Acrobat Ants

Quick Stats

  • Latin Name: Crematogaster
  • Size: Most species are more than 5 cm long
  • Color: Brownish-black. Small varieties may be perceived as all black, but some are light brown.
  • Shape: Distinguished by their heart-shaped abdomen. Known for lifting abdomen above head level when threatened.
  • Found in: Found all across the United States, particularly in California, Colorado, and the Southeast.
  • Overview: May emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed. These outdoor ants like to live near water and often take over nests that other ant species have abandoned.

About Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants are a biological mystery. Not much is known about these pests except that they live in small colonies run by a single queen. Colonies are manned by worker ants while the queen lays eggs, and “swarmers” are sent out periodically to find food or a new nesting spot. They’re moisture-loving creatures, often calling tree stumps or moisture-prone areas home. They’re especially prevalent in humid parts of the country and puzzlingly, in the Rocky Mountains about 7,000 feet.

Because of their unique nesting habits, many people originally mistake an Acrobat ant infestation for an active termite problem. The ants often simply take over another pests’ nest after they’re gone, from other ant species to termites. Acrobats move in and get to work excavating additional tubes and living space within the nest which leaves behind visible debris. This is usually the first surefire sign of an infestation of this kind.

Facts About Acrobat Ants

This particular ant species is sometimes difficult to detect. Acrobats tend to hide within well-insulated areas and can enter a structure through low-hanging branches, an open door, or even through ground tubes created by other pests. Oddly, Acrobats ants have a preference for high-protein foods as well as sweet foods. In fact, they mainly feed off of honeydew secreted by aphids.

Acrobat ants can make a nest out of almost anything. They’re not picky – rotting wood, Styrofoam, drywall – anything can become a nest for these persistent pests. Prevention starts with removing standing water near a structure, avoiding piles of wood, and trimming foliage back from the structure regularly. It’s best to seek professional guidance if you’re unsure if your ant infestation is containable.


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