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One of Mid-west most common pest. They are nesters, this is why they are so tough to control.

One of Mid-west most common pest. They are nesters, this is why they are so tough to control.

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  • 1. BASF Urban Pest Profile Sheet and Treatment Strategy Odorous House Ant Common Name: Odorous house ant Photo Courtesy: National Pest Management Association Scientific Name: Tapinoma sessile (Say) BIOLOGY AND HABITS Odorous house ant colonies are polygynous meaning colonies contain multiple queens. Colonies can reach 10,000 to 100,000 + The odorous house ant is fast becoming one of the most commonly in population. They easily form satellite colonies and are not encountered ant species throughout the U.S. The odorous house ant aggressive. They will share workers, brood and food and forage has the ability to produce such large numbers that it forces other trails. Field colonies are known to “bud” if disturbed mechanically ant species out of their natural area by out-competing for natural or induced chemically by the use of repellent insecticides. resources such as food and colony nesting areas. (Disclaimer: The information provided in this pest profile sheet is a partial compilation of Odorous house ants are usually found outdoors. They are adaptive research material, general pest management strategies and general information on this pest. Pest Management Professionals must follow label directions for insecticides used and opportunistic nesters and exploit many habitats. In the field for ant control. BASF assumes no liability or responsibility for specific control situations they build shallow nests in soil, logs, stumps, under stones, leaves, in the control of odorous house ants.) firewood, boards, beneath bark and inside hollow voids of dead or The odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say), is a native species decaying limbs of trees. They will move indoors to avoid perils of that occurs throughout the United States. It ranges from Canada to inclement weather such as heavy rain, cold temperatures or drought Mexico but is rarely found in the southwestern desert areas. It has conditions. In structures, nests are built in wall voids, around hot-water been found at sea level and in areas located at 11,000 feet above pipes and heaters, beneath floors, crawl spaces, and almost any sea level. areas where the opportunity presents them to build a colony or satellite colony. They can be found foraging in temperatures as The odorous house ant is easy to recognize. It is a small monomorphic low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They will forage during the day (one sized worker) ant approximately 1/8” (~3 mm length). The thorax as well as the night. continued is uneven and the node is hidden by the abdomen; barely visible. It has a 12 segmented antenna with no club. There are no circle of hairs on the tip of its abdomen and it has no stinger. When crushed it gives off a peculiar odor similar to a rotten coconut.
  • 2. BASF Urban Pest Profile Sheet and Treatment Strategy Odorous House Ant They prefer sweet-based foods and honeydew from homopterous Phantom ® termiticide-insecticide is a insects such as aphids, leaf hoppers, scale insects, which has been non-repellent insecticide that provides their primary food source long before man-made sucrose type sweets. excellent control inside for odorous house They will feed on proteins, grease and dead and live insects. Like ants. The label also allows for exterior most ants, they tend to change their food preferences in early spring, applications where ants enter the structure. summer and winter, switching from proteins after over-wintering to Since Phantom is a non-repellent and does not move or “bud” the carbohydrates and sugars in summer months. colonies; it is the liquid residual product of choice inside for ant control. CONTROL Termidor® termiticide-insecticide is the product of choice for the perimeter of the structure, where Control starts with identification and then a thorough inspection to ants enter the structure, where they nest and determine the extent of infestation of odorous house ants. Attention where ants trail. Termidor will transfer from the must be made to indoor areas, outdoor areas and areas outside and foraging workers back to the other members of the colony and will away from the structure. This ant can be classified as arboreal (living provide long residual control. in trees, shrubs, bushes and outdoor plantings), subterranean (soil areas beneath mulch and ground cover), and structural (in homes, Control depends on what you find during your inspection; especially offices and buildings) and since large numbers are encountered, PMPs when you determine the number of odorous house ants you are dealing may not obtain complete control just by treating in and around the with. You can get excellent initial control of odorous house ants but perimeter of the structure. Control considerations may include lawn extremely large numbers of ants can wear down and or overcome and tree applications when numbers in the tens to hundreds of residual insecticides just placed around the perimeter of structures. thousands are encountered. If you encounter this situation you should consider using insecticides in lawn areas where large numbers of ants are trailing or nesting A combination approach is probably the best method to eliminate and especially in trees, shrubs and plantings where odorous house these ants. Protein and sugar-based ant baits are effective tools for ants are typically found in the summer months. It is best to use an control; however keep in mind these ants will change their feeding outdoor product that is registered for lawn, tree and shrub use and habits throughout the year and prefer the natural foods they find a non-repellent. Also check with your State Pesticide Enforcement outdoors. Using baits away from the structure in the summer could bureau to see if additional training, licensing and/or certification is draw ants away while using baits in the winter months inside could necessary when applying pesticides to lawns, trees and shrubs. help control indoor colonies. Selected References Additional References and Education Information • NPMA Scientific Field Guide; http://www.pestworld.org • University of Florida, Department of Entomology • Mallis Handbook of Pest Control Ninth Edition; http://www.pctonline.com • TAMU, Entomology Department • Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations • University of Kentucky, Department of Entomology http://www.pestcontrolmag.com/pestcontrol Editor: William A. Kolbe, BCE, Market Development Specialist, BASF Specialty Products Phantom is a registered trademark and the Phantom logo is a trademark of BASF. Phantom is not registered for cockroach in California. Termidor is a registered trademark and the Termidor logo is a trademark of BASF. Termidor is not labeled for use in N.Y. ©2006 BASF Corporation. All rights reserved. Always read and follow label directions.