Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Get Rid of Citronella Ants

...
Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Ants in and around the home often cause a bit of disturbance to homeowners. 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. As such, controlling them in the home is best done with exclusion techniques.

The Basics

...
Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

These large, yellow ants are soil-nesting, meaning they prefer to build their nests outdoors in soil, typically under logs, rocks, concrete, porches and other similar structures. They are fairly large ants; workers are typically 1/4 inch long with an orange-yellow body. Homeowners rarely come across these ants except during short periods throughout the year, typically in early spring or late summer to early fall, when swarmers begin looking for mates and to start new colonies. Swarmers are approximately twice the size of typical workers with smoky wings; they closely resemble swarming termites.

Exclusion Techniques

...
Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Because these ants typically enter homes only during the swarming period, excluding them is one of the simplest and most effective methods of controlling them. They'll often find expansion cracks in foundations or around doorways. Find and fill the cracks in which the ants are coming in. Use caulk or similar materials to fill voids and cracks around the foundation, doors and windows of your home.

Spring Cleaning

...
Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

A vacuum cleaner can do wonders for ridding your home of swarming citronella ants. If they do enter your home, sweep them up with the vacuum cleaner. A vacuum with a long wand can make the task easier. You can release any that survive the vacuum.

Nest Removal

...
Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

In rare circumstances, these ants nest near or in foundations and crawl spaces, making them more of a nuisance. To control the ants in this type of situation, it is important to find the colony. In general, citronella ant colonies have a mound of soil around the opening. Dusting silica gel or over-the-counter ant controls into the nest with a handheld duster is often effective.

Related Articles

Flying Insects That Burrow in the Ground
Flying Insects That Burrow in the Ground
There Are Tiny Bugs on the Lights on My Porch
There Are Tiny Bugs on the Lights on My Porch
How to Kill Red Velvet Ants
How to Kill Red Velvet Ants
Will Permethrin Kill Ants?
Will Permethrin Kill Ants?
Tiny Circular Worms in Outdoor Carpet
Tiny Circular Worms in Outdoor Carpet
How to Get Rid of Pesky Biting Fish Flies
How to Get Rid of Pesky Biting Fish Flies
How to Get Rid of Cicada Wasps
How to Get Rid of Cicada Wasps
Common South Florida Spiders
Common South Florida Spiders
How to Kill Bull Ants
How to Kill Bull Ants
What Kind of Wasps Are in Missouri?
What Kind of Wasps Are in Missouri?
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers & Crickets
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers & Crickets
How Does a Fly Trap Work?
How Does a Fly Trap Work?
How to Get Rid of Those Bugs That Look Like Lady Bugs
How to Get Rid of Those Bugs That Look Like Lady Bugs
Where Do Wasps Migrate to in the Winter?
Where Do Wasps Migrate to in the Winter?
How to Kill Ants in a Florida Yard
How to Kill Ants in a Florida Yard
How to Kill Guinea Wasps
How to Kill Guinea Wasps
Garden Guides
×