Acrobat Ants

Category:

Actual Size: 2.5 to 4 mm

Characteristics: Acrobat ants are named for their behavior of raising their abdomen above their body. They range in color from light brown to black and have a heart-shaped abdomen when viewed from above.

Habits:

  • When excited or disturbed, acrobat ant workers will run around with their abdomens held high above their heads.
  • Acrobat ants will feed on a variety of foods, but prefer the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs found feeding on plants.
  • Rose bushes, fruit trees and any shrub that attracts aphids may contribute to an acrobat ant infestation.

Overview

Acrobat ants can be found across the United States invading homes and properties. These ants build nests in rotting wood and their colonies typically consist of a single queen and a large number of workers and soldiers. Acrobat Ants practice mutualism with aphids, tending these insects and subsisting on the honeydew that the aphids produce.

Acrobat Ant Habitat

When nesting outdoors acrobat ants prefer to live in trees, often taking over a single tree though large colonies can spread to neighboring trees. When the opportunity presents itself, they will also eat dead insects. When acrobat ants infest dwellings they nest in rotting or damp wood or foam structures and feed on any sugary substances or protein that is left within reach.

Acrobat Ant Behavior – Threats – Dangers

Acrobat Ants are primarily an outdoor concern. Their presence, whether indoors or outdoors, indicates decaying wood. Additionally, their foraging behavior is a nuisance to homeowners. In comparison to other ant species, acrobat ants are nothing more than a slight nuisance. However, if their colony is disturbed, acrobat ants may sometimes bite.

Acrobat Ant Prevention

Acrobat Ants are best prevented by denying them housing. Repair any moisture problems you may have and replace damaged wood around your home. Clean out gutters and make sure down-spouts are directed away from your home’s foundation. Decaying or damp wood and foam structures should be removed and cracks in foundation should be sealed so that they cannot enter. Outside, dead and rotting trees, stumps, and other wooden structures should be eliminated to deter acrobat ants from building a nest.