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How to Manage Pests

Key to Identifying Common Household Ants


Odorous house ant

Ants trailing along sidewalk

Odorous house ant trails are common along sidewalks

Colony propogation

Colonies begin in the spring and summer months by budding, which occurs when a mated queen crawls out of the nest with some workers to establish a new colony. Occasional late spring swarms, or reproductive flights, may occur. Colonies have multiple queens. Odorous house ants invade homes most likely during rainy weather since their natural food supply (honeydew from insects) is washed from vegetation. Ants can be active all year round in homes, but outdoors they overwinter as workers or larvae until temperatures warm in March, when they begin to forage once more.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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