Learn all about citronella ants bite, swarmers, repellant and citronella ants vs. termites. Citronella ants are a little mysterious. There are not many details about these smelly ants. Another interesting fact about Citronella ants is that they feed off honeydew, which is the waste product of aphids. Citronella ants will protect and cultivate populations of aphids, much like humans breed cows. Workers are yellow and approximately 4 mm long. The queens are about 8 mm long. The workers have a strong lemon-like smell when crushed, which results in their name of citronella ant.
The citronella ant gets its name from the lemon or citronella odor that people smell when they crush a worker. Some people call these ants “large yellow ants” because of their color. In some areas, people call them “moisture ants.” This may be because of the locations the ants choose for nesting. This ant is common from New England to the Pacific Northwest and southward to Florida and Mexico.
Citronella ants locate their colonies within the soil under items such as stones, logs and landscape timbers. They also may be found in the soil under mulch next to building foundations, or they may locate colonies in soil underneath slab floors and in crawl spaces. They often make their nests under slabs and porches. Sometimes they push soil up through a crack in a slab while they nest underneath. Homeowners sometimes mistake this soil as a sign of termite activity.
Citronella ants (Acanthomyops interjectus), also called foundation ants and large yellow ants, often cause concern that isn’t warranted. Despite their size and innate abilities to enter homes through small cracks when swarming, these ants are barely a nuisance species. They do not forage for food or reproduce indoors and are not built to live in homes or other structures.
Any treatment will involve drilling and treating beneath the slab, thus requiring the services of an experienced professional.
What are Citronella ants
There are two species of citronella ant, the large yellow ant and the small yellow ant. The large yellow ant is 0.16 to 0.18 inches long and can range in color from light yellow to a light red-brown. The small yellow ant is the same color as the larger species and ranges in size from 0.12 to 0.16 inches. Citronella ants and their relatives are golden yellow in color. The winged female swarmers are also golden-yellow while the winged males are black.
Citronella ants bite Pain & Treatment
These smelly ants can’t sting, but will bite if they feel threatened. Citronella ant bites feel like a small pinch and may leave a little red mark, but are harmless. Citronella ants may also release a lemon-scented chemical if they feel alarmed, which sometimes may irritate people with sensitive skin.
Citronella ants Swarmers
Citronella ants often become a nuisance when the winged ants leave the colonies for their mating flight. Winged ants that emerge through a crack in a slab or a basement wall can be very distressing for the homeowners. These winged ants will not damage anything. A vacuum cleaner is the most effective way to remove them quickly. 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.
Citronella ants Repellent
Cinnamon oil is a natural ant repellent with insecticidal properties. In general, place baits wherever ants have been seen. Spraying insecticides or cleaning products near the baits will have the opposite of the desired effect. Bait products should be rotated if bait isn’t working, and fresh baits should be set out often. Keep your home tidy and food in tight-fitting containers. Eliminate reasons for ants to come inside. Citronella Ant colonies established outdoors can prove difficult to remove. Mounds may cover the opening to a nest which makes it more conspicuous. Granular bait and liquid or dust pesticides are often used to drench the entire mound. Insecticides may also be sprayed around the perimeter of your building, around the foundation and up the walls.
Citronella ants vs Termites
Many people mistake citronella ants for termites because of their similar light color and swarming habits. The citronella ant has elbowed anntenae, a tiny waist and two pairs of wings that are different sizes. On the other hand, a termite has straight anntenae, a broad waist and two pairs of wings that are the same size.