Its name is derived from the pungent, rotten, coconut-like odor given off when the worker ant is crushed. It is a native species and is found throughout the United States.
Workers are monomorphic, about 1/16-1/8″ (2.4-3.25 mm) long. Their bodies are brown to black, with 12-segmented antenna, without a club. Their thorax lacks spines, with an unevenly rounded profile. Their pedicel is 1-segmented, with a small node concealed from view from above. A gaster with a slit-like anal opening lacks a circlet of hairs. A stinger is absent.
Colonies may be composed of several hundred to 100,000 ants usually with many queens. Developmental time is 34-83 days, varying with temperature during summer months, though it may take up to 6-7 months during the winter. Colonies typically produce 4-5 generations a year. The first swarmers appear from May to mid-July, with workers and queens living for several years. Individuals from different colonies are not hostile to one another and workers normally move along trails.
Inside, these ants usually construct their nests in wall voids especially around hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks and cupboards. These ants prefer sweets but also eat foods with high protein content and grease such as meats and cheese.
Outside they are usually found in larger nests, sometimes in exposed soil, but mostly under objects. Workers feed on insects, seek honeydew and plant secretions, and even feed on seeds. They are most likely to enter buildings when their honeydew supply is reduced such as during rainy weather or with leaf fall in the autumn.
When workers are alarmed, they run around in an erratic manner with their gasters or abdomens raised up.
If you think you might have an infestation of odorous house ants, we recommend hiring an expert sooner rather than later. Since 1989, Hartz Pest Control has served the greater Houston area with knowledgeable and dependable service. Contact us to help get rid of your problem today.