Odorous House Ant Identification Resources

Odorus House Ant  - Photo Courtesy of AntWeb - www.antweb.org

Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)

Large Yellow Ant
Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)

Odorous House Ant
Description of Workers: Small workers, around 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch (2-3 mm); dark brown to black. Bitter odor when crushed - said to smell like rotten coconuts.


Most frequent structure invading ant in Nebraska; nests in a wide variety of places outdoors and inside. These ants commonly construct shallow nests in soil underneath objects, such as stones, patio blocks and debris. Inside, they prefer areas with moisture such as around hot water pipes and heaters. Odorous house ants have multiple queens. The ants forage when temperatures are cool, even down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Strongly trailing ant; it tends aphids for honeydew and prefers sweets in kitchens.


Management includes corrective conducive conditions; locating and treating colonies which may include drench treatments, dusts in wall voids or using baits; depending on the colony location.

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This resource was updated November 2015 by Soni Cochran, Extension Associate

Credits: Ant illustrations were developed by Vicki Jedlicka, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County

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