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Are Odorous House Ants In Westchester County Dangerous?


Based on their name, you might have some idea of what odorous house ants are famous for. These pests produce a foul smell when crushed, which can make you think twice before trying to get rid of them. These ants are a nuisance that you don’t want living on your property. They stink, yes, but are odorous house ants in Westchester County dangerous?

What Are Odorous House Ants?

Odorous house ants are small black or dark brown-colored ants measuring a mere 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length. They resemble other pest ants and have six legs, segmented bodies, and antennae. Odorous house ants are found throughout the United States and live both indoors and outdoors.

Like termites, odorous house ants are social insects that live in a colony with a defined social structure. Odorous house ants may have just one queen or many queens laying eggs. They are not picky eaters and will dine on everything from fruit to seeds to other insects. But they are especially fond of sweets and will eagerly raid your pantry for a sugary treat. And, of course, odorous house ants smell awful. The putrid odor is said to resemble rotten coconut or blue cheese. However, besides their funky smell, these ants aren’t particularly dangerous and aren’t known to bite or sting.

Are Odorous House Ants Dangerous?

While odorous house ants aren’t dangerous as far as pests go, they aren’t entirely harmless either. They won’t inject you with a venomous sting or tear up your property, but they can contaminate your food. During their foraging, odorous house ants may pick up pathogens like E.coli bacteria, which can be spread to food items and surfaces they come in contact with. 

And, of course, like any nuisance pest, odorous house ants can cause stress that can impact your mood and mental state. It's hard to have a good day when you wake up to a kitchen full of ants. 

How To Prevent Odorous House Ants In Westchester County

Fortunately, you can do some simple things to prevent an odorous house ant infestation from happening on your property.

  • Store food properly. Make sure food stored in your pantry and cupboards are kept in sturdy containers with tight-sealing lids. Heavy plastic is fine for insects, but glass or metal containers will also protect mice and rats.
  • Keep things clean. After cooking or eating, wipe down counters and tables with a wet cloth or disinfecting wipe to remove crumbs and spills. Sweep, mop, or vacuum floors regularly. 
  • Take out the trash. Use a trash bin with a tight-sealing lid indoors. Dispose of trash regularly and if possible, try to keep trash receptacles away from the house. 
  • Reduce moisture. Odorous house ants are attracted to moisture as well as food. Ensure there are no sources of standing water around your property and that all drains and gutters are flowing correctly. 
  • Don’t forget yard work. Trim back any branches or plant stalks that are making direct contact with your home or business. Ants will often use branches as a bridge to access buildings. 

Whether you’ve got odorous house ants or any other type of ant, eliminating them on your own can be a frustrating experience. But with support from Parkway Pest Services, you can trust that your ant problem will be eliminated once and for all. For over 80 years, our family-owned and -operated business has provided exceptional pest control services for homes and businesses alike. We have the expertise to get rid of ants or any other problem pest you may have. Get in touch with us today.