Odorous house ants (sometimes called sugar ants, sweet ants) are a common and major pest in structures all across the Pacific Northwest.  They’re not a wood destroying organism like carpenter ants, but are equally (if not more) annoying when infesting a building. They often get into food, walk all over kitchen and bathroom counters, and travel all over the inside of homes or other buildings—not knowing or caring about anything other than finding food and water to sustain their colony.

The odorous house ant is very small (1/10? to 1/8? in length) and dark brown to black in color. Completely eliminating these ants is extremely difficult because they can live practically anywhere; so locating their nest is also extremely difficult, if not impossible in some cases. Outside nests may be found under rocks and sidewalks or in landscape timbers, groundcover, mulch, etc. Inside they can nest in wall voids, crawl spaces, and just about any void-including in small appliances like toasters and telephones. Once they actually get into the living space of a house or other structure they can become a major irritant as they search for food, water or new nesting sites.

Odorous house ant workers explore their environment until they find food or water. They often prefer sweets (candy, sweet liquids, doughnut crumbs, etc.) but will also seek out protein sources (peanut butter, kitchen greases, meats, etc.) depending on the needs of the colony. Once food or water is found, a trail is established to deliver as many ant workers as possible to the source to retrieve it. Needless to say, it’s not a pleasant experience to discover hundreds of ants in a pantry rummaging through food.

Over-the-counter remedies such as aerosol sprays (Raid, etc.) are often used by consumers when ants are first discovered. The usefulness of these products in killing ant workers is overshadowed by the ensuing problems they create. Ant workers trailing through a house make up only a very small percentage (5%-10%) of the size of the entire colony. These sprays only kill what you see and do not destroy the well-hidden colony, so ants reappear shortly after the spraying is completed. Due to the repellent nature of the spray, the ants also spread to other parts of the structure that were previously not infested.

The Whitworth Pest Solutions treatment focuses on colony elimination rather than a quick fix. Inside and out, a combination of baits and water-based sprays are used, appropriate to the situation. The Whitworth Premium Value pest protection program is the best choice for long-term control and to prevent re-infestation by these ants. If you encounter them, notify Whitworth after they’re first seen, as the chances of a successful result rise dramatically when the problem is tackled quickly. Make Whitworth Pest Solutions your number one option for relief from these tiny, pesky invaders.