Citronella Ants

Quick Facts

Risk Factors

  • Family
  • Home
  • Pet


  • season Summer



0.16 inch

Inch Long


Round, Asymmetrical

What do Citronella Ants look like?

Citronella ants are yellow to yellowish-brown in color. Adult workers grow to between 1/8th and 3/16th of an inch in length; queens are slightly larger. They have a segmented body that is unevenly round when viewed from the side.

What are the signs of Citronella Ants?

Citronella ants are named so because of the lemon or citronella-like smell that they give off when they are crushed. Another interesting fact about citronella ants is that they are nocturnal and are rarely seen by homeowners.

Outside, citronella ants will nest in moist soil that is found along the house foundation, underneath concrete slabs, and under rotten trees or logs. Inside homes, they will nest in areas of high moisture like behind the tiled walls of bathrooms, underneath the bathroom or kitchen floors, and in moist crawl spaces.

Citronella ants almost exclusively feed on honeydew excreted from insects that live under the ground and feed on the roots of plants. They rarely, if ever, will feed on food that is found in homes.

What Damage do Citronella Ants cause?

Unlike carpenter ants that are destructive to homes and other structures, citronella ants are not dangerous to property.

How do you prevent Citronella Ants?

Here are tips to prevent Citronella Ants:

Woodpiles, compost piles, and outdoor trash should be placed/stored away from your home.
Make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from your home and its foundation.
Repair or replace any leaky outdoor fixtures, indoor fixtures, pipes, or faucets.
Remove and/or replace any wood in your home that has been damaged by water.
Seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation or exterior walls; install door sweeps on all exterior doors.

How do I get rid of Citronella Ants?

You can try to vacuum citronella ants to remove them, but they are small and can hide well.

Can Citronella Ants hurt me?

Citronella ants do not have a stinger and do not bite either so they are not a threat to human health. They are considered nuisance ants and could become a smelly nuisance to property owners.

What to Expect when Suburban Exterminating Arrives

Suburban Exterminating offers pest control solutions for citronella ants and other types of ants common to Long Island, New York.