Acrobat Ant

Category:

Actual Size: 2.5 to 4 mm

Characteristics: Light brown to black; heart-shaped abdomen when viewed from above.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Swarmers or reproductives have wings

Habitat: Prefers rotting and decaying wood, inhabiting old carpenter ant or termite galleries. In homes, will infest wall voids around doors, window frames, and insulation.

Habits:

  • Feeds on a variety of foods, but prefer the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs.
  • When excited or disturbed, workers will run around with their abdomens held high above their heads.
  • Rose bushes, fruit trees and any shrub that attracts aphids may contribute to an acrobat ant infestation.

Acrobat Ants in Wisconsin

Acrobat ants are known to invade homes and properties across Wisconsin. They received their name due to the worker’s ability to hold its abdomen up over the rest of its body. When doing so, acrobat ants look like gymnasts. These ant pests typically construct nests in decaying or rotting wood. Acrobat ants practice mutualism, which means they tend aphids and feed on the honeydew that the aphids produce.

Acrobat Ant Habitat

When nesting outdoors acrobat ants prefer to live in trees.  They sometimes take over a single tree, however, large colonies can spread to neighboring trees. Acrobat ants eat sugary substances, proteins, and dead insects. When acrobat ants infest dwellings, they nest in damp or rotting wood. Entering homes through gaps, cracks in foundations, electrical lines, and tree limbs, acrobat ants can be a nuisance.

Acrobat Ant Behaviors, Threats  or Dangers

Primarily an outdoor concern, their presence, whether indoors or outdoors, indicates decaying wood. Acrobat ants will bite if their colony is disturbed. Once they have gained access to your home, acrobat ants will create nests in woodwork and insulation. When foraging for food, these ant pests prefer kitchen cabinets and pantries. If an acrobat ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.