Most people don’t look closely enough at ants when they see them to discern what type of ant they are. Well those people are missing out in my professional opinion because there are some crazy ant species around, not to mention actual “crazy ants” which are becoming more prevalent in the States. Today though, we’re talking about the Acrobat Ant, how to identify them, and what dangers they pose to your home or business.
Why are they called acrobat ants? As you can see in the image above, they have the ability to carry their abdomen above their heads. Typically performed when agitated, this gives them the appearance of an acrobat walking on their hands. When viewed from above, their abdomen in heart shaped, which gives you two very easily identifiable traits if you come across these ants. If you can’t tell, mess with them a bit and see if they lift up their abdomens in frustration.
What Threats Do They Pose?
- Wood Destroying Insects: While acrobats don’t eat wood, they do live and nest in wood much like carpenter ants. They are particularly attracted to old rotting or decaying wood as it’s obviously easier to excavate. They feed on sweets and proteins and as their colony grows they will destroy more wood.
- If you have an infestation of acrobat ants, you will often see piles of “frass” or sawdust, and also dead ants that have been removed from the colony and dropped out of an exit point. These ants are very clean and meticulous, always removing any clutter from their homes.
- The inside of your home or attic provides these ants with all the shelter and comfort they need and thus if an infestation begins in or around your home, it can grow incredibly fast if not treated accordingly.
How Do You Protect Yourself?
- Most importantly, keep all trees and shrubs trimmed away from your house, especially if anything is touching the house. This simply creates an easy access highway for these ants to crawl out of the trees and into your home.
- Clean out your gutters! Gutters often become filled with leaves, twigs, and other organic matter that begins to decay. This not only attracts many insects, including acrobat and carpenter ants, but also decreasing the functionality of your gutters. Clean your gutters often, or look into gutter protection systems to avoid having to repeat this chore in the future.
- Replace rotting and decaying wood around your home. Treating rotting wood with an insecticide can be an effective way to kill a bunch of ants and keep them away for a short while, but replacing the wood is truly the best way to ensure they don’t come back.
Acrobat ants, while fun to look at and mess with sometimes, do pose a serious threat. In short, they must be eliminated from your home or business to avoid future complications and destruction of your property. If you’re not sure what kind of ants you might have running around your home, call Venus Pest Company and we can help you sort it out.