Citronella ants look like termites due to their similar nesting habits and appearance, as they infest moist wood and get attracted to moist areas. Every species of ants has a different level of toxicity and poses a varying degree of danger to their prey, humans, pets, and plants.
Are Citronella Ants Poisonous? Citronella ants are not poisonous as they possess non-venomous material in their poison glands that causes no painful sensation if they bite or sting. They can bite with powerful jaws but avoid stinging the prey’s body. They are not harmful to humans but they can damage plants.
A few species are poisonous, like fire and bullet ants, but many ant species are not harmful due to their non-toxic secretions.
Why are Citronella ants not poisonous?
Citronella ants are large yellow-colored insects widely known for their distinct body odor. They produce a lemon-like odor after feeling threatened or crushed under their feet.
It is a tropical ant commonly seen outdoors in the lawn or garden, particularly during spring. Moreover, it is not poisonous due to the absence of venomous material in their bodies.
They have formic acid in their poison gland, but it is not poisonous and does not cause any toxicity in the bodies after entering the bloodstream.
Accordingly, these ants are not dangerous for other animals and rely on their strong mandibles for biting their prey animals. They do not inject secretions into the body after biting with their teeth.
In addition, they use chemical signals to communicate with each other and produce pheromones to coordinate with their fellows and protect themselves from attacks.
They do not pose any danger to pet animals because their bites are not painful for these small animals. Their mandibles cannot pierce through the skin layer and cause mild irritation only.
However, they are known to cause severe nuisance and invade indoor areas in large numbers. It becomes challenging to remove them from the house due to the large population of insects.
They can cause damage to the floor because workers push the soil from cracks when they come out of their nests. The swarmer of alates usually gets inside homes during mating season.
So, they are not poisonous but cause a little problem for the plants and garden because they make nests in open spaces, like gardens and backyards.
Are Citronella ants harmful to humans?
Citronella ants do not harm humans in the form of allergies and other health risks because they are not known to transfer diseases and harmful bacteria.
Moreover, they avoid bites and stings until they do not feel any threat in their surroundings and react non-aggressively to humans if they are present close to each other.
Ants can detect a threat to their survival when humans accidentally crush a few fellows. It seems like a provoking act for the tiny creatures that makes them angry.
Accordingly, they do not tolerate any brutal behavior and react aggressively to a person responsible for the death of their fellows.
They can reach your feet to bite after disturbance of their mounds or nests, but they cannot cause deeper wounds on the skin due to small teeth.
In addition, these are not stinging pests and only use their teeth for defensive purposes, which means they cannot be responsible for painful stings.
They do not cause any significant damage to property and people, but their dietary habits make them beneficial for the ecosystem as they eat other insects.
The alates are primary nuisance pests in the house that can reach inside the kitchen or bathroom. Seeing them crawling everywhere on the floors looks awful, which irritates humans.
Are Citronella ants dangerous for plants?
Citronella ants are damaging to plants because they infest the roots of the plant and feed on them. A large swarm of these ants infests plants, affecting their survival by consuming nutrients.
They obtain nutrients from soil close to the roots, making plants deficient in essential nutrients. Moreover, they extract sap and minerals from the soil to get energy and nutrition.
In addition, they also attack plants for aphids, which are common sap-sucking pests of plants. These plant pests obtain nutrition from plant sap and produce sweet honeydew as excretion.
These ants feed on these excretions because they like to eat sweet, liquid food. Accordingly, they build mutual relationships with aphids and protect them from predator attacks.
This way, they can cause indirect damage to the plant by supporting aphids for growth as their population grows uncontrollably.
A large population of aphids and other sap-sucking pests can damage to the plant.
What attracts citronella ants in the house?
Citronella ants are moisture-loving insects that usually get inside the house to seek water for hydration. They look for high moisture areas and infest on the wet floors and moist wood.
Their presence can be an indicator of water leakage inside the home, so they can help you find a leakage source when you follow their trails.
Most commonly, you can see them crawling in the kitchen sink, shower drains, bathtub, and wet bathroom floor because high moisture areas attract them.
One of my friends was frustrated with their invasions because these ants frequently got inside the bathroom, probably because of the moisture.
Moreover, they have no interest in the food prepared by humans, and they usually feed on the roots of plants, honeydew, and smaller insects.
They live inside wood material that is slightly wet and rotten because it is easy for them to make their way inside wet wood. They choose termite-infested wood to live inside tiny chambers.
You have to remove wet wood from the house or backyard to control the rate of their infestation. So, you can discourage these insects by making your house less attractive for them.
How do you get rid of Citronella ants?
You have to understand the behavior of citronella ants and find an attractant inside the house that allures these insects to get inside homes.
They are usually outdoor ants and build their nests in open places. However, they can enter buildings by passing through small cracks in the wooden doors and windows.
Accordingly, you have to seal all the holes and cracks in the building to keep these outdoor pests away from home because they need spaces to sneak through them.
In addition, you can vacuum clean the floor to remove the ant trails easily, as it is a quick solution to the infestation problem. Remove the bag immediately and throw it in the trash bin outdoors.
I sprayed their food trails with white vinegar solution to drown them in the solution and repel insects for at least a day or two.
Moreover, replace the moist and rotting wood to keep them away and clean the water spills or standing water on the floor to make your place unattractive for them.
Furthermore, remove the potential nesting sites of citronella ants and keep firewood away from the home to reduce the risk of indoor infestation.