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Odorous House Ant Activity Is Increasing Throughout New Jersey

February 17, 2021

odorous house ants crawling on new jersey homes kitchen floor
Originally published on August 15, 2018, this article has been updated to reflect the most up-to-date information on odorous house ants. 

In the last few weeks Arrow has received numerous reports of ant sightings including ants in the kitchen, and tons of ants in the bathroom. So, what are they and more importantly what can be done to get rid of these nuisance ants? The answer is odorous house ants. Whether you call them odorous house ants or sugar ants, they are on the move in communities throughout New Jersey including Montclair and Essex Fells.  

Identifying odorous house ants

You’re probably thinking who cares what type of ant it is, I just want it gone and while we completely agree with the latter, proper identification is necessary in order to eliminate the ant infestation. Let’s start the identification process with a brief description of the potential home invader and then move on to other characteristics and habits that help identify them.

What odorous house ants look like

Odorous house ants are tiny ants (adults grow to approximately 1/8” in length) and appear in shades of black or brown.

Odorous house ants smell

One distinguishing characteristic that sets odorous house ants apart from other types of ants in New Jersey is their smell. When crushed, odorous house ants may emit a distinct rotten coconut odor.

Odorous house ant colonies

Though these ants are small in stature, they more than make up for in their numbers. Odorous house ants live in large colonies that have more than one queen reigning. It is also worth noting, odorous house ants are found more often in homes with slabs than those with basements and crawl spaces.

Foraging behaviors

Night and day, odorous house ants forage indoors in large numbers. Areas that provide food and/or moisture are where you’re likely to intercept these pests. As we already mentioned, kitchens and bathrooms are hot zones for these ants.

Problems odorous house ants cause

The good news about odorous house ants is that they will not damage your home like carpenter ants, termites, or powder post beetles. The bad news is that, left un-treated, odorous house ants may:

Make you sick

Before entering your home (or even after) odorous house ants may crawl through areas that contain bacteria and pathogens that can make you sick. Once in your home, they could travel on the same feet across kitchen and bathroom counters, food preparation areas, and other surfaces that could be contaminated. Should this happen the potential for you or your family to suffer from salmonella or other illness increases.

Trigger an allergic reaction

Odorous house ants can bite and while that does not pose a serious health risk for the majority of us, it can trigger an allergic reaction in individuals who are sensitive to their bites.


Professional Pest Control for Odorous House Ants

If you’ve found your home infested by odorous house ants, the best advice we can offer is to give us a call! Exterminating odorous house ants is tricky and requires experts that are well-versed in ant control techniques. At Arrow Pest Control, we’ve been helping homeowners get rid of ants for over 47 years and are ready to help you take back your home. For proper identification and treatment, simply schedule a free evaluation with Arrow today!

Year-round pest control to keep ants & other pests away

new jersey ant control servicesService consists of the elimination of your current pest or rodent problem, complemented by both interior and exterior year-round protection of your home, which is inclusive of three seasonal visits. The program covers your entire property including attics, mailboxes, playsets, sheds, and fences.

Pests targeted with Arrow’s Home Protection Plan services include ants (excluding carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and acrobatic), bees, boxelder bugs, carpenter bees, carpet beetles, centipedes, cicada killers, clover mites, crickets, digger bees, earwigs, fabric & paper pests, fleas (inside only), ground beetles, hornets, mice, pillbugs, millipedes, rats, roaches, silverfish, sowbugs, spiders, springtails, stored product pests, and wasps.

*If you have a pool house that requires service, pricing would increase based upon the size of the structure.


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