Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant Identification and Control

Correct identification is an important first step in pest control.

Side view of a Odorous house ant under a microscope
Tapinoma sessile
How To Identify an Odorous House Ant

Odorous house ants are dark brown to black in color. They are 1/8 of an inch long with the workers being of one size. They have one node (bump between middle and rear body sections), but it is difficult to see.

Odorous house ants get their name because the emit an odor similar to coconuts when disbursed or smashed. They also raise their abdomens in air and run around when disturbed. 

Where Do They Come From

Odorous house ants can build nests indoors and outdoors. If the nest is outside it will be a shallow nest in mulch next to building and in soil under protection. If the nest is inside it can be found in wall voids and under carpet, usually near water pipes or heaters. 

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Odorous House ant carrying food

Where Do They Live

Wood, board, stone, cardboard, rocks, bricks, loose bark, moisture, wall voids, beneath toilets, bathtraps, wood damaged by termites



Photo by Dale Ward, Discoverylife.org, 2003

Tapinoma sessile


2.4-3.3 mm


Honeydew, sweets, insects

Tips & Tricks

Dark colored Odorous House ant

How To Keep Ants Away

  • Trim back any shrubs or trees that come into contact with buildings. When plants touch a home or building they create an easy way for ants to crawl onto and access the building.
  • Seal all potential ant entryways. Common entry ways are around windows, doors, and utility lines.
  • Keep dry pet food in sealed bins and clean up any spills.


Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org
Odorous House ant carrying food

How To Get Rid Of Ants

  • Try to locate and destroy all nests by following ant trails from food source to the nest.
  • Use an insecticidal bait, especially during winter through early spring with populations are small.
  • Controlling these ants is hard, so consider hiring a pest management professional to help.


Photo by Alex Wild, Discoverlife.org, 2004

Don’t let ants take over. Thorn can help.

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How Thorn Can Help

Ants can be difficult to control, but that’s what we are here for. We use a two treatment plan to gain control of your ant problem.

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Thorn's Approach

We take a scientific approach to ant control. We start with an inspection and assessment to help us identify the ants, locate where they are, and create a specific plan for your property. Every home and business is different and requires a unique strategy.


Our Approach to Pest Control

Proper pest management starts with a detailed inspection and assessment from an expert pest professional before treatment. Thorn Pest Solutions uses a three-step process rooted in science to eliminate pests with long-term results.

Driven By Science. Lead By Service.

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Assess Situation

First, we identify the root problem(s) with a site assessment. Pests are almost always an indicator of an environmental condition. This will determine the best actions to provide short and your long-term results against pests.

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Execute Action Plan

Next, we develop a plan to fix the problems we discovered. This includes solving current pest issues, eliminating conducive conditions, and monitoring for future pest activity. Good pest management starts with a good plan.

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Track Success

Lastly, we implement the solutions we developed including inspection, monitoring, and preventing future pest infestations. Good pest control requires a good offense and not just defense. Prevention is key.

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