Just because the odorous house ant is most active in the summer months does not mean your problem with them will go away with the warm summer temperatures. In fact, odorous house ants often enter structures during rainy weather or fall temperatures. You can find these ant nests in walls voids, around hot water pipes and heaters, crevices around sinks and cupboards. Outside, they feed on insects, honeydew, plant secretions, scale insects, and mealy bugs but inside they are in search of human food. Foods such as sweets, high protein items, meat and cheeses are all ideal for the odorous house ant.
The odorous house ant can have hundreds of colonies that are made up of several hundred to 100,000 ants. Colonies have several queens and produce 4-5 generations per year. Reproduction occurs in the nest, and colonies spread to new locations by budding off workers and queens.
Odorous House Ants are a particularly pernicious pest because they can infest block foundations and areas under garage slabs. In such protected locations, control efforts become extremely difficult. It is not unusual to drill slabs or block foundations in an effort to rid a home of these pests. Drilling is a last resort, after baits and nonrepellent products have already failed to control the problem.
Homeowners can significantly reduce their ant problems by ensuring that vegetation is not in contact with the structure. Any ground cover such as ivy or wild strawberries should be cut back at least 5 feet from the foundation. Ants may still enter the home, but removing the vegetation will allow a treatment zone to be created around the home that will be more effective at preventing pest entry. Ants will also be more easily seen trailing on the exterior, if the vegetation has been pruned back from the structure.