Odorous House Ant

 Identification and Control

Proper identification is an important first step in controlling ants.

Tapinoma sessile

How to Identify an 

Odorous House Ant

Odorous house ants are dark brown to black in color. They are 1/8 of an inch long with the workers being of one size. They have one node (bump between middle and rear body sections), but it is difficult to see.

Odorous house ants get their name because the emit an odor similar to coconuts when disbursed or smashed. They also raise their abdomens in air and run around when disturbed.

Where do they come from?

Odorous house ants can build nests indoors and outdoors. If the nest is outside it will be a shallow nest in mulch next to building and in soil under protection. If the nest is inside it can be found in wall voids and under carpet, usually near water pipes or heaters.

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What do they look like?

Close up head of an odorous house ant
Worker odorous house ant carrying food
Dorsal view of an odorous house ant

Where do they live?

Wood, board, stone, cardboard, rocks, bricks, loose bark, moisture, wall voids, beneath toilets, bathtraps, wood damaged by termites


Tapinoma sessile


2.4-3.3 mm


Honeydew, sweets, insects

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