Odorous House Ant

 

 

 

 

 

 

ant, 6 legs, black, small, crawling, elbowed antenna

Introduction.  The pugent, “rotten-coconutlike” odor givenoff when this ants is crushed gives it its name.  it is a native species and is found throughout the United States.

Recognition.  Workers monomorphic, about 1/16-1/8” (2.4-3.25mm) long. Body brown to black.  Antenna 12-segmented, without a club.  Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly rounded.  Pedicel 1-segmented, with small node/segment hidden/concealed from view from about by base of gaster.  Gaster with anal opening slitlike, lacking circlet of hairs. Stinger absent Workers emit a disagreeable, rotten, coconut-like oder.

Habits.  Inside, these ants usually construct their nests in wall voids especially around hot water pipers and heaters, in crevices around sinks, cupboards, ets.  These ants prefer sweets but also eat foods with high protein content and grease such as meats and cheese.

Outside, they are often found in the nest of larger ants, in exposed soil, but mostly under objects.  Workers feed on insects, seek honeydew and plant secretions, and even feed on seeds.  They are extremely fond of honeydew and attend such honeydew-excreting insects as plantlice (aphids), scale inspects, mealybugs, etc.  They are most weather or with leaf fall in the autumn.

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