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Colorado School IPM
Sixteen school districts, serving 58% of the students in Colorado public schools, participate in IPM.

Odorous House Ant   arrow

Odorous House Ant – Tapinoma sessile

  • dark brown to black
  • 1/10 inch in size
  • emit an odor similar to coconuts when disturbed or smashed

Nesting Habits

  • outdoors – nest in mulch next to buildings and in soil under protection in loose soil
  • indoors – nest in walls and under carpet, usually near water pipes


  • insects and sweets, especially honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects
  • forage indoors for sweets, cooked vegetables, fruit and pastries


  • contaminate foods such as sweets, meats, dairy products and vegetables

IPM Recommendations:

  • Locate and destroy all nests to avoid re-infestation (follow ants back from their food source).
  • Clean ant trails with soap and water.
  • Trim shrubbery and trees away from buildings.
  • Store food in airtight containers, and dispose of trash regularly.
  • Seal potential ant entryways.
  • Use a bait specific to the odorous house ant.