Southern California Homeowners' Handy Guide To Odorous House Ant Control


If you’ve noticed an odd smell in your home but can’t pinpoint exactly what’s causing the odor... it could be ants. Odorous house ants are one of the most common pests to invade Southern California homes. When threatened or crushed, these tiny insects emit a scent that smells like rotting coconut. If these ants make an appearance in your home, don’t fret – they’re not dangerous. But like any ants, odorous house ants can be difficult to eliminate. Professional pest control is usually required to control ants in your home.

Odorous House Ant Identification

Sometimes called “little black ants,” odorous house ants are tiny. Specifically, they’re between 1/16’’ and 1/8’’ in length. They are usually black or brown in color, and like all insects, have six legs and segmented bodies. You’ll need a magnifying glass to really examine these ants. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice a node between the thorax and abdomen.

Odorous House Ant Habitats

These insects love moist environments. When they build nests, they look for spots with high humidity. Depending on rain patterns, odorous house ants may move their nests often to take advantage of rainwater. They may also build “satellite” nests inside or outside homes. Voids behind walls are common spots for ant colonies.

Ants are opportunists. As such, they build their nests in places near food sources. They love foods high in protein and sugar and they’re not shy about invading your pantry or kitchen cabinets. Odorous house ants also find meals under appliances, on countertops, in garbage cans, and anywhere else food scraps or crumbs might be scattered.

Dangers of Odorous House Ants

These ants don’t bite or sting, they don’t destroy your property as carpenter ants do, and they don’t spread diseases. But they do crawl over garbage and rotting organic substances in their quest for food. Therefore, they can contaminate your food if they invade your home and crawl over food that’s not properly stored. Plus, they emit an unpleasant odor, which you don’t want in your home.

Ant-Prevention Tips

Controlling ants starts with prevention. Remediating moisture in or around your home is the first step in ant control in Southern California. Fix leaky pipes and eliminate standing water so ants don’t have easy access to water near your home.
Additionally, take the following steps:

  • Clear and repair gutters to ensure water flows away from your home’s foundation.
  • Pull weeds and unnecessary vegetation in your landscaping so the soil can dry quicker.
  • Trim tree branches in shady areas to help the soil dry faster after irrigation or rain.
  • Rake leaves to prevent ants of any species.
  • Store food in airtight containers so ants can’t find a food source.
  • Wipe down counters and wipe up crumbs from floors and other surfaces.
  • Seal potential entry points in your home’s foundation, windows, and doors using silicone caulk.
  • Clean your home regularly to remove potential food sources for ants.

Control Odorous House Ants with Excel Pest Management

While they aren’t dangerous, odorous house ants are definitely a nuisance. They can cause homeowners a significant amount of stress, especially since they’re so difficult to eliminate. Instead of going the DIY route, call an experienced pest control company and treat at the first sign of ants. Excel Pest Management has 25 years of experience in Southern California and we take pride in our customized pest control service. We don’t follow a cookie-cutter approach. We will create a plan specifically for your home.

Call us today at (888) 694-3707 to schedule a free inspection. We look forward to treating your ant problem and restoring your peace of mind!