Acrobat Ant

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Acrobat ants get their name from their ability to acrobatically raise their abdomen over their thorax and head. They may sting when disturbed, although the pain is mild.

Fast Facts

Color Light brown to black.
Size Workers are all the same size of 1/8″ long.
Appearance When viewed from above, the abdomens appears to be heart-shaped. If alarmed, the workers scurry around with their abdomens raised over their heads. A stinger is present.

Diet

They travel on trails, foraging as far as 100 feet from their nest. Acrobat ants eat a wide variety of foods, including sweets and proteins. They feed on honeydew produced by aphids and other plant feeders, along with live and dead insects.

Habitat & Nests

Acrobat ants often nest outdoors under stones, logs, firewood, or trees where decay allows them to tunnel under bark or into wood. Within structures, they nest in wall and floor voids, foam insulation, and other areas commonly associated with carpenter ants. They are found in abandoned termite, carpenter ant, or other wood-infesting insect galleries. Debris such as dirt and wood scraps they they deposit as they excavate their nests are potential telltale signs of an infestation.

Colonies

Colonies range in size from moderate to large. Swarmers have been observed in nests or swarming from mid-June through late September. Workers trail along tree limbs, utility lines and rails of fences and decks, entering structures through cracks and holes around utility lines or pipes, window frames and soffits. Workers also trail across the ground and enter through doors and small openings. Acrobat ants aggressively defend the colony and are quick to bite and release a foul odor.

Prevention & Control

Acrobat Ant Prevention

Prevention strategies are similar to those used for carpenter ants. An integrated approach, involving moisture elimination, removal of overhanging tree limbs, stumps, and firewood, and mechanical alterations to prevent entry, is required. All cracks and gaps in exterior walls that provide access to voids or interior areas should be sealed. Areas where water leaks have occurred, particularly roof, soffit, bathroom and kitchen areas should be inspected.

Acrobat Ant Control

The most complete control is accomplished when the nests are treated with a residual spray or dust which may involve drilling holes in hollow doors, wall voids, ceiling voids, etc., which these ants exploit for nesting sites. In some situations, it may be useful to drill infested wood and apply a dust or liquid formula directly to galleries. Infestations can be reduced but not eliminated by treating travel routes that worker ants follow while foraging. Infestations that originate outdoors can be reduced by the application of barrier treatments. Baits are of limited value in control of these ants.