While acrobat ants may be able to perform a neat trick, they don’t make the best houseguest. Not only do they build nests in wood, leaving behind debris, they also can steal your favorite treats. Catching a pest problem early can help make eliminating an infestation easier. We’ve made a list of warning signs to help you prevent, identify, and eliminate an acrobat ant infestation.
Acrobat Ants 101
With a name like acrobat ant, you expect these ants to have a unique ability and they don’t disappoint. Acrobat ants raise their abdomen above their head when they are disturbed or feel threatened.
When viewed from above, their abdomen is shaped like a heart. Acrobat ant workers are about 1/8ʺ in length while queens grow up to 3/8ʺ. These ants range in color from light brown to black. When disturbed, they release an unpleasant odor.
Acrobat ants typically live outside in wood with water damage or previous insect tunnels. They are found in logs, trees, and under rocks. They will move indoors if they find a good nesting spot and food source.
They usually don’t cause severe damage, but they can make pre-existing problems worse. They can also contaminate food if they find their way to your pantry.
1. Ant Trails
The main sign of an acrobat ant infestation is the sighting of ants. These ants will travel several feet to find food sources. Trails of ants are often seen on utility lines, wires, and pipes leading into homes.
2. Nest Debris
When acrobat ants create their tunnels, they have to remove the wood. The debris left behind can be a sign of an acrobat problem. You may also find dirt or dead insects with wood scraps. If acrobat ants nest behind the siding on your house, you may see pieces of insolation.
3. Damaged Food Packaging
One reason acrobat ants will come inside is to find a good food source. They aren’t picky eaters and will feed on a variety of sweets and meats. If you find your pantry items have damaged wrappers, acrobat ants could be responsible.
4. Home Damage
Though acrobat ants don’t usually cause major problems to homes, they are attracted to damaged or water-logged wood. Keep your eyes open for peeling paint or mold since this could indicate a moisture problem.
5. Unpleasant Odor
If you start noticing an unidentified odor in your home, you may be dealing with acrobat ants. When acrobat ants are disturbed, they release an unpleasant odor. This odor is also present when acrobat ants die. This odor could mean these ants aren’t too far away.
Preventing Acrobat Ants
1. Eliminate Moisture
Acrobat ants prefer wood with water damage. Make sure there’s no excess water in your home by fixing leaking pipes, cleaning your gutters regularly, and using a dehumidifier in areas prone to moisture build-up.
2. Trim Branches & Shrubs
Acrobat ants have a tendency of entering homes by climbing on your plants. Trim back shrubs or tree branches that are touching the side of your home.
3. Seal Entry Points
One of the best ways to keep pests out of your home is by closing entry points. Check the exterior and interior of your home for cracks or holes and seal them. Repair any tears in window and door screens and ensure weather-stripping isn’t damaged.
4. Remove Nesting Sites
Make sure there aren’t logs or branches that can be used for nesting in your yard. You’ll also want to keep firewood several feet from your house and off the ground if possible. If you have an infested or rotting tree stump, it may be best to remove it.
5. Exterior Treatment
Treating your yard with a natural botanical insecticide, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Yard Bug Spray, can help keep acrobat ants out of your yard. Not only will it kill on contact, it also provides residual repellency. This creates a barrier that will help keep ants from coming back to your yard.
6. Interior Treatment
If acrobat ants make their way inside your home, you can use an insecticide spray like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach Killer. For the ants hiding in wood, a bait, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective No Spill Ant Kill, can help. Ants foraging for food will eat the bait and take some back to the colony. This means it will kill the ants you see and the ones you don’t, effectively eliminating the infestation.
No one wants to see an army of acrobat ants marching through their home. Thankfully, these ants leave behind a few clues to help you catch an infestation quickly. A few precautionary measures can help keep your home pest-free. If pests are giving you a fit, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.