Learn how to identify common pests; understand their biology, diet, and habits; and find out what you can do to control them.
Facts, Identification & Control
Acrobat ants get their name because of the worker’s ability to hold their abdomen up over the rest of their body which makes them look like they are in a circus performing a balancing act.
Where do they live?
Acrobat ants can most often be found nesting outside in trees, in stumps, porches, decks or roof eaves or under mulch or leaf piles. Sometimes they enter into homes through cracks in foundations, through gaps found around windows and doors, and through utility line entrances. Once inside they may decide to nest behind walls and in insulation. They prefer areas that are damp.
Acrobat ants will also use spaces that have previously been excavated by termites or carpenter ants. They will occasionally forage up to 100 feet away from their nest.
How do they live?
Like all ants, acrobat ants have a life cycle with 4 stages. They are a small species of ant, with adults ranging in size from 1mm to 3mm in length. They range in color from light yellowish-brown to black, and some are even multi-colored.
Acrobat ants commonly feed on honeydew (excreta from aphids and mealybugs). They will also eat both live and dead insects, and invade homes to feed on sweets and proteins that can be found in kitchen, storage, and pantry areas.
How do they affect us?
While foraging for food indoors their presence can become a nuisance since they can cause food to become contaminated. Signs of an acrobat ant infestation are: ant trails on utility lines and pipes, as well as dirt and wood scraps that acrobat ants deposit as they excavate their nests.
These ants may sting or release an offensive odour if they feel that they or their nest is being threatened. They can pose a risk to properties by occasionally stripping the insulation from electrical or telephone wires, which can cause short circuits.
How do we control them?
To control these ants one must make his or her property as unattractive to them as possible. Therefore, one would need to: remove dead and decaying organic matter that is close to the premises, trim trees and bushes that are close to the structure’s exterior, seal any cracks or crevices in the house’s foundation or exterior walls, and around any gaps around windows, doors, and pipe and utility entrances. All food should be kept sealed and covered.