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Yellow or Citronella Ants

Hogarth’s Pest Control specializes in Yellow Ant removal.

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Yellow ants are aptly named because of the coloring of their bodies. These ants are also known as citronella ants because of the lemon verbena-like odor given off when they are crushed. The most common structural pest species of this group is the larger yellow ant, Lasius interjectus, which is found from the southernmost parts of New England all the way westward to Washington and even southward to Florida and into Mexico.


Yellow ants are primarily nocturnal insects, so not much is widely known about their behavior. Swarms most commonly occur during June and July in the late afternoon of warm, humid, windless days. However, in years with warm autumn months, they have been known to swarm then as well.

They feed almost exclusively on honeydew created by underground insects. There is no record of them feeding on household foods.


Yellow ant nests are often established near areas of high moisture. In homes, these ants can be found in damp wood, which is often located behind tub tile walls in a bathroom or damp crawl spaces. Outside, nests are usually situated along foundation walls, under rotten logs, or in the soil next to structures. The mounds from the excavation of their tunnels in the dirt can reach a diameter of up to three feet.


Yellow ants do not have a stinger, but it can become nuisance pests if a colony establishes itself within the home or structure.

What do they look like?