odorous house ants (sugar ants)

Pest of the Season – Odorous House Ants (Sugar Ants)

For a couple of weeks, it was starting to warm up…until the snow and frigid temperatures hit!!

With warmer temperatures, the ants return.

During those couple of weeks, we were inundated with calls about odorous house ants. This is the typical response we see when the frigid winter months have passed and the weather warms up a bit. The warmer weather signals them to emerge from dormancy. (This is also true for carpenter ants.)

When odorous house ants begin to emerge, they surface hard and fast. They have been lying in a dormant state for quite some time. The survival of the colony relies on the working castes gathering and providing nutrition for the reproductive queens as quickly as possible. While seeing ants is never a great feeling, the brief period of warmer weather provides an advantage. These ants are incredibly prolific and difficult to treat. If we can beat the cycle before the colony has had time to gather significant nutrition, we can gain the upper hand on this tenacious and prolific species.

If you are experiencing odorous house ants in your home now, it is safe to say you have at least one active colony. Waiting for and hoping they will go away is not a logical response. While they may seem to “disappear” for a while, they have merely completed the first step of colony growth. What follows weeks later is a full ‘invasion’ as the new workers emerge (tenfold) and continue with their quest for nutrition and colony survival. New queens will have developed in addition to existing ones, increasing populations at an alarming rate.

It is highly advised that you have them dealt with early and before they have an opportunity to nest in and grow their colonies within the confines of your homes or businesses. Swift and thorough treatment is vital at this time.

Before you try any over the counter treatment remedies:

While you may be tempted to treat the problem yourself, DIY treatments usually make the situation worse. You may kill some of the working caste initially, but you’ll also drive the rest of the protective workers and their queens into survival mode. That ‘mode’ is a splitting of the colony into several locations. Now you are fighting a battle on several locations, with more workers and more reproducing queens than at the start.

As the weather heats up again (it will be sooner than you think), you will begin to see these little guys around your kitchens and bathrooms if they are not dealt with in efficient and effective manner.

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