Here's a fun fact for you. Do you know that the word odorous simply means that something gives off a smell? That smell could be pungent or it could be fragrant. The word odorous does not define the nature of the smell, only that there is a smell. If you know this, it might lead you to think that odorous house ants might fill your home with a pleasant aroma, like lavender or lilies. We have a suggestion for a new name. How does rotten coconut ant sound? We think this does a much better job of describing what you can expect when these ants get into your home and you crush them underfoot. Here is a quick guide to help you deal with rotten coconut ants.

odorous house ants on white wall
odorous house ants on a plant

Rotten Coconut Ant Identification

At 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long, these are small ants. They may be brown or black. If you look at these ants under magnification, you may see that they have one node between the thorax and abdomen. That is the waist of the ant. The easiest way to identify these ants is to crush them and take a whiff. If you detect the faint and aromatic smell of rotten coconut, you've identified your ant pest.

Perimeter Moisture

Rotten coconut ants are attracted to moisture. If you have a damp perimeter, or conditions that create damp habitats, you will invite these ants in close to your home. Use the following tips to make your perimeter less hospitable to rotten coconut ants.

  • Have your gutters cleaned and repaired. It is vital for rainwater to stay in your gutters and to flow out and away from your foundation perimeter.

  • Remove weeds and plant vegetation that does not need to be in your landscaping. This provides better airflow and a drier landscape.

  • Trim tree branches in areas that tend to stay shaded for long periods. Sunlight will help dry topsoil after watering and after it rains.

  • Water your plants in the morning to keep moisture levels down and promote good plant health. If your plants get sickly, aphids and other insects can become a problem. When they do, they will lead you to have more problems with rotten coconut ants. The honeydew produced by plant-damaging insects is a sweet food source for ants.

  • Rake leaves up. Leaves can create the perfect environment for ants of all species.

  • Address any conditions around your home that allow rainwater to be collected. Standing water increases humidity and also provides a drink for ants. 

Access Points

As rotten coconut ants explore your foundation walls, they'll be drawn to enter into your home through gaps, cracks, holes and other pathways. Take the time to do a detailed inspection of your exterior and address any access points you find. A caulking gun is an exceptional tool for this job. Be sure to pay close attention to pipes that pass through your foundation, exterior doors and windows, and the sills of your home. If you have areas of your home where wood is decaying, these will be of particular interest to rotten coconut ants, due to the dampness. Wood rot is often the result of moisture damage.

When considering access routes, also consider bushes and shrubs. The branches of these landscape plants can provide a pathway for ants to get to higher entry points. Trim these back from your exterior walls.

Firewood Management

If you use firewood to heat your home, or you have firewood stacked in your yard for use in a fire pit, these stacks can be a strong attractant for rotten coconut ants, and a long list of other pests. It is best to move firewood stacks away from your home and to elevate the stacks. This will make your home less attractive to termites and carpenter ants.

You Don't Have To Do It Alone

It can be very difficult to get ants under control. If odorous house ants, or any other ant species are causing you problems, remember that the team at Bay Pest is available to help. We use advanced pest control methods and eco-friendly solutions to eliminate ant colonies and prevent ant infestations. We can help you get control of these stinking ants.


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