top of page

All You Need to Know About Odorous House Ants or Sugar Ants in the Okanagan

six black and brown odorous house ants

Ants are one of the most prolific species on Earth as there are approximately 1.5 million of them for every human being.

It can be difficult to determine which type has invaded your home because there are at least 12,000 different species. One of the most common ant species found in the Okanagan Valley is odorous house ants, also known as sugar ants.


These pests are a nuisance that can invade and even colonize in the walls or ceiling of your home or business. Read on to learn more about odorous house ants and how to handle an infestation.

What Are Odorous House Ants?

Odorous ants are named for the smell they release when they're squashed or stepped on, which resembles blue cheese or a rotten coconut. That smell, along with their smaller size ranging from one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch, is the best way to identify them. They are usually dark brown or black in colour.

They're polygynous, which means there may be more than one odorous house ant queen in each colony.

They're also polydomous, which means they have multiple nests. They can move their nests multiple times a week, making them more difficult to find.

Odorous house ants bite, but it's not as painful as the bite of a carpenter ant. It's less noticeable and may not be the first thing that lets you know that they've entered your home.

How to Get Rid of Odorous House Ants

Odorous ants can come inside once they've colonized in wood structures or found a small hole to use as an entryway. They're attracted to moisture and stagnant water. They also go towards sugary, sweet foods, including pet food and bread.

  • Nests

  • Munching, rustling sounds

  • Unpleasant odours

Having odorous ants in your house is a major problem that needs to be dealt with and controlled as soon as possible, as these ants won’t go away on their own.

Some steps you can take on your own to avoid attracting ants include:

  • Empty your garbage regularly.

  • Clean up any spills or stagnant water.

  • Wipe off crumbs and dirt from your counters and surfaces.

  • Store sweets and pet foods away in closed containers.

  • Keep dense plants and mulch away from your home's foundation.

  • Seal any cracks or potential entryways to keep the ants from getting in.

A professional pest control company can provide the right solutions to control an infestation of odorous house ants in your home, starting with removing the existing infestation at the source. Licensed technicians can also apply Integrated Pest Management and address structural vulnerabilities in your home to prevent further infestations.

You may also need monitoring and follow-up treatments to ensure the ants don't return.

Schedule Ant Pest Control in the Okanagan

Odorous house ants got their name from the unpleasant aroma they give off when squashed. They have multiple nests that they move often, making it harder to find and get rid of them.

Keeping them from entering your home means taking measures such as removing stagnant water or crumbs and sealing sweet foods. If you find an infestation, call a professional pest control company immediately for removal and monitoring.

The Bugman Pest Control Services provides expert ant control services in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and throughout the Okanagan Valley. Contact us now for a free quote to prevent and remove odorous house ants.



bottom of page