Odorous house ants generally measure about 1/8th inch in size and are a dark brown color. They get their name from the scent that is given off when they are crushed to death. The smell can be best described as a rotten coconut or bad cleaning product. These ants are difficult to control because they can set up a wide range of nests containing thousands of worker ants and multiple queens to dish out orders. There are usually numerous sub-colonies that nest in a wide variety of sites around the property, making it difficult to narrow down where they are. Preventing these little vermin from invading can be challenging once they have made up their minds, but there are steps you can take to try to fight them.
Eliminate Loose Piles of Debris
These ants mostly nest outdoors under piles of loose wood, mulch, and other debris. They can also set up nests in potted plants or beneath loose bark on a tree. Clear out any loose piles around your property to limit potential nesting grounds, and keep any landscape mulch less than two inches thick and at least a foot away from any foundations. The less area for nesting, the less likely you will end up with an odorous ant infestation. Contacting an exterminator to help you is always an option if you are unsure about the sealing process.
Seal Your Home
You do not need to go into a full lockdown, but it is certainly wise to seal any cracks found in windows, doors, and walls. Being so tiny, these ants can slip into your home unnoticed by using any and all available entrances. If you have been putting off taking care of those old window frames, now is the time to get them fixed and sealed up. This will also make it more difficult for the ants to get into the walls and set up satellite colonies that can scout for food and other supplies.
Keep Branches at a Distance
Trees and shrubs can grow so much on your property that stray branches can provide walkways directly to your house. Ants can take a branch and treat it like a bridge to the promised land that is your home. Avoid making it an easy trip for the ants by keeping tree and shrub branches at least a couple feet away from your home at all times.
Know Where Your Sprinklers Spray
Keep the water from your sprinkler systems from spraying too much onto your foundations. If the foundation get too wet, it can be a prime target for the ants to attack. Keep your sprinkler radius set to just the areas that need the water to keep ants from moving on into your home through these damp passageways.