We Get Rid of Odorous House Ants!

People and pet friendly

Your local Odorous House Ant Experts.

We use ant control products that are pet and people friendly - with no odors or fumes!

We have been providing Odorous House Ant Control services in the Greater Seattle area for 20 years!

We are A+ rated, we get most of our work from repeat customers and referrals, and we have been awarded the Super Service Award from Angie's list - multiple times!



This page:

  • Odorous House Ant info
  • Odorous House Ant Identification
  • Home Remedies
  • Safeguard's Enhanced Odorous House Ant Treatment
  • Safety
  • Prep Sheets
  • Ant Prevention


Odorous House Ant Info

Odorous House Ants, AKA OHAs, (oh-haz) do not damage structures. In nature they make their nests in the ground, under rocks, and in stumps and fallen logs. They are adept at living and foraging below ground level. This can make it hard to know you have them - and hard to control them.

They can have huge colonies - known as super colonies. Each individual nest can have many queens, but these super colonies can cover entire neighborhoods.

They are called Odorous House Ants, because when you smash them they smell bad, like urine or rotting coconut. Some people even refer to them as 'piss ants'. However, many types of ants smell bad when you smash them.

They are also known as Sugar Ants, they get that name because they readily feed on sugar, pop, syrup, and other sweets.

In nature these ants actually eat other insects and insect secretions. Aphids make a sticky 'sap' when they eat the leaves of bushes and trees. This 'sap' is an insect super food, highly valued by ants and wasps - it is almost pure sugar.

Odorous House AntsSugar ant enlarged

Left: Odorous House Ant workers (sugar ants) around the edge of a spoon.

Single Ant / Above: A greatly enlarged picture of a Sugar Ant / Odorous House Ant worker.


Odorous House Ant identification

There are lots of different kinds of ants in our area. There are several types of very small dark brown / black ants. Our ant identification page may help.


Home Remedies

Ant baits can help, but over the counter ant baits are way too strong - and few people put baits out in enough places, much less use both a protein based bait AND a sugar based bait.

We use slow acting baits in lots of cracks and crevices, under and behind appliances, cabinets, and baseboards - areas kids and pets can't get into but ants use to move back and forth in your home.

Proper control of all ants, always includes a thorough spray of the exterior. The ants you see inside are a tiny fraction of the ants in your home, and an even small part of their much larger colony.

Essential oils and over the counter ant sprays from your local home and garden store are highly repellent - and most of our calls come from people, who looked into how to get rid of odorous house ants themselves, who have used one or more home options and wish they hadn't.


How we get rid of odorous house ants

Inside Your Home:

We apply multiple types of professional grade baits, applied in LOTS of areas - in an effort to overcome the ants natural ‘stop feeding response’. All baits are super low in toxicity, with no fume or vapor, and are carefully placed in areas that the tiny little ants can get to, but kids and pets CANNOT.

We inspect and treat wall voids through electrical and plumbing, plates, and collars—in areas of consistent or heavy activity. We use all natural, fresh water diatomaceous earth in areas where it will not become airborne.

We inspect and treat attic / roof voids and sub area crawl spaces. Because ants can nest there.

If you see lots of OHAs on the inside and want faster results, we might recommend spraying the inside as well.


On The Exterior:

We inspect and spray the exterior perimeter base of your home – up to ten feet out if needed, under and around decks, the edges of walkways and driveways, fence lines, and attached vegetation.

We inspect and spray any ant activity we note in your yard.

We use professional grade non-repellent sprays that the ants cannot sense, rated as being 20X LESS toxic than the caffeine in your morning cup of coffee. Sprays that last up to 90 days per application.


Why We Recommend & Perform Quarterly Services:

Ants inside your home. House ants can have huge nests, and several of them, spread out in all kinds of areas we don’t have direct access to. Unless you have a tent fumigation, it can take some time to eliminate all the ants inside your home.

Ants outside your home. Your ants are related to ants in other nests and colonies in your neighborhood. All of these ant populations are connected with ‘scent’ trails that can last for many years. These ‘scent’ trails are flashing neon lights advertising your home’s location to other ants.

Why We Treat During The Winter:

It takes Diatomaceous earth about a year to tightly clump and adhere to the surfaces it’s applied to. So about once a year, we try to get inside to inspect and reapply to these areas.

This service typically takes longer than our outside services, is worth more than our outside services, and it works to cut down on other insects pests such as wasps and spiders too!

This service is especially important for OHAs, as they nest & forage underground, and often come up in sub areas and from cracks in slab floors.



At Safeguard, we perform an interior and exterior safety inspection prior to every service, to avoid spraying gardens, herbs, flowers in bloom, pet food dishes, and toys. We take your health and safety seriously. We use the least toxic and most natural materials that still get results. At every service, we also look for other pests which could infest your home and cause you future inconvenience.

Prep Sheets

We have preparation sheets for inside ant treatments and for exterior perimeter sprays to help you get rid of odorous house ants and get the most out of our services.


Ant Prevention

There are actually a number of things that can be done to make a structure less attractive to ants, all ants. Most of these steps will also make any type of treatment program more successful with less use of pesticide.

Please visit our page: Carpenter Ant Prevention to learn how to make your treatment more effective and possibly less expensive.


Odorous House Ant Control wrap up

Ants do not aimlessly wander into homes. They only seem to show up in the spring and then dispensary.

Ants do stop foraging inside when you spray something on them, most sprays are highly repellent. Even natural sprays, even household cleansers. OHAs will also stop showing up when they eat something that kills a bunch of them quickly (strong over the counter baits), and when the food that they prefer - becomes available outside.

But just because you don't see them - doesn't mean they aren't there - inside your walls, in your attic, or inside your sub area. 

To kill Odorous House Ants completely it can sometimes take several follow-up treatments over a period of months. It is important to understand that the nest in your home is only a small part of a closely connected nest and colony system.









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