Authored by Dan Huie
When you are in the pest control industry there is no telling what the dinner conversation might be. Ants were the topic de jour the other night. Apparently, some tiny ants had taken up residence in our friends car! Then the statement, “You know, we were driving along, and I was smashing ants, and soon there was this smell of ‘Raid’! Could that be?” Indeed it can be…
One very common variety of small ant is the Odorous House Ant. Aptly named, this little guy smells when smashed. Some say it smells like Pine-Sol, others say Raid™, still others hold their own description. If you start to see little ants about 1/8th of an inch in length and dark in color, go ahead and smash it. If it gives off an odor, you know what you’ve got.
Odorous House Ants are increasingly common in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Each year the number of calls we receive goes up and up. And it’s not just summer anymore. These little ants are here year round! What makes them so difficult to control is their habit of “budding”. When nests are disturbed or foragers are separated new nests can spring up. So where you had just one colony, you now have two!
Interestingly, this is what happened in my friends car. Ants separated from their colony began their own. Their ability to persist and bud combined with their sensitivity to chemicals is one of the greatest reasons we urge people to have these ants treated by a professional company with a long history to draw upon.
Dan Huie is the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of United Pest Solutions, Inc. Located in the Seattle area of Washington state, Mr. Huie has sixteen years of experience with professional pest control involving Human Resource and Pest Management Professional Training. He is extensively involved with the Washington State Pest Management Association (WSPMA) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).