The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny brown ants range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.
Odorous house ants like to eat sweets and are especially fond of honeydew. They are known to move their nests every three months or so in response to rain.
Indoors, odorous house ants nest near moisture sources, such as in wall voids near hot water pipers, in heaters, beneath leaky fixtures and inside wood damaged by termites or carpenter ants. Outside, odorous ants are often found in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood.
Odorous house ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.