Acrobat Ants
(Crematogaster spp.)

Acrobat Ants earned their name from their acrobatic behavior when they are disturbed. They can raise their abdomen above their heads!

Appearance
 
  • Light brown to black in color

  • Workers are 2.5 – 4 mm in length

  • Body is made up of 3 segments

  • Have a heart shaped abdomen

  • Ability to raise abdomen above their head

  • Can emit a foul odor when disturbed

Behavior, Diet & Habits

You can find Acrobat Ants nested on both the interior and exterior of structures such as your home or business. They prefer to nest in a moisture rich environment. Ideal outdoor nesting spots include under stones, in stumps, under wood piles, and in rotting logs. Ideal indoor nesting spots include sheathing behind siding, in roofing by leaks, and other various moisture rich environments. Acrobat Ants will clean out galleries that other insects have made in order to nest. They will remove wood debris or dirt to nest in termite damaged wood or inactive carpenter ant nests.

Workers enter homes and structures in many ways. They can trail across the ground or follow tree limbs and shrubs that touch the house. Common entryways are door thresholds, cracks and holes around utility lines or pipes, window frames, soffits, weep holes, and other construction gaps. They have been found trailing over 100 feet.

Acrobat ants eat honeydew, a sugary waste from aphids and mealybugs, and insects, including termite swarmers. They show a slight preference for sweets and high protein food.

Reproduction

Like many other types of ants, the colony is made up of a queen, eggs, workers, and swarmers. Swarmers, or winged males and females, are only there for reproduction. They fly out of the nest and mate. Once the females have mated they leave to become a queen of their own colony, begin laying eggs, and the eggs that are then tended by the workers.

Signs of an Infestation

When acrobat ants forage for resources they form a line or trail that is visible and can often be followed back to the nest. Another sign is deposited debris they discarded when excavating their nest which consists of wood debris, insulation, dirt, and dead ants.

Treatments

Inspection is the key factor in preventing Acrobat Ant infestations. Inspect the exterior of a structure by looking for honeydew producing insects on plants, trailing ants around the foundation, and any areas with moisture problems. This will eliminate the problem before an infestation begins. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed, move firewood piles away from structures, and caulk/seal any construction gaps.

Nests can be difficult to locate, so let a pest control professional treat an Acrobat Ant infestation for you.