Acrobat Ants: Identification, Facts, and Control
Insects have their own unique characteristics. As for acrobat ants, these are the only ant species that can raise their abdomen over their thorax and their head. We usually see them do this when they are disturbed and aggravated. Just like most ants, they pose a minor nuisance to human beings. They are common in the United States and are known for invading properties and destroying belongings in houses and other establishments.
Acrobat ants may bite especially when they feel threatened by foreign entities. They have a strong sense of danger and disturbance. They use their strong stingers to fight their predators to death.
Acrobat ants are characterized as light brown to black in color. There are even some species of acrobat ants which are multicolored. These ants are known for their heart-shaped abdomen. The worker acrobat ants are about 3.2 millimeters or 1/8 inch in length. The queen, however, is much bigger than her subordinates. She can measure up to 3/8 inch or 10 millimeters long.
Acrobat ants reproduce just like the other ant species. Mature ants develop their own set of wings. They use this to swarm and mate at a specific time of the year, usually in the fall. After their mating period, the females will fly to look for potential locations to nest in. When they do, they lose their wings and use it as a primary source of nutrition until the eggs hatch. By then, they will be starting their new acrobat ant colony as the queen.
As for the males, they die after mating. Basically, the only function of a mature male is to fertilize the females. Afterward, they lose their lives out of a purpose well-fulfilled.
Behavior and Habits
Acrobat ants can usually be found nesting in trees, stumps, decaying logs, woodpiles, mulches, leaf piles, porches, decks, and roofs. These creatures often invade homes by entering through crevices and cracks in foundations. They can pass through the windows, doors, and utility lines. Once they’re inside, they establish their nest where there is moist and least disturbance.
Just like most insects, ants rely on moist for survival. For this reason, we usually find them in the kitchen, underneath the sink where there are leaky pipes. They like to nest in areas where there is an abundance of food and water. For this reason, our dining area and our kitchen is the most practical place to establish a nest.
Acrobat ants are cunning. They know how to make a discreet nest – something that doesn’t get noticed by the homeowners. Oftentimes, they build their nests inside walls or beneath the floors. They like to take over places previously excavated and damaged by termites and carpenter ants. Plus, if you had been infested by rats and mice, it’s possible that they would take advantage of the holes to get inside the walls.
Acrobat ants also like to establish nests in unused spaces. This includes unused boxes, shoes, compartments, and many more. They are also attracted to clutters. So, as much as possible, avoid cluttering your belongings. Organize them as much as you can.
According to entomologists, acrobat ants commonly feed on wastes excluded by aphids and other bugs. They can also eat both live and dead insects that feed on sweets and proteins. These include cockroaches, moths, and many more. If you think that eating food infested by acrobat ants are safe for consumption, you better think twice. Acrobat ants are effective bacteria hoarders. You never know what kind of deceased they can bring to the family.
Signs of an Acrobat Ant Infestation
- Ant trails. You can often see ant trails along wires, utility lines, pipes, and walls. Acrobat ants are resourceful. They can reach more than 100 feet away from their nest to forage the sources.
- Wood Scraps. There are instances when acrobat ants build their nests on trees, shrubs, and wooden furniture. If you see wooden scraps in the area, it could be an indication that acrobat ants have excavated their nests. It wouldn’t be long before they find another potential place for establishment. For this reason, keep an eye for deteriorating wood, peeling paint, mold and fungal growth.
- Dirt Scraps. Acrobat ants can also build their nests on the ground. By any chance that they have established their nest on your lawn, you can find dirt scraps all over their trail.
- Dead Ants. Every time acrobat ants excavate their nests, some of their companions die. If you see dead ants in an area, it is a sign that it has been infested and that the ants are looking for a new home nearby.
- Destroyed Food Packaging. Just like the typical ant, acrobat ants can destroy food packaging especially if they get desperate for resources. If you see torn wrappings of your food, it could be a sign of an ant infestation. As much as possible, do not use or eat food with torn packaging. Ants can bring different kinds of bacteria and the food would already be contaminated or spoiled.
- Stripped Insulators. Acrobat ants have very strong mandibles. They can strip the insulation of electrical wirings which can cause short circuits. For this reason, it is very important to conduct a regular check-up of all the wirings and sockets for any sign of pest infestation.
- Unpleasant Odors. Worker acrobat ants give off a pungent odor when they are disturbed. Ants communicate with each other through the use of pheromones or scents they produce from their bodies. Each smell has its own meaning. It could signal danger, food, disruption, even death. When acrobat ants are aggravated, they tend to secrete pheromones which are unpleasant to the smell of human beings. This signals their comrades that there is potential danger ahead of them. Acrobat ants also secrete a pungent smell when they die. This is a good indication that acrobat ants are nearby.
Prevention of Acrobat Ants
- Get rid of decaying trees, limbs, and stumps. These are potential nest establishments of acrobat ants. To prevent any infestation from acrobat ants, it is best to remove everything that attracts them, including the potential places where they can build their nests.
- Store Compost Materials at a distance from your house. Compost materials are good sources of protein for ants. Plus, it gives them a good place to build their nest. To keep them from infesting your home, keep your compost pit at least 6 to 7 feet away from your house.
- Keep your Trash Bins away from your home. Food crumbs attract a lot of insects. To prevent any potential infestation, keep your trash bins as far away from your home as possible. And remember to keep the lids tightly closed.
- Move shrubs and remove grasses away from your house proper.
- Get rid of branches near the roof and windows. These creatures can build their nests on trees. To steer clear of an infestation, get rid of any branches that overlap the roof and windows.
- Regularly clean your pipe and gutters.
- Landscape drainage systems for more effective water flow.
- Seal all cracks and crevices around your home. It helps to conduct a regular perimeter check-up. Look for any fissures and cracks on your walls and seal it. If you cannot do it alone, ask for help from your local carpenter. It should take half a day, depending on the severity of the damage.
- Maintain your insulation by checking and replacing the insulators damaged by ants.
- Remember to properly seal your food.
- Don’t leave open food on counters, couches, and floors.
- Clean as you go. Food crumbs attract insects very much. To avoid any infestation, it is best to sweep the crumbs from the floor or wipe it off the table. Regular vacuuming and general cleaning also help to prevent any pest infestation. It is the most basic and least expensive way to prevent ants.
- Wash dishes as soon as possible. Some people would wait a couple of hours before the wash the dishes. To avoid infestation, it is best to do it as soon as you are done eating and resting. Never postpone cleaning your house in maintaining its tidiness. Acrobat ants work so fast you never know they have infested your home unless it becomes worse.
Call for a Professional Help
One of the best and safest ways to get rid of acrobat ants this by calling an expert pest control specialist near Huntersville. Not all of us have the luxury of time to do the necessary measures for pest management. Plus, not all of those areas as skillful as the highly-trained exterminators in your area.
So, to save yourself from the infestation, call for Lake Norman Pest Control. This company has been providing service for more than 50 years. Founded by Sam and Fran Newman, the company has always dedicated its efforts for customer satisfaction, safety, and efficiency.
For a pest-free environment, there’s nobody else to call but the highly-trained and professional staff from Lake Norman Pest Control – the company that protects.