Odorous Ant

Appearance

Dark reddish-brown to black and 1/10-inch long. Antennae have 12 segments.

When crushed, give off very unpleasant odor; colonies are very large, but can be driven away by invading Argentine ants.

Habit

This species is a scavenger/predator ant that will eat most household foods, especially those that contain sugar, and other insects. Indoors they will colonize near heat sources or in insulation. In hot and dry situations, nests have been found in house plants and even in the lids of toilets. Outdoors they tend to colonize under rocks and exposed soil. They can trail extensive distances, usually along landscape edges. Colonies range in size from 100-10,000, and house several queens. They are non-aggressive. Queens lay one egg per day. Typical time to adult phase of development is 34-38 days.

Diet

Honeydew melons in the wild. Inside buildings, they prefer sweet items.

Reproduction

Each female in the nest lays one egg a day; young reach adulthood in an average of 24 days; workers and females live for several years.