Odorous Ant - School IPM - USU Extension

    Odorous House Ant

    Tapinoma sessile

    Odorous house ant

    Adult odorous house ant; hidden node (Fort Ord UCSC Reserve, Antweb.org)

    odorous house ants

    Adult odorous house ants (Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org)

    house ant

    Adult odorous house ant and larva (Dale Ward, Discoverlife.org)


    • dark brown to black
    • 1/8 inch long
    • ants of one size
    • one node (bump between middle and rear body sections); node difficult to see
    • emit an odor similar to coconuts when disturbed or smashed
    • raise abdomens in air and run around when disturbed

    Nesting Habits

    • outdoors: nests shallow, in mulch next to buildings and in soil under protection
    • indoors: nest in wall voids and under carpet, usually near water pipes or heaters


    • insects and sweets, especially honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects
    • forage indoors for sweets, cooked vegetables, fruit and pastries


    • contaminate foods such as sweets, meats, dairy products and vegetables

    IPM Recommendations

    • Locate and destroy all nests to avoid reinfestation. (Follow ants back from their food source.)
    • Clean ant trails with soap and water.
    • Trim shrubbery and trees away from buildings.
    • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of trash regularly.
    • Seal potential ant entryways.
    • Use a bait specific to the odorous house ant.