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Stinky Ants in Richmond?

Have you ever crushed one of those tiny ants you find invading your house only to smell something terrible?

In Virginia, we have a huge variety of ants, but one of the most common is the odorous house ant.

ants on a sidwalk

Big ants, small ants, red ants, black ants, brown ants, flying ants. We see them all in Virginia. One of the most common and peskiest of the ants varieties is the odorous house ant. These ants, sometimes referred to as sugar ants, are difficult to remove and smelly when crushed. Learn what they look like, what attracts them, and how to keep them out of your house.


What Do Odorous Ants Look Like?

Odorous ants (tapinoma sessile), called sugar ants by a lot of people, can be either brown or black. Like other ants, they have 6 legs, antennae and the stereotypical oval segmented body. These ants are very small, ranging from about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. Usually when someone thinks "ant", this is the ant they're thinking of.

While these ants can bite, they won't cause much pain. When crushed, odorous ants (true to their name!) will give off a foul smelling odor.

What Attracts Odorous Ants?

These guys are called sugar ants for a reason! Odorous ants love sugar and want to eat sweets. They are also moisture-seeking and will often build nests in areas such as near water pipes in the walls. These ants will also build nests in termite-damaged wood inside and outside your home, near leaky fixtures or pipes, and around firewood or mulch. Interestingly, odorous ants will actually move their nests every few months in response to weather.

How Do You Get Rid of Odorous Ants?

As always, the big question in pest control is how to get rid of these guys. Unfortunately, these ants are very difficult to eliminate once they've taken hold. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. These are all the same answers you usually hear with pest control, but they are repeated because they're true: Clean up spills, keep trash moved out, cover all food, keep organic material (like bushes or mulch) away from the foundation of your house. Additionally, you need to make sure there is no standing water and that any leaks are fixed timely.

Once these pests have established a presence, it can be very hard to get rid of them again. They come in large numbers and can have several different nests within your home. These ants are unfortunately persistent. Professional pest control is the best option to rid your home of these annoying insects. Call us today!

To learn more about local Virginia pests, check out our Pest Library!


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