Acrobat Ants

Crematogaster spp.

Pest Stats

Color

Light brown to black, sometimes multicolored

Legs

6

Shape

Heart-shaped abdomen

Size

Workers average 1/8” (3.2 mm) in length

Antennae

Yes

Region

All

Acrobat ants are light brown to black in color. They are relatively small, usually measuring about 1/8” (3.2 mm) in length. Queens, however, are generally larger but can range in size up to 3/8” (10 mm) long. Acrobat ants have a segmented body and when looked down upon, the shape of their abdomen resembles a heart. These ants possess a stinger, and their antennae are 11-segment with a 3-segmented club.

Acrobat Ant Photos

The most obvious sign of an acrobat ant infestation is the presence of actual ant trails on wires, utility lines and pipes coming into walls. Acrobat ants will occasionally forage up to 100 feet away from their nest for resources, so you might spot them trailing along the foundation in search of food. Additionally, debris such as dirt and wood scraps that acrobat ants deposit as they excavate their nests can serve as another telltale sign of an infestation. If the home has siding, look for pieces of foam insulation, which could indicate an acrobat ant nest behind the siding.

Homeowners should also check for moisture damage around the structure of the home, which could attract acrobat ants, carpenter ants and other wood-nesting pests like termites. Keep an eye out for peeling paint, mold or fungal growth, or deteriorating wood along soffits and around window frames.

There are many techniques that can be used to prevent acrobat ants. First and foremost, it’s important to keep a close eye on the exterior of the home for visible signs of an acrobat ant infestation as described above. Also on the exterior of the home, seal all possible entry points with a silicone-based caulk, paying close attention to cracks around doors, windows, pipes and utility lines. Eliminate sources of standing water and divert water away from the home’s foundation with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Furthermore, keep tree branches and shrubbery trimmed away from the house to prevent acrobat ants from gaining entry into the home. Finally, store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground. 

Inside, consider using a dehumidifier to prevent moisture buildup. Also, keep all food, including pet food, stored in sealed plastic or glass containers. Homeowners can partner with a licensed pest control professional to develop an acrobat ant prevention plan with additional tactics.

Acrobat ants eating a bug.jpg

Acrobat ants typically feed on honeydew, a sugary waste excreted by aphids and mealybugs. They also eat live and dead insects including termite swarmers. Upon entering a household, acrobat ants are drawn to sweets and high-protein foods like meat.

Like many other ant species, Acrobat ants produce winged males and females also known as swarmers. Acrobat ant swarmers have been observed in nests or actively swarming from mid-June to late September. These insects leave the nest to mate, with the mated females dispersing and becoming queens of their own colonies.

Acrobat ants may bite when threatened and, in some species, workers may emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed. Though not usually causing any significant damage to the wood within a structure, these ants can pose a risk to properties by occasionally stripping the insulation from electrical or telephone wires, which can cause short circuits.

Acrobat ants may bite when threatened. In some species, workers may emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed.

These ants can also pose a risk to properties. Occasionally, acrobat ants will strip the insulation from electrical or telephone wires, which can cause short circuits.