25 March 2011
Odorous house ants are again rearing their ugly little heads in the Tri-State area. Since March 8, odorous house ant calls have increased ten fold over the winter months. Odorous house ants account for more than 95% of all ant calls to our office. Many homeowners try to control them with do-it-yourself products but fail miserably. Odorous house ants can also be difficult for professionals to control as well. But why?
Odorous house ants (OHA) colonies are massive - the latest data from Purdue University states their colonies number up to seven million individual ants and can stretch for city blocks. In other words, residential houses in suburbs on any given street are likely affected by a single colony of OHA taking up residence in one homes crawl space for instance.
OHA colonies also consist of multiple "sub-colonies" spread throughout neighborhoods in likely nesting zones such as firewood, beneath leaf debris, in detached yard barns and so on. To make matters worse, these sub-colonies of ants are highly mobile and frequently move to new nesting sites. One study suggests OHA use nest sites an average of 21 days.
Finally, OHA are extremely mobile and can move their nests incredibly fast. Many seasoned pest professionals have witnessed OHA colonies move almost instantly once disturbed.