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Carpenter Ants vs Odorous House Ants: How to Identify and Control Them

Ants are one of the biggest pest challenges in any home. Without proper equipment, it’s almost impossible to remove them. They are house guests that you should exterminate as soon as possible.

Odorous ants and carpenter ants have different identifications. With enough experience, you can identify which type of ant you have.

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed guide on how you can differentiate smelly ants from the basic carpenter ants. Then you can decide which action to take for the pests in your home.

1. What You Need To Know To Identify

Before you can do a successful ant identification, you need to first understand a few details. When you see an ant, it’s best to look around if you can find other ants with same characteristics. All ants live in colonies and almost never travel alone.

Many ants will follow along a trail, which serves as their foraging ground. This is their way back into the nest. This will help you also find their nest by following them to a trail.

If you give them a quick look, there are a few areas you need to give a nice, detailed observation. These details are:

  • Body features and characteristics
  • Ant nests and shelters
  • Ant general behavior
  • Ant worker size

These crucial details will help you differentiate odorous house ants from the basic carpenter ants. Here are a few details:

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2. Identifying Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants tend to be large in size, going anywhere between ¼ inches to ½ inches long. They have different colors, being brown, black or a combo of black and red-orange. The workers have different sizes and a single pedicel – the connective segments in ants.

carpenter-ants-blog insertA carpenter ant also has a smooth profile in its thorax. Its color helps it move in stealth at night, consider that it is a nocturnal insect. Many will come out of fences, tree branches and many linear trails and objects. Their colonies like to reside in hollow trunks and tree branches but can also stay in hollow wooden areas.

These ants can also produce swarmer ants, which are versions that are larger than workers with wings. Once the colony starts maturing, they will try to find new homes and new colonies. The job of their swarmers is to find new territories that they can colonize.

If you are looking into identifying a carpenter ant, the best way to see is if they have swarmers.

Is A Carpenter Ant A Pest?

Carpenter ants are some of the worst pests in your home. Their ability to process wood and turn it into a nest can compromise the structure of wooden homes. Their primary target can be areas where the foundation connects to ground areas.

While a carpenter ant is not as damaging as termites when processing wood, they can still pack a punch. They love wet, damp, and damaged wood as it’s easy to convert it into a nest.

A carpenter ant colony has a strong destructive nature. Apart from talking to pest control experts, you want to spruce your backyard. Keep it clean and manicured, cutting your lawn and removing any dead, rotting wood.

Eliminate any excess water from your backyard. It’s best to call ant extermination experts to remove any infestation.

3. Identifying Odorous Ants

The odorous house ant or Tapinoma Sessile is the most common ant. You can find them both indoors and outdoors, with nests in most wet areas. You can find them almost everywhere, including in mulch, stones, and outside/inside objects.

An odorous house ant is medium in size. It can go between 1/16 inches up to 1/8 inches in length. They have a single connective pedicel that, if you look from above, is not obvious.

house-antThis house ant has one of the smoothest bodies among all ants, with zero to a few hairs. They tend to be brown or black in color and will have a woodsy, licorice-like smell once crushed. This smell is dank, hence their name.

They’re also voracious eaters and will eat almost anything they can get their hands on. They have a particular liking for sugary, sweet foods. Like many ants, they will go indoors once the rainy season starts and will swarm your walls.

Once they invade, you will find them lining up in your kitchen. A carpenter ant likes to make its home in exposed soil, cracked walls or under floors. They will use these areas to create a home where they can rear their white ant eggs.

Are Odorous Ants A Pest?

Odorous ants are not damaging to your home per se. Even then, their sheer numbers can be annoying once they start infesting your food. If they start nesting in woody areas around your home, they can also emit a dank, musty smell.

If you want to prep your own home, secure the two most crucial resources that these ants want. These are wood and food. Keep food in airtight containers and clean gardens to prevent wood rot. Some DIY pesticides can be effective, but it’s best to talk to pest controllers for your home.

How Do You Control Carpenter and Odorous Ants?

To identify carpenter ants vs odorous house ants, it’s best to know the characteristics of the ant. You would want to check their behavior and keep your environment clean in general.

If you’re looking to exterminate an entire infestation, you need experts with years of experience. 

Viking Pest Control will keep any pests out of your home and remove them as soon as possible. From destructive ants to nasty bed bugs, we can help you.

Viking Pest Control is the best pest solution you can find! Schedule a free estimate online or talk to your friends here at Viking. Dial 1-800-618-2847 for more information on how we can help you do the job.

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Topics: Carpenter Ants, Ants