Ant control sometimes means dealing with the aptly named odorous ant. Known to science as Tapinoma sessile, it is also called the coconut ant and the stink ant.
Why is this Ant Odorous?
When this species is crushed, it leaves a pungent smell behind which has been variously likened to rotting coconuts, turpentine, rancid butter, blue cheese, cleaning solution, or piña coladas gone bad – your choice!
How do they Live?
Like most other ants, odorous ants are highly social. They live in seasonal polydomous, polygynous colonies. Translated – a single colony consists of many nests (polydomous) and many reproducing queens (polygynous). Colonies can be made up of tens of thousands of individuals, and these multiple nests will combine into one nest with the onset of winter when food becomes scarce.
What do they Eat?
The odorous ant has a “sweet tooth” and enjoys feeding on honeydew from scale insects, aphids, and mealybugs, floral nectar, and other sugary foods. Once inside a home, they will eat and contaminate every kind of food.
Where do they Nest?
Inside a home they are very opportunistic – they can be found in insulation, close to heat sources, and in plants. In gardens, their colonies can be found beneath rocks or exposed soil.
How to Control Them?
- Keep an eye out for odorous ants towards the close of winter and in early spring (particularly following rain).
- Make sure there is no standing water that can attract ants or other insects.
- Trim plants back from house walls so that ants can’t use them as platforms to move inside.
- Seal or caulk joints, cracks, and holes, especially if they are close to the ground.
- Move any rocks, firewood or other materials away from house walls.
- Talk to an ant control expert. A professional pest control company has the know-how to get rid of odorous ants and other insect infestation problems.