Species category: Ant
Scientific Name: Tapinoma sessile
Small and brownish black in colour, the Odorous House Ant produces a distinctive and pungent odour when crushed. Typically, an adult worker will reach 2.4-3.25mm long.
Odorous House Ants have a sugary diet and feed on sweet food scraps, and dead insects. They also favour honeydew from aphids.
Colonies can range from less than 100 workers and one queen per colony, to more than 10,000 workers and hundreds of queens. They nest near heat or water sources.
Their odour is their primary defence against contenders and when disturbed, they run around erratically and spray their odour from tiny glands at their rear ends.
The Odorous House Ant is widespread in Malaysia.
Generally, nests are located outdoors; they can be under rocks or a pile of leaves. However, they can nest indoors under sinks and doormats. Foraging workers enter houses regularly in search of food, preferring sweet foods.
The Odourous House Ant is more of a pest as it does not cause damage, transmit diseases, nor bite or sting. However, they travel in large numbers to forage for food. They can contaminate food when foraging.