Citronella Ants- what are they?

January 31, 2019

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is a super resource for learning about insects and science in general.  They define citronella ants (large yellow ants) quite simply:

The citronella ants get their name from the lemon verbena or citronella odor they emit when threatened. It is most noticeable when the ants are crushed. They are subterranean insects that feed on the honeydew (excretions) of aphids and mealybugs feeding on the roots of shrubs.

Both the larger and the smaller yellow ant are found throughout much of the continental United States. They are very common in the eastern United States and are frequently confused with termites when they swarm into the living areas of homes. In both species, the swarmers (winged ants) may vary in color from the more common light yellow to a dark reddish-yellow or light brown. The workers are typically yellow with less color variation than the swarmers.

Tell me more!

  • Citronella ants virtually go undetected until the swarmers gain access to homes and commercial structures through poorly sealed doorways, garage doors, and cracks in foundation.
  • They gravitate to moist areas or locations of decaying wood, perhaps in a space frequented by termites.
  • Interestingly enough, they will not reproduce within the structures.
  • They may be easy to see indoors but in outdoor spaces, they are feeding on vegetative roots and often go undetected.

How can we help?

Are you unsure what you have? Call us. Speak with our office team and together we can determine how to best assist you.

Once we have determined that we need to treat for citronella ants, the technician will observe the area looking for the colony or colonies of ants to be treated. They will also review options with you for AccuShield exclusion services? to insure these and other insects or nuisance wildlife will no longer enter your home or business.

At Accurate Pest Control, we are licensed to treat with specific ant control insecticides. Organic options may be available and should be discussed with your technician. Give us a call at 518.587.3750 to learn more.

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