Acrobat Ants Are Aggressive Indoor Pests That Often Sting Humans And Inflict Damage To Structural Lumber Components Within Homes
Ant species that belong to the Crematogaster genus have become well established throughout the world, some of which are common pests of homes and buildings in the United States. In the natural environment, these ants nest within decaying trees, stumps, logs, beneath bark, and in soil beneath rocks, leaf-litter, landscaping ornaments, cement slabs and other objects.
In most infestation cases, acrobat ant workers establish nests alongside foundation walls where they regularly invade homes to gather just about any food scraps they can find, but they are disposed to sweets given their natural habit of feeding on honeydew. These ants are also able to establish nests within indoor areas, most notably dark and inaccessible areas, such as within wall voids and beneath floorboards. Crematogaster cerasi, formerly known as C. lineolata, is the most commonly controlled acrobat ant species within homes in the US, but they are most abundant and problematic within the midwestern and northeastern states.
cerasi, is commonly known as the “lined acrobat ant,” and in addition to establishing nests within wall voids, they are also known for nesting within moist structural wood. However, acrobat ants prefer to nest within structural lumber that has already sustained damage from more common wood inhabiting insect pests like termites and carpenter ants. That being said, acrobat ants usually expand interior nesting cavities within previously damaged structural lumber components, resulting in greater damage.
The acrobat ant workers that often appear within homes are brown to black in color and between 1/16 and ⅛ of an inch in body length. Workers can be readily identified by their unique habit of raising their heart-shaped abdomen above their head when they become threatened, a behavior that earned them their common name. These ants are unusually aggressive, and although they are not known to inflict stings, they inflict painful bites. Much to the surprise of humans within infested homes, workers are also strangely resilient to being crushed, and they reportedly emit an unpleasant odor when threatened.
In order to eliminate acrobat ant infestations, all their nests must be destroyed. Nests can be located by patiently following the foraging paths that workers take when returning to their nests with food. To gain control of persistent acrobat ant pest issues, a barrier may need to be applied around the perimeter of affected homes to prevent further invasions by workers.
Have you ever sustained an ant bite within your home?