Odorous House Ant


Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

Characteristics: Brown or black in color. The best identifying characteristic is the “rotten coconut” smell produced when this ant is 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.


  • Indoors, will usually nest in wall voids near heat sources.
  • Known to contaminate food as they forage, by leaving their waste behind. 
  • Will consume almost any household food, but prefers sweets and sugary substances. 

Odorous House Ants in Baton Rouge

Odorous house ants are the most common ant behind most ant infestations in Louisiana. Their colonies can grow to be quite large and new colonies are formed effortlessly. Odorous ant colonies contain two or more queens and more than 100,000 workers. Also known as sugar ants, stink ants or coconut ants, odorous house ants emit a foul smell when crushed. Kitchen cupboards and pantries 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 Habitats

The odorous house ant thrives both indoors and outdoors and can live just about anywhere. Outdoors, they construct nests in exposed soil or under rocks or stacks of firewood. They most often make their way inside looking for food, which is why they are typically found in kitchens. When choosing a nesting site, odorous house ants will nest indoors near sources of moisture and warmth, in voids, but also in termite-damaged wood. 

Odorous House Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

While odorous house ants do not sting or bite, they pollute food as they forage indoors in large numbers. Their ability to feed on many types of food brings them into conflict with us when they contaminate stored products in the pantry. Colonies contain thousands of members, which makes removing them so difficult. When searching for food, worker ants follow the scent or pheromone trail to the food source in a home or building, invading in large numbers. If an odorous house ant issue is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact Dugas Pest Control today!