Workers monomorphic, about 1/16-1/8″ (2.4-3.25 mm) long. Body brown to black. Antenna 12-segmented, without a club. Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly rounded. Pedicel 1-segmented, with small node/segment hidden/concealed from view from above by base of gaster. Gaster with anal opening slitlike, lacking circlet of hairs. Stinger absent. Workers emit a disagreeable, rotten, coconut-like odor.
Colonies may be composed of several hundred to 100,000 ants. There are usually many queens in a colony. Developmental time (egg to adult) is 34-83 days, varying with temperature during summer months, and up to 6-7 months during the winter. Colonies typically produce 4-5 generations a year. Although they probably mate both inside and outside the nest, the first swarmers appear from May to mid-July. The workers and queens live for several years. Individuals from different colonies are not hostile to one another and workers normally move along trails.
Location of the nest(s) is crucial and can often be accomplished by following the trail of foraging workers back from the food source. Use of boric acid dust in the voids of outside ground-floor walls and infested interior walls along with barrier treatment is effective. Baiting is often required.