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Ants are among the most common household pests in the U.S., and odorous house ants (tapinoma sessile) are at the top of the list. Also known as sugar ants, stink ants, or coconut ants, odorous house ants will happily raid your picnics and sneak into your pantries. Learn how to identify and control ants now to avoid frustration this summer.



Odorous house ants are a small species of ant that are only 1/16  – ⅛ inches long. They are typically brown or black in color with 6 legs, and 12 segmented antennae. Odorous house ants get their name from the stinky odor they emit when crushed. Many compare it to the smell of rotten coconuts.

Odorous House Ant

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Odorous house ants build their nests in mulch, under tree bark, or under items located on the ground like firewood, bricks, or ground cover. They can also establish colonies in homes in wall voids or under carpeting. One of the difficult things about odorous house ants is they can break off into multiple sub-colonies with multiple queens. Even if you think you have found and destroyed their nest, you might get a surprise when you find another nest, just feet away.

Odorous house ants are not dangerous and do not pose any major threat, but they can contaminate food and cause frustration for homeowners. These ants are particularly attracted to sugary foods in homes, and in the wild will mostly eat nectar from flowers or honeydew made by aphids.


Odorous House Ant Control

To keep odorous house ants away from your property and home, try the following tips:

  • Eliminate excess water or moisture by fixing leaky pipes and faucets, cleaning out gutters, and fixing landscaping
  • Trim tree branches, shrubs, and bushes so they are not touching the house
  • Store firewood away from the home and off the ground, if possible
  • If you use mulch for your landscaping, keep it under 2 inches thick, and at least 12 inches away from the foundation
  • Seal all gaps and cracks around the exterior of the home
  • Hire a pest control company to apply a residual pesticide to the outside of your home

If you are in need of ant control in Tulsa, Oklahoma or surrounding areas, contact Midwest Pest Control. Our expert technicians and friendly staff are dedicated to helping you get rid of the pests that are bothering you, while keeping your family comfortable and safe. Our great service and 100% satisfaction guarantee will have you coming back to Midwest Pest Control time after time. Contact us today.