Truly Nolen has been receiving quite a few calls from homeowners in Burlington and Hamilton who are dealing with citronella ants. Our pest control specialists are seeing activity earlier than normal, most likely in part due to the mild winter.
Citronella ants are small, yellow insects that get their 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 colour. In some areas, people call them “moisture ants.” This may be because of the locations the ants choose for nesting.
You may find Citronella ants when digging in the soil or when large numbers of winged reproductive forms of these ants (called swarmers) show up along cement walls or floors, which was the case in the Hamilton home we visited.
Winged forms are most often seen in early spring (March and April) and in late September to October.
Citronella ants nest in the soil. Outdoors, they nest under logs and rocks, patio stones and landscape timbers. They also nest beside foundations and inside of crawlspaces. They make mounds of soil while they dig their galleries underground. Once things are thawing they begin to move inside to look for food.
In the homes Truly Nolen visited to deal with citronella ants, many are homes with dirt basements.
Inside homes, citronella ants nest in areas of high moisture. They often nest in wood that has already been damaged by fungus or termites. If citronella ants invade a home, it may be a sign that there is a moisture problem inside. Finding and solving the moisture problem is a priority. If the nest site is not found, and the moisture problem not resolved, mold may begin to grow, and the structural integrity of the wood may weaken.
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 when they accidentally enter into the home in the summer months.
How to get rid of Citronella Ants
It is important for homeowners or businesses to call a Pest Control Professional if they think they are dealing with Citronella ants. If not handled properly, the infestation can actually become worse, as the ants may form satellite nests.
If faced with a swarm, vacuuming up the flying insects is the safest and quickest method for removal. The next step is to properly identify the pests and ensure that they are not termites. To do this, you could crush one and check for the lemon scent or contact a pest expert.
Nests can be eliminated through the use of insecticides. To ensure the removal of any interior infestations, though, you must find and repair the water leaks or moisture problems that attracted the ants inside. Exclusionary methods, such as sealing small cracks with caulk and storing firewood away from the home, are also recommended.
If you suspect a citronella ant infestation in your home, contact a licensed Truly Nolen Canada Pest Control Professional at 888-832-4705 to book your free inspection to identify and treat the problem.