Citronella ants get their name from the scent they emit when they’re threatened or crushed. While they may smell good, citronella ants can be a major nuisance in Merrimac homes.

These aromatic ants are common in Massachusetts and may become a recurring issue in your house. We have the answers to all your citronella ant questions. Read on to learn how to identify citronella ants, whether they’re dangerous, and the best method of ant control in Merrimac.

up close image of two citronella ants
a large group of crawling citronella ants

What Is A Citronella Ant?

The citronella ant, also called the yellow ant, is a fairly common household ant in Massachusetts. There are two species, the larger yellow ant and the smaller yellow ant. The larger, or Lasius interjectus, is the more common of the two.

Larger yellow ant workers are 1/8 to 3/16 inch long and yellow to yellowish-brown in color. They have 12-segmented antennae and a single node between the thorax and abdomen. Swarmers are about double the size of workers and have dark wings. They can range in color from pale yellow to dark reddish-yellow or light brown. Smaller yellow ants appear very similar to their larger counterparts, apart from their size at less than 1/8 inch.

You may also identify citronella ants by the lemon or citronella-like smell they emit when crushed or threatened. These ants can be a nuisance in Merrimac homes when they swarm or nest in and around homes. If you see citronella ants in your home, you should seek professional ant control near you.

What Do Citronella Ants Eat?

Unlike many other ant species with multiple food sources, citronella ants feed exclusively on honeydew from aphids. Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that extract plant sap. They produce a sugar-rich waste product called honeydew, which citronella ants collect and consume.

Citronella ants do not seem to have any other food sources, relying solely on aphid honeydew. They typically nest in pastures, fields, gardens, lawns, and other areas that also host aphids. You may also find them near your home’s foundation, under concrete or rocks, and in decaying logs.

While citronella ants will not forage for food in your kitchen, they may still invade your home. Proper ant control in your house can help eliminate these pests.

Are Citronella Ants Dangerous?

Fortunately, citronella ants are not dangerous to humans. They lack a stinger and do not bite. There is also little risk of food contamination, as citronella ants seem to have no interest in human food and subsist entirely on aphid honeydew.

Though citronella ants do not enter homes searching for food sources, they often swarm in and around homes. This can happen any time of year but most commonly occurs in the summer months. Swarmers may enter your home through cracks in the foundation or gaps around doors or windows. Flying citronella ants are often confused with termite swarmers when they invade homes. While citronella ants typically live in underground colonies, they will occasionally nest inside structures, particularly in high moisture areas. You may find them in damp wood behind bathroom walls or crawl spaces.

Without effective ant control, citronella ants can be challenging to eliminate. However, there are some simple ways to avoid problems with citronella ants in the first place.

Here are a few tips for preventing these ants in your home:

  • Address any moisture issues on your property.
  • Replace or remove damp wood in your home.
  • Seal cracks in your home’s foundation and exterior.
  • Install mesh screens on windows, doors, and vents.
  • Fill in small spaces around doors and windows.
  • Vacuum up any citronella ant swarmers you find in your house.

Using barrier exclusion to keep swarmers out and addressing moisture issues can help avoid citronella ant infestations on your property. If you discover citronella ants in or around your home, contact a professional for ant control solutions.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Citronella Ants?

The most effective way to control citronella ants is to work with professionals. Pest control professionals have the knowledge, products, and training to eliminate these nuisance ants from your property.

Freedom Pest Control provides quality pest control in Merrimac. Since 1994, we have been giving back to our community by working with integrity, accountability, collaboration, and innovation. When you work with us, you will get quality pest management and outstanding customer service.

If citronella ants have swarmed or nested in your home, Freedom Pest Control is here for you. Our technicians know how to get rid of citronella ants safely and effectively. We will perform a comprehensive inspection to locate the nests and will provide you with a customized home pest control or commercial pest control plan that reflects your needs. Contact us today for your free ant control quote.


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