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Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant

Odorous house ants are small ants about 1/8th inch long and dark brown in color. Their name comes from the foul odor, similar to the smell of rotten coconuts, that is given off when the worker ants are crushed. Odorous house ants regularly forage for food along well-traveled trails. They feed on dead insects, sweets and meats.

Most ants in the garden are either beneficial or just a nuisance. The three most troublesome in north Texas are odorous ants, fire ants and various carpenter ants. Fire ants are best controlled with mound drenches of citrus-based products. Beneficial nematodes and going totally organic is the rest of the fire ant program that really works.

Odorous ants, similar to carpenter ants, are best controlled with Abamectin baits. Sugar ants and other house ants can be controlled in the house with baking soda, cinnamon dust, tansy leaves, citrus oil sprays or baits made from sugar with a little bit of boric acid. My most recent tip is black pepper and it seems to work well. If you have ants and other troublesome insects in the attic – dust with a mix of cinnamon and natural diatomaceous earth. Hot pepper dusts or liquid sprays also work.

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