rid of odorous house ants. Sprinkle ground coffee on the ants’ pheromone and around your kitchen including walls of your house and all tiny spaces to prevent odorous house ants from invading your house


Cornstarch is another safe and effective natural remedy to kill stinky house ants. Apply the cornstarch on the ants directly and some of it near the ant trails. If the worker ants take some of the ground coffee to their nest to feed other ants, they will die and eventually the entire colony will be eliminated


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