Do you have trails of tiny black ants crawling through your kitchen? You’re not alone!

An extremely common species in the Pacific Northwest, odorous house ants are those tiny black creatures that invade every spring. Also known as sugar ants, these nuisance insects cause alarm across kitchens throughout Washington. But while they may seem harmless, do sugar ants bite?

There’s no need to worry about odorous house ants biting or causing pain in any way. However, no one wants ants in their home! Read more to find out how the experts deal with sugar ants.

What Do Sugar Ants Look Like?

One of the tiniest species of ants, sugar ants are no bigger than ⅛ inch in length. They can be dark brown or black, and when they’re crushed, they emit a smell. Some people describe this as smelling like rotting coconuts, while others report smells of blue cheese or even piña coladas. This is why they’re called “odorous house ants”.

Odorous house ants utilize a complex system of pheromones, including the rotting coconut smell, to signal their nest mates toward food, away from danger, and back to the nest. This trail-making is central in the process of eliminating sugar ants. They can have multiple colonies, and these trails can connect a wider network of thousands of ants.

What Do Odorous House Ants Eat?

Odorous house ants are also known as sugar ants for a reason! These tiny nuisances are known for their proclivity toward sugar, but they’ll also eat a variety of proteins, fats, and carbs. Sugar ants are opportunity scavengers, and will feed on crumbs, garbage, the contents of unrinsed glasses, and just about anything else they can find.

Sugar Ant Prevention

Keeping your kitchen and living space clean of any food that might attract odorous house ants is the first and most crucial step toward preventing them. Remember: they’ll eat almost anything, but they’re especially attracted to sugar. Even if you leave a single dirty glass that held apple juice, these ants will be all over it in a matter of hours.

Storing your food properly, sealing garbage cans and areas, sweeping the floors frequently, and always keeping dishes clean can go a long way toward preventing ants, but it’s not the whole story. We also recommend sealing any potential ant entry points, including the caulking around doors and windows.

If you have a serious sugar ant infestation, you may want to consider having a professional ant exterminator inspect and treat your property. If ants are attracted to your home, you can bet that other pests will also be attracted to your home! Contact United Pest Solutions, your local source for expert pest control.