Crematogaster scutellaris, commonly known as acrobat ants, are ant with a black body and a reddish head. The name acrobat derives from the particular position they assume when they feel attacked, which consists in raising the abdomen to show the sting. Acrobatic ants typically measure between 4 and 6 mm and have a heart-shaped body.
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- They are ants 4 to 6 mm long.
- They have a reddish head while the thorax and abdomen are black.
- The abdominal extremity is pointed due to the presence of a sting which is pointed upwards when they are alarmed, hence the common name of ‘acrobatic ants’.
Behavior, nutrition and habits
Outside, acrobat ants nest in wetlands, under stones, in stumps, in rotten logs and under piles of wood.
Even when they invade the home, they choose damp areas, such as foam insulation under the side siding, and have also been found in roofs near unsealed skylights.
Acrobat ants often settle in woods previously marred by the activity of termites or carpenter ants.
It is common for this species to clear out the tunnels that other insects have created in the wood, pushing dirt or resume out of the tunnels.
Sometimes the hosts, finding this debris, imagine it is due to a termite infestation.
What do acrobatic ants eat?
Acrobat ants eat on insects and honeydew, a sugary waste substance produced by insects that feed on savory such as aphids. Acrobat ants protect honeydew-producing aphids. If acrobat ants enter the house, they select sweets and meat.
How do they get into the house?
Acrobatic ants enter the house in different ways. Sometimes they trace a path in the ground. The front door and construction holes are typical entrances.
The workers can also follow the branches of trees and bushes that touch the house. They even trace paths along telephone cables. The ants manage to enter the house through the same openings used by pipes and cables.
Signs of an Acrobat Ants Infestation
Acrobat ants are able to create anthills inside buildings, often in isolated areas. The most obvious sign of their presence are the lines of ants in search of food.
A second sign is the debris that is deposited when they dig their nests: often this is insulating foam and dead ant bodies near the anthill.
The prevention for acrobat ants begins with a thorough inspection. Sometimes there is evidence to indicate where they nested.
For example, if there are pieces of insulation foam on the floor in basements, it is possible that ants are building an anthill near the side siding.
Ants moving in line can lead to the anthill and food source. Often it is necessary to eliminate a moisture problem before fighting acrobat ants.
Tree branches or bushes may need to be pruned to prevent them from entering your home.
Check the hoods and repair any damaged mosquito nets. Seal the openings around the pipes and telephone cables (do not mind electrical wiring; contact your service provider or an electrician).
Move the firewood from your home. It may also be necessary to remove a stump that the ants used to nest.
As anthills may be difficult to locate, it is always best to let professionals take care of the infestation.
How to get rid of Acrobat ants? And “do it yourself” methods
We often find ourselves explaining to people who call us that you can use do-it-yourself methods to get rid of ants, but only if you have professional products (some of which can be found in some nurseries) and experience in removing entire colonies of ants.
It is not enough just to place a few drops of gel or some repellent product to eliminate ants. Unfortunately, the data speak for themselves: 90% of people who venture into a pest control (whatever it is: ants, cockroaches, mice, etc.) before throwing away their money, look for a pest control company specialized that, in addition to using professional products (products sold only and exclusively to specialized firms) solve the problem definitively.