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Tiny Invaders: Overcoming Odorous House Ants in Baltimore

September 12, 2023

By Rachel Maldonado

Are you tired of seeing tiny, brown ants creeping around your kitchen counter? Do you find it hard to control their presence in your home? If yes, then you might have a problem with odorous house ants. 

These ants are known for their persistence and voracious, scavenging nature, making them one of the most stubborn pests to get rid of. 

Are you ready to learn how to fix an ant problem – and prevent these pests from coming back in the future? Here are our best tips. 

What Are Odorous House Ants?

Have you ever seen ants wandering around your kitchen or any other part of your house and wondered what kind of ants they are? If yes, you might have some odorous house ants on your hands. 

These ants are notorious for invading homes in search of food and water. They are quite different from other ant species and have a few unique characteristics that make them easily distinguishable. 

Odorous house ants are small, measuring between 1/16 to 1/8 inch long. They are a dark brown or black color. In some cases, you might see a slight red tint on their legs. 

As the name suggests, one of the most distinctive characteristics of odorous house ants is the odor they emit when crushed. Some people describe the scent as a rotten coconut or a sweet smell. It’s from this odor that the name “odorous house ants” came about.

Odorous house ants usually nest indoors, especially in damp and dark areas, such as under the sink, in wall cavities, or near water pipes. They can also build outdoor nests in soil, mulch, or debris. These ants prefer to stay close to their nest, and their foraging range typically covers a few feet from their colony.

Why Are Odorous House Ants a Problem?

While odorous house ants themselves are not harmful to eat, they frequently invade areas where food is stored. And, as they move around, they can contaminate the food with bacteria from their feet, making it unsafe to eat. To make matters worse, it can be challenging to get rid of them once they infest your pantry where food sources are ample.

One of the main reasons why odorous house ants are so difficult to control is their ability to reproduce rapidly. A single queen ant can lay as many as 800 eggs, leading to a massive infestation quickly. If left unchecked, the infestation can grow larger and more challenging to control.

Plus, some people are allergic to odorous house ants’ pheromones, which can cause severe allergic reactions. These reactions range from severe itching and rashes to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your home free from these ants at all times. 

How to Fix an Ant Problem: Preventative Tips

If you suspect that it’s odorous house ants giving you grief, don’t panic. Here are some tips to follow to get rid of them in your home.

1. Find Out Where They Are Coming From

The first step in dealing with an ant infestation is finding out where they’re coming from. Check the edges of windows and doors, baseboards, cracks in the walls, and even the electrical outlets. You can also sprinkle a bit of talcum powder or chalk dust near where you suspect their entry point. If you can’t find their entry point, observe their movement patterns to determine where they’re going. This information is crucial because you’ll use it to eliminate the colony.

2. Remove the Food Source

Odorous house ants are attracted to sugary foods, meats, and greasy foods. They also feed on insects and decomposing organic matter. Reducing their access to these food sources is an excellent way to discourage them from coming into your home. 

Clean up crumbs and spills from the floor, countertops, and tables immediately. Don’t leave fruits or chocolate bars on the counter. Keep your food storage areas clean and regularly dispose of your trash. 

Also, make sure that your garbage bin is covered and emptied frequently. You can also put your pet food dishes in a plastic tray with water to create a moat that ants can’t cross.

3. Maintain Good Hygiene

Poor hygiene can attract ants to your home, which is why maintaining good hygiene is paramount. Wash your dishes and utensils immediately after use, and store them in cabinets or the dishwasher. 

Sweep and mop your floors regularly, and wipe down counters and tables with disinfectant agents. Clean up spills quickly, and don’t let dirty dishes sit in the sink overnight. Keep your outdoor spaces neat and tidy, and prune back trees and plants that touch your house, as they can give easy access to the ants.

How to Get Rid of Odorous House Ants for Good

Odorous house ants might be tiny, but the massive infestations they cause can lead to a massive headache. Here are some tips to help you get rid of them. 

1. Seal Off Entry Points

Take the time to seal off entry points. This could include caulking any gaps or cracks in your walls, installing door sweeps, or replacing damaged window screens. This will prevent ants from entering your home and making a colony.

2. Use Baits 

Odorous house ants are attracted to sweet or greasy substances. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by using baits that contain boric acid or borax. These chemicals are slow-acting, which allows the ants to bring the bait back to their nest and share it with their colony. Once the queen and young ants consume the bait, the colony will die off.

3. Call in a Professional

If all else fails, call in a pest control professional. A trained exterminator will be able to identify the source of the ant problem and provide a targeted treatment. They will also be able to provide advice on how to prevent future ant infestations. 

The Best Tip for How to Fix an Ant Problem? Call in the Pros

Want to know how to get rid of odorous house ants for good? 

Dealing with odorous house ants in Baltimore can be a daunting task, but it is not impossible. 

By understanding your enemy and maintaining a clean environment, you can overcome your ant infestation  – but in many cases, it makes sense to call in some reinforcements. 

At Hawx Pest Control, we understand the importance of a pest-free home, and we are dedicated to helping you achieve just that. Contact us today and kick those odorous house ants to the curb!

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