Odorous House Ant

Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

Characteristics: Small; brown or black. Produces a “rotten coconut” smell when they are crushed; hence the name.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Attracted to moisture; will nest in wall voids near water pipes, heaters, leaking fixtures, and damaged wood.


  • These ants cooperate between nests and can dominate areas they invade.
  • Enters structures during and after heavy rains when the honeydew of plants has washed away.
  • Will nest indoors near heat sources in wall crevices, water pipes, under carpets, and behind paneling.

Odorous House Ants in Nevada

Odorous house ants are the culprits behind most ant infestations in homes. Their colonies can grow to be quite large and new colonies are formed easily. In the Las Vegas valley, odorous ant colonies contain two or more queens and more than 100,000 workers. known as sugar ants, stink ants or coconut ants, odorous house ants emit a foul smell when crushed. Kitchen pantries and cupboards are often the preferred locations for these ants. Odorous house ants forage for food night and day and prefer food rich in sweets and proteins.

Odorous House Ant Habitat

Outdoors, odorous house ants are often found in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood. They most often make their way inside looking for food, which is why they are typically found in kitchens. When they nest, odorous house ants prefer areas with moisture—wall voids near water pipes, heaters, leaking fixtures, and damaged wood are all ideal habitats for them.

Odorous House Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Although they prefer to be outdoors and do not sting or bite, odorous house ants will forage into homes, especially during rainy weather. As they search for food indoors, ants will establish trails on kitchen counters, and around cabinets, sinks, and baseboards. Due to their foraging activity, odorous house ants will easily contaminate human food supplies. Ant workers and scouts leave behind invisible scent trails from their food source, back to their nest, allowing hundreds of workers to invade homes and businesses. If an odorous house ant issue is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.