When ants get into a home, they can present many issues for a homeowner, and for a family. Ants aren't just nuisance pests. While carpenter ants have gained notoriety over other species for their ability to damage homes, they're not the only ant that can cause trouble. Today, we're going to focus on the insect known as Tapinoma sessile, or the odorous house ant.
Odorous house ants are brown or black and range in size from 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch. Like all ants, they have 6 legs, 2 antennae, and 3 body parts. Though it is hard to see because odorous house ants are so small, these ants have 1 node between the thorax and abdomen. One way to look for this is to capture an ant with a piece of tape and use a magnifying glass to examine it.
If you have odorous house ants, this is what you should know in regards to how dangerous they are:
- These ants are not linked to the spread of human pathogens.
- Like all ants, they can spread harmful bacteria when they crawl around in trash and other dirty places and then crawl around on dishes, silverware, food prep surfaces, or when they get into stored foods.
- Though rare, these ants can bite. The bites aren't painful.
- They release an unpleasant odor when crushed.
- They enter homes in large numbers.
Some Ideas to Help Control Odorous House Ants
- They prefer sweets. Outside of a home, they can be found searching for honeydew on plants. The more plants you have near your foundation walls, the more likely you will get an infestation of these ants.
- They prefer moisture. When you correct moisture problems around your home you can impact how many of these ants you'll have. Fix leaky spigots, unclog gutters, trim tree branches, trim shrubs, loosen soil to eliminate standing water, and remove objects that capture rainwater.
- They prefer humidity. These ants will feel welcome inside a home if the humidity is high. Consider using dehumidifiers to make them feel unwelcome.
- They don't chew their way in. These ants will exploit entry points, especially around windows and doors. Examine your exterior walls and seal any holes, gaps, or cracks you find.
Need help figuring out what kind of ants you're dealing with? New Jersey residents can reach out to ChemTec Pest Control for a free inspection by going here. We'll help you figure out what's "bugging" you.