Odorous House Ant

Body colour is uniform brown to black. Workers are less than 1/8-inch long. They are sometimes difficult to distinguish from Argentine ants, but the odorous house ant emits the smell of coconut when crushed.

Nests indoors are numerous and scattered throughout the structure, but are usually associated with moisture, such as in wall voids near water pipes, and in termite-damaged wood. A typical outdoor nest consists of a main colony and several satellite colonies, each with a queen and brood.

Colony. Each colony may have 200 functional queens; swarmers are produced in colonies that are four to five years old. Workers establish trails leading from the nest to food, and follow along tree limbs, the edges of buildings, baseboards, and kitchen counter tops.

Habits. When a nest is disturbed, workers run rapidly, emitting an odor from their elevated abdomens; they also can bite. Outdoors they feed on honeydew from aphids located close to the structure. Indoor nests usually are found near a moisture source;

typical nests sites are in wall voids, behind paneling and baseboards, near water heaters, and along wall—to-wall carpeting. The indoor satellite nests are relatively small and may be moved frequently.

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