Case Studies

Pests We Treat Case Studies: Odorous House Ants Nest in Kitchen Outlet in Toms River, NJ

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 by Kevin Vernon


Just recently, I went on a service call to a home in Toms River, NJ. The homeowner contacted Cowleys after spotting ants on her kitchen counter. Once I arrived, I began my inspection on the kitchen counter and discovered ants trailing from the fruit bowl to an outlet. As I pulled off the outlet cover I came across a nest of odorous house ants. Odorous house ants get their name from the robust, rotten coconut smell they give off when they are crushed. These tiny brown to black ants range in size from 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch long. Odorous house ants love to feast on sweets, they’re especially fond of honeydew, and once inside a home odorous house ants can contaminate food.

I continued with my inspection and headed to the exterior of the property where I noticed that the odorous house ants were gaining access into the home through a tiny gap in the kitchen window frame. As I was inspecting the exterior of the home I noticed a large gap under the deck abutting the house. This gap was the perfect size for rodents, such as mice or squirrels, to gain access into the home.


First, after discussing it with the homeowner, I sealed off the gap underneath the deck abutting the house with hardware cloth and plywood to prevent any additional pests or wildlife gaining access into the home.

Next, I applied a liquid non-repellent application along the entire exterior of the home and directly on the ant colony inside the wall outlet. I also applied a gel bait on the kitchen counter and in all the cracks and crevices in the kitchen. Both the liquid non-repellant and the gel bait are designed to keep the ants alive long enough to carry the application back to their colony. When ants forage, they leave a pheromone trail for them to follow back to the colony. Once an ant finds food, it lays down an even stronger pheromone trail, and other ants start following it. When ants come in contact with the gel bait or the application they transfer it from one to another. In a short amount of time, the ants are no more.