Odorous House Ant


Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

Characteristics: Small; brown or black. The best identifying characteristic is the “rotten coconut” smell they produce when they are crushed; hence the name.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Wall voids near water pipes, heaters, leaking fixtures, and damaged wood are all ideal habitats.


  • Will nest inside homes in wall voids near heat sources.
  • They prefer sweets but will eat almost any household food.
  • They invade structures during heavy rains when the honeydew of plants is washed away.

Odorous House Ants in Central Florida

Odorous house ants are one of the most common ants to infest homes and are found throughout Florida. An odorous house ant colony can grow to 100,000 members and new colonies are formed easily. Also known as sugar ants, odorous house ants excrete a foul smell that smells like coconuts when crushed. Outdoors, they seek out honeydew, which is produced by aphids. During heavy rains, they will invade homes when the honeydew of plants is washed away. Foraging for food round the clock, the odorous house ants’ favorite foods are sweets and proteins.  

Odorous House Ant Habitats

The odorous house ant can live just about anywhere, thriving outdoors, and indoors. Outdoors, odorous house ants are often found in open soil or under stacks of lumber or firewood. They make their way inside looking for food, which is why they are generally found in kitchens. When they nest, odorous house ants prefer areas near moisture—wall voids near heaters, leaking fixtures, pipes, and damaged wood are all excellent habitats for them. Cabinets and pantries inside homes are popular locations for these ants. 

Odorous House Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

While odorous house ants do not bite or sting, they will contaminate food as they forage indoors, in large numbers. Their ability to feed on almost any food brings them into contact with us when they contaminate stored pantry products. Given their small size, odorous house ant scouts can access a home very easily. Once a food source is discovered, the scouts leave an invisible scent trail back to the colony so workers can find their way back to the food source, which could be your home.   If an odorous house ant infestation is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact Heron Home today!