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Acrobat Ants: Wood Infesting Ants

Acrobat ants are a type of ant that gets its name from its tendency to lift its abdomen up over its thorax and head, giving it a distinctive "acrobatic" appearance. These ants are found throughout the United States and are known for their small size, ranging from just a few millimeters to a little over a centimeter in length.

Acrobat ants are generally reddish-brown to black in color and have a slender, elongated shape. They are also known for their strong mandibles, which they use to chew through wood and other materials.

One of the most distinctive features of acrobat ants is the chemical odor they give off, which is often described as a "rotten coconut" smell. This odor is produced by glands on the ant's thorax and is used to communicate with other members of the colony.

Acrobat ants are known for their ability to nest in a variety of locations, including trees, stumps, and even inside buildings. They are attracted to wood that has been damaged by moisture and are often found in areas where there is a high moisture content. Because they are a type of wood infesting ant, they are sometimes mixed up with carpenter ants.

If you come across an acrobat ant infestation in your home, it is important to take steps to eliminate it as soon as possible. These ants can cause damage to wood structures and can be difficult to control once they have established a colony.

To prevent an acrobat ant infestation, it is important to keep your home dry and well-ventilated, repair any leaks or moisture damage, and seal any cracks or openings in your foundation. Remember to keep an eye out for these interesting insects and to take steps to prevent an infestation in your home. For professional assistance getting rid of acrobat ants, contact us today!

Acrobat Ants Can Be Found In Washington DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia

For the most part, acrobat ants are only occasional structural pests. Their name is derived from the acrobatic pose of the workers when they are alarmed, with the abdomen raised and arched above the head and thorax. The pose resembles that of the scorpion's arched tail. Some types of Acrobat ants are aggressive and emit a repulsive odor when the colony is disturbed.

Acrobat ants nest in a variety of sites, usually in dead wood, including branches and stems of trees and other plants, rotten logs, tree holes, and stumps. Nests may also occur in the ground beneath objects and inside empty nuts and insect galls. Some species may be found in abandoned wood and galleries formed by bark-boring beetles, caterpillars, and termites in trees. Colonies of Acrobat Ants can range in the tens of thousands of ants. Structural infestations often originate from a nest outside in a tree, stump, or log. Inside, they nest in woodwork, particularly door or window frames that have been damaged by insects or moisture. A disturbing habit is their infestation on foam core panel insulation. Acrobat ants feed on both live and dead insects and honeydew. Many species of acrobat ants build carton sheds to cover the homopterans they tend. In households, they feed on both sweets and meats.

Acrobat ant workers are 2.5 to 3 mm long, and vary in color from yellowish brown, to brown, to red and black, or black. They have a pair of spines on the propodeum and a stinger. Their antennae are 11-segmented with a 3-segmented club. Acrobat ants have a two-segmented pedicel, the post-petiole which articulates with the top of their heart-shaped gaster.

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