Acrobat Ant Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from acrobat ants by learning techniques for identification and control.
How do I get rid of acrobat ants?
What Orkin Does
Preventing acrobat ants begins with a thorough inspection. Sometimes there is evidence to show where they made their nest. For example, if there are bits of foam on the ground by the foundation, it may be a sign that acrobat ants are nesting behind the siding. Ants that are moving in a trail can lead to their nest and their food supply. It is very often necessary to correct a moisture problem before it is possible to eliminate acrobat ants.
Orkin Pros are trained to help manage ants and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique ant treatment program for your situation. Keeping ants out of homes and buildings is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps — Assess, Implement and Monitor. Orkin can provide the right solution to keep ants in their place...out of your home, or business.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Understanding Acrobat Ants
Acrobat ants (Crematogaster spp.) get their name from their habit of acrobatically raising their abdomen above their head, especially when they are disturbed.
When viewed from above, the abdomen is heart-shaped. There are several species of acrobat ants in the United States. Acrobat ants are small; most species are less than 5.4 mm in length. Many emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed.
Outdoors, acrobat ants nest near moisture such as under stones, in stumps, in rotting logs and under woodpiles. When they invade homes, acrobat ants often nest in damp areas such as in foam sheathing behind siding, and they even have been found nesting in roofing near a leaking skylight.
Acrobat ants often nest in wood that termites or carpenter ants have damaged. It is common for acrobat ants to clean out the galleries that other insects have made in the wood. They push the dirt or wood scraps out of the galleries. Sometimes homeowners find this debris and think there is an active termite infestation. Learn more about acrobat ant damage.
The acrobat ant workers enter homes in several ways. Sometimes they make a trail across the ground. Door thresholds and construction gaps are common entryways. Workers can also follow tree limbs or shrubs that touch the house. They have even made their trails on utility lines. The ants can enter the home through the same opening that pipes or wires go through.
Acrobat ants normally eat insects and honeydew, a sugary waste excreted by sap-feeding insects like aphids. Acrobat ants protect the aphids that produce the honeydew. If acrobat ants come into a home, they usually prefer sweets and meat.Reproduction
Not much is known about the biology of acrobat ants. Like many other ants, they produce winged males and females called swarmers which fly out of the nest and mate. The mated females then disperse and become queens of their own colonies. Queens begin laying eggs which, in turn, are tended by workers.
It may be necessary to trim shrubs or tree limbs to stop acrobat ants from invading. Check attic vents and repair any damaged screens. Caulk openings around pipes and utility lines. (Do not handle electric wires; contact the utility company or an electrician.) Move firewood piles away from the home. It may even be necessary to remove a tree stump that the ants have used for a nesting site.
Because the nest can be difficult to locate, it is usually preferable to let a pest control professional treat an acrobat ant infestation.