Pest Library | Odorous House Ants (OHA)

Tapinoma sessile

Odorous House Ant - Tapinoma sessile
Color: Dark Brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16-1/8″
Antennae: Yes
Region: All 50 states, especially AR, CA, KY , MS, NJ, OR, TN, VA, WA
This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.


Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially melon and other insects.


Typically living for several years, these ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks.


These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.


Eliminate standing water. Pests such as odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Ants like to build nests in stacks of wood.

* Information courtesy of the National Pest Management Association, Inc.; Texas A&M – Center for Urban and Structural Entomology, * Image courtesy of Joseph Berger,

For more information on South Jersey Ants, check out the articles in AB-Con’s Bug Blog:

Spring – Are Ants Marching into Your South Jersey Home?

4 Reasons Why You Need a Professional to Take Care of Your Ant Problem

Which Ant is Which? Odorous House Ant