ODOROUS HOUSE ANTS
You’re minding your own business, walking up the driveway, when you notice an unsightly pile of ants crawling around. Like any perturbed human homeowner, you step on them. But this time, you notice something a little different in the aftermath of your stomping session: a foul, intense odor reminiscent of rotten coconut. Congratulations - you’ve got yourself some odorous house ants.
These pests are tricky, as they can live and thrive anywhere, both indoors and out. Outside, they can be found underneath large rocks, logs, etc. Inside, they’ll make a nest inside your walls and anywhere else where there’s some type of void. They also tend to be found in spots with considerable amounts of moisture, such as around leaking pipes. They most often look for a home inside during the fall months or when it’s raining outside.
While these creatures don’t sting or have a dangerous bite, they can still be a huge nuisance. Unlike some creepy crawlers that are strictly nocturnal, odorous house ants stay busy day and night, foraging around for whatever food they can find. They’ll eat almost anything, from meat to dairy products to vegetables. But most of all, they love sweets, and your cupboards and pantry are their candy store. As far as appetite goes, think of them as children without any discipline - they’ll eat all your sugary stuff until they explode. Fruit, pastries, cereal, candy, any type of sugar - you name it, they’ll eat it, and in the process, they’ll contaminate your food supply. As if that weren’t bad enough, they travel together in large numbers, making them difficult to eradicate on your own.
Another troubling aspect with these annoying insects is the fact that they won’t take the bait you set out; they’re only interested in the good stuff, so little ant traps and other assorted deterrents won’t be much help. On top of that, odorous house ant colonies are unique in the fact that they can have multiple queens. Typically, an ant colony only has one. Multiple queens means more mating, which means more ants, which means more problems.
So, lets review all the wonderful characteristics of odorous house ants: they come into your home uninvited, eat your food, contaminate the remaining food they haven’t eaten, give you a real headache, multiply faster than rabbits, and when you kill them by squashing, they spite you by leaving behind a noxious odor. That could make them the rudest pest in the business, because even when you stomp them out, they’ll get the last laugh. And chances are, you didn’t stomp out all of them, so they’ll come right back and continue to raid your cupboards and turn your dream kitchen into a nightmare.
If you notice an odorous house ant infestation, you can use off the shelf bug killer sprays to get rid of some of them, but at that point, the problem may require a bigger job than a can of Raid can handle. Because of their tendency to travel in large numbers, and their propensity for massive reproduction, your best bet is to seek out pest control professionals who can determine the source of the problem and eliminate it for good.
HOW WE TREAT For ants
Treat Outdoor Ant Mounds - This will get the ants at the source, killing off colonies is most effective when you can find a mound or colony. Use a spray pesticide to soak the mound. (always follow product labels)
Spray Outdoor Perimeter - Spray a barrier around the exterior of your home. Creating a barrier helps new colony growth down the road. You'll want to respray every 90 days to make sure you don't let down your guard.
Indoors: Wait, don't spray!-Better to Bait - With Odorous house ants, the use of residual sprays indoors will only cause stress on the colony, causing it to split into a larger number of sub-colonies. This will actually worsen the infestation.
See Your Price
Dust Treatments - Dust underneath baseboards, and inside cracks, crevices, and voids where activity is suspected, including all areas that cannot be sprayed.
How To Prevent ants
Practice good sanitation.
Limit food preparation and consumption to one or two areas of the home that are cleaned daily.
Eliminate gaps and cracks in the foundation, baseboards, window frames, and door frames with caulk or other appropriate material to eliminate ant entryways.
Materials such as stacked or piled lumber, stones, bricks, leaf litter, heavy mulch, and other debris that serve as potential ant harborages should be removed as far from the structure as possible.
Trim the branches of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation that may serve as ant highways so they do not touch the structure.
Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
How To Prevent Carpenter Ants
Search for leaks in and around areas where you see these ants. Fix any leaks found.
Remove limbs/shrubs that touch the house, particularly the roof – ants use these contact points to gain access
Remove stumps and dying trees within 50 feet of the house/garage – these are perfect spots for new colonies to start
Store firewood off the bare ground and away from the house
Consider using inorganic mulches (stone, gravels) in areas where you have had problems with ants, or where ground moisture is a re-occurring problem
See Your Price
Inspect older trees carefully for signs of outdoor colonies