What Are Those Tiny Ants?

With spring just a week away, many of us are starting to think about taking our lunch breaks outside. Bright sunshine and warm breezes not only bring us outside, it also brings out those tiny ants that march their way around the parking lots, sidewalks and picnic tables of many commercial facilities in Tacoma, Seattle and throughout Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Those small pests are known as Odorous House Ants and what they are doing is searching for food.
Odorous House Ants are really quite small. They range in size from 1/20 of an inch to 1/16 inch in length and they have brown to black colored bodies. These ants earned their name by the odor they produce when crushed; that odor resembles the smell of pineapple. They enter facilities through cracks in cement slabs and walls, through slab expansion joints, utility and heat ducts and through the natural openings of buildings.
Odorous House Ants are not aggressive insects and will not attack people or pets. They are not able to sting or bite. These tiny, little pests are considered nuisance insects. In commercial facilities, they can be a real eyesore when they are seen crawling around in kitchens and dining areas. The sight of these nuisance insects can deter even the most loyal of customer. Also they can contaminate food sources and products with their droppings.
Often times, they will infest restaurant kitchens, hospital cafeterias and other commercial facilities especially when food is scarce outside. Odorous House Ants will feed on a wide variety Common Brown Scale of food, primarily sweets, but also live on dead insects, seeds and honeydew. They can travel long distances from their colonies and set up trails to food sources from their nests.
Controlling ants may seem like an easy task, just set out a few traps and problem solved, right? Unless the entire colony of these troublesome insects is eliminated and the conditions that encourage activity corrected, they will continue to be a problem for commercial facilities. Often times attempting do-it-yourself methods can actually make the problem worse. Spraying the colony Bed Bug Dog Sniffers with an ineffective over the counter product can cause the colony to split into sub-colonies that can potentially scatter to other areas of your facility. This is called budding. The best course of action is to contact a local pest control company who understands the unique pest control needs and industry regulations regarding pesticide usage of the commercial marketplace.