Images of picnic baskets full of tasty food and warm weather make the Sprague Pest Experts yearn for the lazy days of summer. Another, albeit less pleasant image, associated with picnics are those aggressive, annoying ants that want to jump on the picnic bandwagon and help themselves to your food!

Why are we talking about picnics and ants in December? Because something smells here in Sprague land and we aren’t talking about the tuna sandwich someone left in the break room refrigerator over the weekend!

We are talking about the Odorous house ant and how its’ smelly presence in your home or business can leave you in search of an air freshener!

Why are they called odorous house ants rather than just plain old ants? Because of the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when it is crushed by a size 10 running shoe.

Odorous house ants are approximately 1/8 inch in length and brown or black in color. Outside they typically make their home in shallow, moist soil underneath objects such as stones, logs, patio blocks and debris.

They have a very active sweet tooth and will forage their way inside your home or business in search of sustenance to satisfy their craving. Once inside they prefer to set up shop in wall voids and areas where excess moisture collects such as water pipes and bath traps.

By now you probably sense a theme with these stinky ants – they like moisture and as you all know the weather in the Pacific Northwest is a perfect match.

What can you do to make your home or business less attractive to these foraging consumers of sweets? The Sprague Pest Experts provide the following tips:

  • Eliminate any standing or excess water; fix leaky pipes, faucets, etc.

  • Trim branches and landscape shrubs that come in contact with the building; this will keep ants from accessing open windows, vents, electrical/plumbing pipes, etc. and gaining entry.

  • Walk around and conduct a thorough inspection of your building’s foundation and repair any cracks or openings in the foundation that can provide them a way in.

  • Store firewood, debris piles, storage pallets, building materials, etc. away from the structure; Odorous house ants like to nest under these items.

  • Make sure food and raw food materials are properly stored in sealed containers; leave nothing for the Odorous house ant’s sweet tooth!

Do you think you have Odorous house ants in your home or office? You’ll know if you do by the scent after you step on one! Sprague Pest Solutions has the experience and expertise to eliminate these stinky pests for good. Send us an e-mail at and we’ll be happy to get back with you with more information.


The Sprague Pest Experts