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Odorous House Ants – A.k.a. “sugar ants”

Aileen Eddy, one of Eden’s valued IPM Service Specialists in the Seattle area explained the importance of knowing the biology and nesting patterns of Odorous House Ants (OHA’s) in order to provide our customers with accurate expectations and sustainable solutions.

She emphasized the fact that OHA’s are one of the most difficult pests to control. When a person is seeing OHA’s in their home, they most likely have at least one nest in or around their home. There will likely be a trail of ants coming from another location (i.e., a neighbor’s house, etc.)

Typically, a home that has been infested by OHA’s will be re-infested by them forever, unless the home is on a seasonal maintenance plan keeping the ants away. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Odorous House Ants, means the service specialist will be providing thorough inspection at the initial services as well as seasonal inspection around the home to see where the ants are trailing. The specialist will also use physical methods whenever possible to seal up cracks and crevices where the ants are getting in. He or she will also treat at the source of each nest to target the queen.

It is normal after the first treatment of OHA’s to see an influx of activity. You may think your problem is getting worse but it is actually getting much better. A follow up or two is almost always required to get the ants under control and manageable for the year(s) to come.

An important thing to know about they pesky little ants, is that they are “budding ants” which means that they will decide to split up the nest whenever they feel like it and start a new colony in another location. The typical time frame for nest to stay in one location is 22 days. OHA’s are extremely adaptable to environment and treatment… Unless their food, water, and shelter sources are removed, OHA’s will re-infest again and again. It’s just in their nature.

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