Missy Henriksen: Hi! I am Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association and today we're talking about odorous house ants. What they are and how you can keep them out of your house.
Odorous House ants get there name from the distinct smell they give off when they're crushed, it's an odor something like a rotten coconut. They're very small they don't get much bigger then 8th of an inch and they nest just about anywhere, in exposed soils, cracks in a wall, under rocks or even behind cabinets.
One odorous house ant can live for several years; they're especially common on the east cost and Mid Atlantic areas of the United States. Odorous house ant like to eat sweets, if there is food sitting out in your kitchen then they may migrate indoors. These ants won't do any structural damage to your home and they don't pose a public health risk, but that doesn't mean you want them in your house, they can contaminate food and there are a nuisance. So take steps to avoid an infestation.
To keep odorous house ants away get rid of any standing water in your yard, moisture tends to attracts ants and other pests. Keep plants and branches cut back from the exterior walls of your house and see for any cracks or holes especially where utility pipes enter your home.
Check around the kitchen and make sure food is contained and sealed tightly. Especially sweet pantry staples like syrup, molasses and sugar. And check your fruit bowl, any overripe fruit will attract ants. If you have pets keep an eye in there water and fruit bowls and clean them regularly.
If you think you may have an infestation of odorous house ants in your home or yard contact a licensed pest professional to treat the problem and get your house ant free.