Latin Name: Crematogaster ssp.
Important facts, how to identify and control Acrobat Ants.
Acrobat ants acrobatically raise their abdomen above their head when disturbed or threatened. There are several species of acrobat ants in the United States. Most species are less than 5.4 millimeters in length. Many Acrobat ants emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed.
Behavior, Diet and Habits:
Outdoors, acrobat ants like to nest in moist areas, under stones, in stumps, under woodpiles and rotting logs. When invading homes, acrobat ants often nest behind siding, in the insulation behind the siding and around leaking areas around skylights.
Acrobat ants can often be found nesting in wood that other insects have damaged, where termites or carpenter ants have once been. It is common for acrobat ants to clean out the areas that other insects have made in wood. The acrobat ants will push the dirt or wood scraps out of the areas. Homeowners will find this debris and thing there is an active termite infestation.
Acrobat ants normally eat other insects and honeydew, a sugary waste excreted by sap feeding insects like aphids. Aphids are protected by the acrobat ants because of the honeydew they produce. When acrobat ants come into a home, it is because they are attracted by sweets and meat.
Acrobat ant workers will enter the home in several ways. They will make a trail across the ground. Door thresholds and construction gaps are common entryways. Workers can also be found following tree limbs or shrubs that touch the house. They can also enter the home trailing across utility lines. Acrobat ants will enter the home through gaps made for pipes or wires. You’ll know you have an infestation of Acrobat ants when you see them in trails going in and out of the home or business.
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.
Preventing acrobat ants starts with a thorough inspection. When there is evidence foam on the ground by the foundation, it may be a sign acrobat ants are nesting behind the siding. Trails of ants will lead you to where they are nesting and their food supply.
It is very important to correct a moisture problem before it is possible to eliminate acrobat ants. It is necessary to trim shrubs or tree limbs to stop acrobat ants from invading your home or business. Inspect the attic vents and repair any damaged screens. Caulk spaces around pipes and utility lines. (Do not handle electric wires; contact the utility company or an electrician for help.) Move firewood piles and remove tree stumps away from the home.
For best results in locating and exterminating the acrobat ants, it is usually best to contact a pest control professional to treat an ant infestation.