Acrobat Ant


Actual Size: 2.5 to 4 mm

Characteristics: Light brown to black; heart-shaped abdomen when viewed from above.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Male and female reproductives have wings.

Habitat: Prefers to nest in rotting and decaying wood and will inhabit old carpenter ant or termite galleries. In homes and structures, will nest in wall voids around doors, window frames, and insulation.


  • Rose bushes, fruit trees and any shrub that attracts aphids can contribute to an infestation.
  • Due to their ability to strip the insulation off of wires, they can cause short circuits, creating a fire hazard.
  • When excited or disturbed, acrobat ant workers will run around with their abdomens held high above their heads.

Acrobat Ants in Albuquerque NM

Acrobat ants commonly invade homes and businesses across the Albuquerque area. They get their name from the workers’ habit of raising their abdomen above their heads, looking like tiny gymnasts. These ant pests typically build nests in damp, decaying, or rotting wood. Acrobat ants practice mutualism, which means they tend aphids and feed on the honeydew that the aphids produce. They become an issue for homeowners when they nest in trees and decayed wood around the home, in places like porches and eaves.

Acrobat Ant Habitat

When nesting outdoors acrobat ants prefer to live in trees.  Indoors, acrobat ants are known to move into old or abandoned carpenter ant and termite galleries in wood, house voids, and insulation and walls. They feed on sugary substances, proteins, and dead insects. When found nesting in a home, these ants infest damp or rotting wood, often around windows and drain spouts. Entering homes through small cracks and crevices, electrical lines, and tree limbs, acrobat ants can become a real nuisance. When foraging for food, these ant pests prefer kitchen cabinets and pantries. Their presence, whether indoors or outdoors, indicates decaying wood.

Acrobat Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Worker acrobat ants have been known to bite aggressively and release an offensive odor when disturbed. Mild reactions are common and may last from a few hours to a few days. However, the real threat posed by acrobat ants is their ability to create a fire hazard. They construct nests in woodwork and insulation, stripping the insulation off of wires, and causing short circuits, creating a fire hazard. If an acrobat ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.