Odorous ants are common throughout North America and so named because, when crushed, they emit a smell similar to the odor of rotten coconuts. For this reason, they are also known as coconut ants and stink ants in certain areas. These ants are highly-tolerant of other ants and occasionally live in compound colonies with other species.
These insects are a frequent nuisance in homes across the country. They build their nests in a wide variety of places, and their colonies can contain as many as 100,000 workers and numerous queens. The workers also follow long foraging trails, and they feed on many sweets, meats, fats and grease.
Odorous ants are dark brown or black in color and tend to range between 1.5 and 3.2 mm in size. They have an uneven thorax and antennae with 12 segments. Their most obvious identifier, however, remains the smell they make when crushed.