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Identifying the species of pest ants (digital photos available)

Customer Question

I have an ant problem in my home. These are pest ants, generically called pissants or sometimes sugar ants. I would like to know the EXACT species of these ants.

I have a DigitalBlue digital microscope, and have posted some pictures(at 10X & 60X) at http://67.170.148.164/ants

I’m strongly suspect these are Odorous House Ants, per the description I found at websites such as http://www.pestproducts.com/odorous_house_ant.htm. However, there are a couple of things that make me question this identification.

First, the ant is described as being especially prominent in the mid-South. I live in Portland, Oregon (and we are currently experiencing a wet and chilly Spring). I don’t know if this ant lives in my area or tolerates colder climates.

Second, the “smell” characteristic is described as “rotten coconut” (though I wouldn’t really know what that smelled like). I crushed three of these ants. They have a somewhat unpleasant odor (but not “ewwww - nasty”), but I must be rather close (about 2” away) to smell it. The descriptions I’ve read (at this and other websites) led me to believe the odor would be worse with greater range.

These ants are of uniform size and appearance. They are 3/16” – 1/4” long. The body is a light brown, the head is black, and the abdomen appears to be brown/black striped.

They follow scent trails. They are coming from a faraway outside location (across neighbors yards that are inaccessible to me – at least for raking up their flower beds) and they are entering my house from at least two locations.

They seem to be moving around. One day we will see lots of them in one room, and the next day they have moved, with no sign of them in the former location.

I do not see a concentration of them around food areas (kitchen trash cans, etc). I don’t know what they’re eating.

Thanks!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Marc replied 11 years ago.

  It would be nice if you posted live links.  


http://67.170.148.164/ants/

 

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