Quantcast The Odorous House Ant

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Treat nests,  Use pressurized gas
commonly move their colonies inside between the
aerosols to penetrate nest galleries.
foundation and sill plate. Outside, pavement ants tend
Treat cracks and entry points.
honeydew-producing insects, and feed on other insects
and seeds.
Pavement ants store debris in certain areas of the
colony or nest. When this area is needed for nest
Follow-up is usually not needed, but where
expansion, workers clean out the junk accumulation
control is not achieved, an intense inspection is
and dump it. Colonies located on foundation walls
drop debris over the side in a pile on the basement
floor. The ant dump consists of sand, seed coats, dead
insect parts, and sawdust from the house construction.
Not knowing the source, householders often view these
Tapinoma sessile
dumps with alarm.
This ant, slightly broad, measures around 1/8 inch
A closely related species with good trailing habits
long; it has one node, is dark brownish-gray in color
and rapid movement is commonly introduced with
and covered with a velvety sheen. It can be found
tropical plants  and flourishes in warm moist
from Canada to Mexico including all of the lower 48
United States. It is the most common ant found in
structures in North America, except for the Argentine
ant within its primary range (the Gulf Coast and
Control and Management
southern California).
The body of the odorous house ant is relatively
Inspect along sill plate in basement,
soft and can be easily crushed. When this occurs, a
around heat ducts and baseboards in
foul odor is released. The single node of the petiole is
areas where ant workers are active.
very small and hidden by the overlapping abdomen.
Look for foraging in the kitchen; such
[This identifying characteristic is best seen by crushing
activity may indicate a nest in the
the soft ant and with a good hand lens noticing the
basement below or just outside.
absence of a distinctive node.] From above, the
Outside, look for tiny mounds next to
abdomen is broad compared with the width of the
the house near windows and doors or
nest openings under stones.
Habitat alteration
Remove stones that are sheltering ants.
Recommend indoor sanitation including
the elimination of moist garbage in dry
Caulk observed ant entrance points.
Pesticide Application
An average colony will have 3-4,000 members
Apply dusts or sprays in cracks and
and several queens. Outdoor nests are shallow and are
crevices of baseboard molding where
located under stones and boards. Inside, a colony can
activity is noticed.
nest in many types of cavities.
Treat cabinet cracks around kitchen
The workers trail each other. Outside they
actively tend honeydew-producing insects and take
flower nectar. Inside, workers seem to prefer sweets.
Treat cracks along foundation walls,
In California, workers forage indoors late in the warm
under sill plates, and cracks near heat
season and during rainy spells, possibly in response to
reduced sources of honeydew.
Be careful not to contaminate heat or air
conditioning ducts.
Control and Management
Treat  cracks  in  slab  on-grade
foundations as well as the base of
Begin by investigating locations where
outside door jambs.
ant activity is observed.
Module One, Chapter 3, Pg 10


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