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Odorous House Ants

So many of the articles you find on this site tell you that proper identification of a pest is vital to getting quick and total control. It can also save you lots of money. Here's a prime example.  

A homeowner complained that she was having continuous problems with ants in her kitchen. She said that her pest control company was making several visits a month to treat, but the problem continued.  

The homeowner was asked the time of day the ants were noticed and the number of ants present. She was also asked about the type of treatments being done by her pest control company.  


Our questions brought positive results. We discovered her pest control company was treating the baseboards and under some of the kitchen appliances. The captured ant was identified as an Odorous House ant and the large number of ants she was seeing made it clear that the ant nest was most probably inside the house.  

Simply knowing positively what type of ant it was gave us clues as to where this ant might be. If only a few Odorous House ants were seen, it would be a good indication that the ants were living outside in leaf debris surrounding the foundation. But, the large number of ants being found told us to focus our search inside.  

After more research the homeowner disclosed that the kitchen had been added on to several years before. We focused on examining the point where the new slab met the old slab and discovered a settling crack. This turned out to be exactly where the ants were nesting.  

We removed the dishwasher and found a large separation between the two slabs. We treated the crack with insecticide dust and presto, problem solved. Sherlock Holmes closes another case!

Click here to watch my short video on how to control ants.

Ask Rick A Question


26 Mar 2009, 12:30
I have been told that I have oderous ants and that they are hard to get rid of. I bought my ranch house one and a half years ago and I am invaded from early spring until it gets really cold out by these critters....they are driving me nuts. I can't find their "nest" because they seem to come from all directions into the house. This year I paid more attention and it seems they invade the kitchen first. I have used every insecticide known to man inside and outside and can't get rid of's gotten so bad that I find I even dream about them...I now have windex as a new best friend, but that wont rid them permanently. Can you PLEASE PLEASE help? I'm tired of exterminaters and have two cats so I can't bomb the place.

23 Apr 2009, 11:25
I am having an ant problem in my condo (2nd floor). I believe that they are Odorous Ants because of the smell when crushed. They are actually in the bedroom (thankfully have not found their way into the kitchen). We do not eat in the bedroom and I have mopped and vacuumed several times since finding ants. I believe they are in the wall.

At first there were only random ones here and there (scouts?) but as soon as I put bait out, it seemed to make the problem worse. Now I can't get rid of them. They don't seem to be making trails either, I still just see one here one there, with the majority near the bait.

Please help!
26 May 2009, 18:39
I have recently cancelled my post control company and decided to fight odorous house ants on my own due to not wanting chemicals sprayed in or outside of my home and expose my 4 month old baby.

I have sprayed them with seventh generation cedar and orange cleaner to kill them then spray vinegar and water all around to kill the trail. I have also sprinkled borax along my windowsills and along the perimeter of my house. I placed liquid and non-liquid baits outside and trimmed back my plants so nothing is touching the house.

While the weather is warming I am seeing a spike in activity and the scout ants are in multiple areas of my house. All of my neighbors have these ants.

I am really frustrated and would appreciate any help or advice. Thank you.
28 May 2009, 18:49
I've had and problems in our house for 6 years now. I know they're never going to go away (we have a creek in our back yard here in Oregon) but I really hate when they get in the house. It's always in the same place every year, in the bathroom during the spring and summer, and I am about 90% sure that they are odorous ants, due to the pics I've researched and they are weird smelling when you squish them. Well, this year they've brought some new friends with them, ants with wings! The winged ants definately have 3 seperate body parts, and they're always with the other ants, sometimes in a line sometimes strayed away a bit, always in my bathroom. Right now it looks like they are nesting in my roof, I've observed them crawling up the wall to a crack in the ceiling and in the same spot on the outside of the house where the crack is inside. They are pretty picky about what they eat, although they did devour a large spider I sqished on my back deck in about an hour. Any ideas on how to treat, and should I treat the inside, outside, or both? Thanks Mr The Exterminator
20 Apr 2010, 13:58
We just moved into our new house in Febuary and it is now April and we have been having a ant problem for over a month since the weather was nice... Im not sure what ants I have but I saw 1 in the bathroom tub, 1 in the back bedroom window cill, and one in the window cill above the kitchen sink. All the rest of the ants have been spotted on 1 section of our kitchen counter top and there is a window right there. Im not sure houw the ants are getting in and I only see 1 ant at a time. when we first saw the ants they where on the kitchen floor after we sprayed the ortho home defense all over the kitchen floor and the exterior of the house we did not see any ants for about 2weeks now I see them all the time but always alone. and just to make sure i sprayed the home defense all over the basement including around the windows few daays later I checks on it and there was a ton of dead ants curled up in a ball on the basement window cill and hanging from a spider web so now i dont know who killed the ants me or the spider and i dont know where they are cooming from since I only see them on 1 area of my counter top and never on the kitchen floor.
09 Sep 2010, 18:43
Just recently I've noticed what appears to be a few ants. They are black and slender. Not a typical ant shape though. When I pick it up with a kleenex and it's been crushed there is a horrible scent. Almost reminds me of the smell of mothballs. I live on the 11th floor of an apt building and up until now have only ever had the odd silverfish. I found one moving about in my utensil drawer. It looked like a baby ant. How can I get rid of them?? Is the cooler temperatures bringing these nasty bugs inside?
Ask the Exterminator
09 Sep 2010, 22:28
I sell lots of good ant baits on this website. Just click on "Pest Control Products" at the top of any page and go to the "Ant" category.
03 Apr 2013, 17:18
My mom thinks my husband brought ants to her house when we visited her in Florida last spring because she noticed them in large numbers after we left. She knew that we had an ant problem the last couple of summers at our house in Maryland and she is convinced that he brought hundreds down there in jars and set them free. For the record he DID NOT take ants to her house. We flew down to FL, got a rental car and stayed with her for 6 days. We did not have ants in our house when we left and none of our luggage or clothing had any ants on them when we got there. On our second night at her house I did see one lone ant in the downstairs bathroom. It was very tiny and I didn't have my glasses on, and by the time I finished washing my face it was gone. After she killed a swarm of several hundred tiny ants in her foyer the day we left, she found a ball of dead ants behind her couch a week or so later, which she thinks was planted by him as well. She is very angry at him because she has been battling ants for a year now, finding them on window sills and in her bathtub. My question is: Is it even possible to capture that many ants in a jar, keep them alive for a week and then set them free in someone's house, and have them survive and multiply? She says her neighbors don't have ants so we must have brought them!Please help!
Ask the Exterminator
04 Apr 2013, 10:44
Gee! Your mother must really love your husband. You actually have to ask a pest control expert this question in order to convince your mother that your husband didn't plant ants in her house?

Yes, it is possible to carry live ants to another location, but highly unlikely. How would you get them through the airport screening agents? And, why are you questioning your husband? Do you think he is capable of actually doing such a thing? You don't need an exterminator. You need a family counselor.
A. Wyckoff
05 Jul 2014, 02:33
In 48 years that I've seen my family home, an attack of "stink ants" was a once-yearly problem that one dose of poison would handle. Suddenly, they've not only evolved to be immune to the former poison (and all other baits/poisons), but they seem to have invaded every home I have asked about--all over the city--even our local church had hundreds of thousands running around every foot of the parking lot (!?)
We just came from a 4th of July party at a friend's house across town, where we noticed hundreds of winged ones mating at EVERY light they had on outside (front and back yard). Afterward, we drove miles away to our home and saw the same thing! We sprayed them, since they reproduce... Their behavior has changed so much--and they've become such a pestilence--that I can't understand why the news doesn't cover them ?
Ask the Exterminator
07 Jul 2014, 14:43
There are some excellent newer ant control products on the market. One we use is Optiguard. It's available on this website. Click "Pest Control Products" at the top of the page.
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