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Acrobat Ants Print E-mail

Color varies from brown to black to reddish. The pedicel (nodes) attaches to the top of the gaster instead of the middle. The abdomen, when viewed from above, is shaped like a heart. Acrobat ants get their name from the habit of holding their abdomens above their thorax — like acrobats — when the workers or colony are disturbed.

Feeding Habits
Acrobat ants feed on a wide variety of foods including both sweets and proteins. Inside structures, acrobat ants will feed on household foods and show a reference for sweets.

Key Inspection Tips
Inspecting for colonies of acrobat ants is similar to an inspection for carpenter ants. Even when workers are found foraging indoors, the first place to inspect is the exterior of the structure as Argentine ants may be found indoors, but are generally not considered house ants.

Inspect the building’s foundation for trails of workers. Workers may also be observed trailing on tree and shrub branches that brush against the structure. Wires and cables are another avenue for worker ants trailing onto the structure. The eaves of structures should be inspected for ant trails or workers entering cracks in the soffits. Signs of excess moisture should be noted along the fascia boards and under soffits. Such signs include warped boards, peeling paint and fungi on the surface of wood. Suspect areas in the soffits will need to be inspected more closely using a ladder.

Acrobat ant colonies are most often found in areas where water leaks have occurred. It is important to ask the customer if they are aware of any water leaks in the building within the past several years. These areas should be inspected first. A moisture meter is helpful in locating areas of high moisture. Firewood stored inside should also be checked for ant colonies. Termite-damaged wood should be probed for the presence of an ant colony, particularly in basements and crawlspaces. When acrobat ants infest wood damaged by other insects, they often clear out bits of dirt and dead insects. This debris is often deposited in piles in visible areas and indicates the presence of an ant colony. Bits of foam in window sills or on door thresholds may indicate ants infesting foam insulation. Professionals may occasionally mistake these bits as evidence of powderpost beetles. Care should be taken to confirm the actual type of insect present.

Contributing Conditions:
Dead wood and wood debris, as well as areas — both indoors and outdoors — that contain a high level of moisture content should be checked for ant activity. Any water leaks that are present must be corrected. Clogged gutters must be cleared. Tree and shrub branches which brush against the structure should be cut back. As many cracks and holes as possible in the building’s exterior should be sealed.

Call Vanish Pest Control to arrange for one of our Bay Area pest control experts to come help you exterminate your ant problems

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