Pest Identifier: Citronella Ants in Tennessee

The citronella ant—also known as the moisture ant or the yellow ant—is known for its distinctive coloring, as well as the citrus odor it emits when it is crushed. Citronella ants are not destructive pests, but their coloring and “swarming” behavior can often lead to a case of mistaken identity. Sometimes, a home or business owner may see a swarm and think they’ve spotted some termites.

Citronella ants feed on honeydew—the sweet waste excretions—from subterranean aphids and mealybugs who feed on plant roots. In fact, citronella ants will often herd and protect these insects like cattle. Although they’re not known for foraging inside homes, their affinity for areas with heavy moisture and rotting wood can lead them to spots inside your house that may have these issues.


How to Identify Citronella Ants

Citronella ants are larger than other ants. Despite its distinctive yellow/brown color, this ant is also 1/8 to 3/16 inches long. It does not have a stinger, so there’s no real need to worry about danger from coming into contact with it. The biggest signifier you’re dealing with citronella ants is a citrus-like smell if you crush them. While we usually do not recommend trying to tackle an ant infestation on your own, an exploratory foot stomp or two can help narrow down the type of ant problem you have.

Common areas you will find their outdoor nests include the undersides of stones, logs, and even inside rotten logs and stumps. Ants that nest next to foundations or under slabs will push dirt piles out to make space.

The biggest areas of concern with Citronella ants are their similarities to termites and their penchant for nesting in areas thick with moisture. If you’re not careful, their tens of thousands of swarmers could overrun your home.

Prevent Citronella Ants from Nesting in Your Home with U.S. Pest Protection

A thorough inspection and correct identification of any pests are some of the most important parts of controlling ants in your home. Because citronella ants resemble termites so closely, it’s vital to call U.S. Pest Protection to your home as soon as you see any signs of an infestation. We’ll come to your home and investigate the root cause of your pest problem. In addition, we’ll determine what steps must be taken to eliminate citronella ants (and other pests) from your home. To get started, contact U.S Pest for your initial free inspection.

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