March 16, 2016 / Insects

Everything You Need To Know About The Citronella Ant

citronella ant facts

Citronella ants are one of the most interesting pests that home and business owners in the Northeast may come across. These small yellow ants emit a lemon-like scent when they feel threatened or are stepped on – hence the name citronella ant.

They survive on the honeydew excreted by aphids, and make their nests in gardens, in lawns, and next to house foundations. The colonies’ swarmers are the winged ants most often seen in New England homes. People call them swarmers because they leave their colonies to search for other colonies and to reproduce. Worker citronella ants, the smaller of the two, remain in the colony, and homeowners seldom see them.

When they start to swarm in the spring, citronella ants can become a serious nuisance inside and outside the home. While they will not reproduce or damage anything inside a home, they can come through cracks in doorways or windows, giving homeowners who mistake them for termites a good scare. They can also build colonies beneath crawl spaces in homes or under concrete slabs. If this is the case, you should contact a professional pest control company for help.

Keep these ants from entering your home by sealing all cracks leading outdoors and by using screens in your windows. Ants will seek the path of least resistance, meaning they congregate where there is a weakness in the foundation. If you seal all these weak spots, citronella ants will soon give up searching.

The good news is that these ants prefer being outdoors to being in your home, but that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally come in by accident. If you notice a swarm is occurring repeatedly near your home, you should attempt to locate the colony.

Typically, colonies mound up the soil around their entrance opening, similar to the way other ants mound soil. Injecting an insecticide into the holes can destroy the mounds. You should contact a professional pest control company to perform this job, as many pesticides are not for use by the general public, and licensed professionals will have the proper tools.

There’s no real need to worry about citronella ants, since they don’t seek to invade or deteriorate homes like other ants, but if you’re concerned about a colony near your home, contact JP Pest Services to learn how we can help solve the problem safely and effectively.