The acrobat ant goes by the Latin name Crematogaster spp.
These ants get the name from a habit that they have whereby they raise their abdomens acrobatically way over the head. This happens most often when the ant is disturbed. When you view the abdomen from above, it has a heart shape. There are different kinds of species under the acrobat ant. They are small and many of the species measure below 5.4mm in their length and sometimes, an odor that is unpleasant may be emitted once the ant is disturbed.
Behavior and diet
When the acrobat ants are outdoors, they like to nest near areas that are moist such as under the stones, woodpiles, rotting logs and even in stumps. When within your home, the ants will nest bear the damp areas like the foam sheathing that is found behind siding or even in your roofing where the skylight leaks.
In many cases, the acrobat ants can be found within wood that has been damaged by carpenter ants and termites. It is quite common for these ants to clear out the galleries created by other insects within wood. They will push out dirt and wood scraps within the gallery. This is why many homeowners confuse them with a termite infestation.
Their diet mainly includes honeydew and insects. Honeydew is that sugary waste which the sap feeding insects such as aphids excrete. These aphids are usually protected by the acrobat ants. If they invade a home, they have a preference for meat and sweets.
There are also the acrobat ant workers, which can invade the home in different ways. At times, some trails may be made all across the ground. The most common entryways are the construction gaps and the door thresholds. The workers sometimes follow tree limbs or at times any shrubs that are touching your house. They can also make use of the utility lines. They can get into the home through the openings that wires and pipes go through.
The biology of the acrobat ants isn’t well known. Just like other types of ants, they usually produce the winged females and females and these are referred to as swarmer’s. These will usually fly off and then mate outside the nest. When the females are mated, they usually disperse so as to form their own colonies as queens. The queens will lay eggs that have to be cared for by the workers.
How do you know there is an infestation?
The ants can nest in insulated spaces and within buildings. One of the signs of the acrobat ants are trails that they leave while they are foraging for different resources. The second sign is the deposit of debris which is deposited while the nests are being excavated. Usually, this mainly consists of dead ants or foam insulation just near other nests.
To be able to prevent the ants, a thorough inspection is necessary. In some cases, evidence of where a nest was made can be seen. If the ants are moving in trail, they can be followed so as to find where they are getting their food from and the location if the nest.
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Image: © AntWeb.org / CC-BY-SA-3.0
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